Local Edition and Yardstick: Two notable third wave coffee shops in Legazpi village

The bastion of Philippine Capitalism

The bastion of Philippine Capitalism, the Makati CBD

Have you ever heard of the term “Wall Street”? What do you think? Banks! Skyscrapers! The NYSE! Money raining from the skyscrapers! That last one was an exaggeration by the way…

Those who have actually been to Wall Street (me, simpleng yabang) laugh at all these notions. It’s a very short street in downtown Manhattan, half of it not open to vehicles. The NYSE has only a small portion along Wall, the only bank building is Deustche, and well its really old. But whenever finance people mention Wall Street it means that they are referencing New York’s financial district, be it in Downtown or the glitzier Midtown.

This was Wall Street in 2013, a view as you come from Water

This was Wall Street in 2013, a view as you come from Water Street

That’s akin to Makati in the Philippines. BGC may be the better looking business district right now but when you want to talk about the Philippines’ financial district it’s still Makati.

Really near my former office

Really near my former office

Where one of these shops are located

Where one of these shops are located

What does all this have to do with the title of this article?  Office workers need coffee. Lots of it. Some actually feel they want to get their coffee through an IV.

There are a lot of second wave shops in Makati but the third wave movement is going strong. These two hold a small special place in my heart, they’re near my former work’s location but only appeared after I was long gone.

Local Edition

Local Edition - 116 Perea St. Legaspi Village,1229 Makati

Local Edition – 116 Perea St. Legaspi Village,1229 Makati

Love the backdrop design of this shelf

Love the backdrop design of this shelf

I loved the shop’s minimalist design with beautiful wood accents. What I did not like was the chatter of two teenagers inside. They speak like most kids nowadays: Mostly english; Spliced with a few Filipino words; A fake accent that slurs the letter R. From what I got, the girl had a boyfriend and the guy was a friend teasing the girl about said boyfriend. These two would then be in a very tender embrace outside the shop as they smoked a couple of cigars. Anyway, back to the review.

It’s a neighborhood hangout. Groups of teenagers both inside and outside the store. A kid on a MacBook got his sandwich delivered to his table. A girl that didn’t order just greeted the staff and the same MacBook kid then used the restroom before leaving. A man in the later years of his life got his cup made after walking in the door.  I felt like a stranger.

Regular Flat White

Those iced gems (is that what their called?) to me are a cheap gimmick.

Those iced gems (is that what their called?) to me are a cheap gimmick.

I was underwhelmed by this cup of flat white. I definitely ordered it to be drank in store and they still served it on this biodegradable cup. (though extra points for using biodegradable materials) I opened it up and was met with a lackluster brownish foam.

The coffee itself tasted weak. It was watery. Either they pulled the shot too long or there was a problem with frothing the milk. The iced gem, if that is what it’s called, I can buy a bag of in our office for less than half the price of this cup.

Gooey Grilled Cheese

Eat it while it's hot. Seriously, it sucks when it gets cold

Eat it while it’s hot. Seriously, it sucks when it gets cold

As soon as this was served, or in the case after I picked it up from the counter since you know I don’t have a MacBook, you immediately smell butter. It’s really straightforward: Processed Cheese sandwiched between two slices of buttered white bread then toasted in a panini press; 180 Php; Wow.

The cheese cools down really fast and you get something that looks like hardened wax from a candle. This was probably a bad idea to order from their small menu but still. I like myself a good grilled cheese sandwich every once in a while. This was not a good grilled cheese sandwich.

FoodMetroManila: As you can probably tell, that didn’t go too well. Moving on to the next shop.

Yardstick Coffee

Yardstick Coffee - round Floor, Universal LMS Building, 106 Esteban Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City

Yardstick Coffee – round Floor, Universal LMS Building, 106 Esteban Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City

Yardstick is a different animal from Local Edition. The place is larger. It has an area where it offers coffee related classes. And it has more accommodating staff.

This place is huge!

This place is huge!

Yes, the place is huge.

It has a larger space than some restaurants and that’s impressive for a coffee shop. Different groups of people were here, all chattering at the same time, but I still had a quiet spot for myself where I didn’t mind everyone. I even got to update my daily planner.

This island with free reading materials!

This island with free reading materials!

The staff was attentive but not intrusive. As soon as I plopped down on my seat one of them  came up and dropped a tall bottle of water for me to sip on while waiting for my orders. When they delivered my coffee and brownie they pretty much left me alone and didn’t keep asking me “how was it?”. All these they did with a smile on their faces. Yep, they got a tip.

Flat White

Flat White with art

Flat White with art

Third wave coffee shops pride themselves on offering the best quality cup of joe you can ever get. And like some self-respecting restaurants presentation is an integral part of the experience. Latte art is the barista’s equivalent to a chef’s plating. It shows that they care. If you’re going to stress that the Local Edition’s coffe are served in a to go cup and thus they don’t need to make latter then please take a read of my Top Ten Coffee Places of 2014 and read how Caffe Pascussi approaches this conundrum.

The coffee is strong and smooth, definitely a full coffee flavor. It made me relax and alert. This was a damn good coffee cup.

Brownie with Mint Chocolate Chips

Why not?

Why not?

I don’t add sugar to my coffee. I just don’t like to. It also gives me leeway to order something decadently sweet on the side. This is one of those times. It was a good pairing but not very healthy.

Ruminations… 

To put it simply. Local Edition felt like a Local Edition of Starbucks. Blunt isn’t it? If I was still working in that office in Makati I would buy a cup to go but would not stay there. At least it wasn’t pestered with networking people making presentations to potential downlines.

Yardstick was more like what you think of when you think of third wave coffee. It seems pretentious but it’s really just them confident with the fact that they’re offering quality everytime. I was just in an old shirt, tacky shorts, kamikaze 1’s and they still treated me like the other customers garbed in their weekend best and that’s telling something about them.

Selling stuff. I want an Aeropress.

There are plenty more shops in Makati and I plan to try them all! Some will definitely be in my 2015 Coffee Place list.  Do you have any suggestions?

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