Makati as a coffee crawl destination has its fair share of cafes. Of the top of my head, I can already count 8 different coffee shops across various streets, corners, and the like. Amidst this crowd is Yardstick Coffee, a venerated institution of sorts that stands as one of the pioneers of the third wave movement in Metro Manila. Yardstick’s bean selection is selected, curated and roasted in-house by co-owner Andre Chanco, a fine gent who used to roast for another venerated coffee institution (Singapore’s Papa Palheta) before moving back to Manila and founding Yardstick.
Yardstick is a coffee company at heart, so their website says. And the line doesn’t really surprise us, given that Yardstick does more than what most coffee shops in Metro Manila do. Apart from roasting their beans in-house, they’re also the local distributor of La Marzocco and Rocket. They also conduct classes and training on specialty coffee, and people interested in doing more beyond the class can also purchase coffee brewing equipment such as kettles, pour-overs, scales, grinders, and more. Of course, at the center of it all is the actual coffee drinking experience, and Yardstick never falls short of having a wonderful selection of coffees paired with a particular brewing method for the best possible taste.
One can’t help but get comfy at the sheer environment of Yardstick. Minimalist in design, the establishment offers a unique open walking experience, where you can walk practically anywhere in the store (except for the back-office of course). Want to watch the barista make your coffee? Go ahead, you could even probably stand beside them too to learn a thing or two about the care that goes into each cup. And for the beginning specialty coffee drinker, the baristas will hand you a nice little card with the description of how the coffee was farmed, processed, and the tasting notes. Quick Fun Fact: Yardstick is home to 2014’s Philippine National Barista Champion, Aldrin Lumaban. When he’s not brewing, you can catch him inside their training room teaching some of the aforementioned specialty coffee classes.
With the ever growing number of coffee shops in the metro, it’s always good to remember that pioneers like Yardstick are to thank for the boom. Yet despite this growing number, there’ll always be a reason to head on out to this side of Makati to try out their excellent coffee. Whether you want to be trained by true experts in the world of coffee, or want to just sit back, relax, and bask in the ambiance of something truly special, Yardstick raises the bar not just as a pioneer of the third wave coffee scene in the country, but also as one of its undisputed leaders.
Universal LMS Building, G/F 106 Esteban St.
Legaspi Village, Makati City