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Is it Normal to Spend An Entire Day in a Coffee Shop? This Makati Café Thinks So

Photo courtesy of Common Man Coffee Roasters

Photo courtesy of Common Man Coffee Roasters

From indulging in delicious brunch options to sipping specialty coffee and cocktails, Singapore’s Common Man Coffee Roasters introduces Filipinos to the slow-paced cafe experience

From 24-hour cafés to take-away kiosks, getting a cup of coffee is an integral part of Filipino life, providing an instant pick-me-up and a jolt of energy at any time of the day with eight out of ten adults drinking an average of 2.5 cups per day. With a thriving coffee culture and a multitude of local and international shops and brands, everyone has the opportunity to explore and savor the diverse flavors and cultures that coffee brings.

However, the traditional café experience in the Philippines often revolves around a hurried or short visit, with customers feeling conscious of time and constraints due to “hiya,” a concept where a deep sense of propriety and consideration for others’ feelings to maintain harmony and respect within the community.

This notion is what Common Man Coffee Roasters is determined to change in the coffee-drinking landscape in the country, offering a slow-paced café experience that encourages people to slow down and stay a little longer no matter the occasion.

It starts with brunch

Unassuming and nestled among the tall buildings surrounding Ayala Triangle Gardens, Common Man Coffee Roasters found its first home across the compound of the Philippine Stock Exchange, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of corporate life.

Drawing its inspiration from its flagship location in Singapore, the café’s industrial furnishings create a relaxed yet stylish ambiance, it’s a venue that’s ideal for individuals who appreciate the fusion of modern aesthetics with a laid-back lifestyle. In different key areas, it proudly displays its single-origin roasts and blends, a dedicated roastery brought all the way from Singapore, and four dining areas: the indoor seating, the inviting window area, the bustling coffee bar, and the charming outdoor seating. 

There is a certain sense of fulfillment and a welcoming atmosphere that accompanies the deliberate selection of food in the business district. Contrary to the expectation of needing to dress up to the nines in such an area, Common Man Coffee Roasters begs to differ. The dress code? Come as you are.

As you enter, a circular communal table greets you, symbolizing the Filipino concept of “salu-salo,” a communal gathering or a festive meal shared with friends and family. You may find yourself lost in conversation with fellow patrons or simply enjoying a moment of solitude with your espresso and the brand’s ceramic cup called Loveramics.

A guest eating the Common Man Full Breakfast
Photo courtesy of Common Man Coffee Roasters

The air is filled with the aroma of Common Man Coffee Roasters’ 22 Martin blend. To match this brewing scent, a cup of flat white was a good starter to indulge in. Made from the same blend, the fruity notes of the mixture complement the café’s unique milk concoction, which adds a natural sweetness without the need for additional sugar.

In an interview with the Common Man Coffee Roasters Philippines team, they delightfully shared that, much like their Singapore mother brand counterpart, they source their beans from all over the world, working closely with producers to ensure sustainable growing practices and community building. They also added that the company believes in providing sustainable solutions for a lasting future of great coffee.

Photo courtesy of Common Man Coffee Roasters

Brunch at the laidback Makati bistro incorporates an array of international cuisines and experience, with dishes, according to the CMCR team, staying true to their core recipes. Serving brunch all day, with hefty servings ideal for sharing, you can enjoy a full plate of Common Man Full Breakfast, a protein-packed delight featuring free- range eggs, bacon, pork sausage, spinach, herb roma tomato, homemade hashbrown, portobello mushrooms, and house-made baked chorizo served with artisanal sourdough.

But it’s not just savory delights that steal the spotlight at Common Man Coffee Roasters. The “Not Your Common Pancakes” are made with wheat pancake batter cooked until fluffy and light. Topped with caramelized bananas, caramelized walnut crumble, salted caramel sauce, and berry coulis, this dish shatters the misconception that wheat pancakes are heavier and coarse. Paired with these dishes is a medium roast long black that harmoniously complements each flavor and texture.

From coffee to cocktails

As the day unfolds, the window seats offer a picturesque view of the Ayala Triangle gardens, creating a serene backdrop for leisurely meals shared with loved ones or enjoyed in one’s own company. Whether you’re indulging in reading a book or using the café as a “coffice,” Common Man Coffee Roasters encourages its guests to create their own experience in its warmly-lit space. The local team notes that each person’s experience is unique, and they want to empower their guests to create their own.

Around two in the afternoon, you’ll realize that time has become inconsequential. Remarkably, time seems to melt away within the café’s comforting embrace, alleviating any concerns about overstaying. As the CMCR team assures every customer that comes their way: You can stay the whole day. You’re always encouraged to stay.

Common Man Coffee Roasters' 22 Martini placed on a table
Photo courtesy of Common Man Coffee Roasters

The afternoon slowly transitions to the early evening, Common Man Coffee Roasters morphs into a chill specialty bar that invites you to unwind. The coffee bar becomes the focal point, where patrons can witness the artistry of coffee-making or engage in conversations with friends and baristas. You can take delight in the flavors of single-origin coffees sourced from exotic destinations such as Jabanto, Ethiopia, Wiang Pa Pao, Thailand, Lomas Altas, Guatamala, and Umoja, Tanzania.

Now as a venue that doubles as a café and bar, an “early” night-cap was upon us. Completing the day-long excursion, the 22 Martini emerges as a fitting conclusion—a blend of vodka, CMCR Signature coffee blend, and coconut syrup that epitomizes balance and refinement. The café’s atmosphere shifts into a vibrant cosmopolitan setting, embodying the energy of a city that never sleeps yet offering moments of respite and relaxation amidst the urban chaos.

For more information, visit Common Man Coffee Roasters’ official website. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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