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Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Search for the Best Coffee

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Originally written in 2008

My search for the best coffee in the metropolis began when I ordered a cup of cappuccino in Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Tomas Morato in 2008. Back then, I was not really finicky about coffee. Coffee is coffee. As long as it has caffeine in it, I'm sold. Coffee is just another brown liquid that I drink when I needed a boost for whatever purpose.

My barista who served me looked liked the girl-next-door. She could be anybody's sister or best friend. She was in her early twenties but she looked like she was still in college. She was very amiable and can lighten any grumpy caffeine-deprived customer that might walk in any time.

Before she handed me my coffee, she gladly declared, "Sir, this is a perfect shot of cappuccino. That is difficult to do but I did it." She said it as if she discovered the secret to life and her smile shone like beams of sunshine at 11 in the evening. Not knowing what a perfect shot was and what it would do to my jaded palate, I took her word and thanked her. Besides, if you saw her face, you would be excited too.

I sat and drank the so-called perfect shot of cappuccino and true to her words, it was indeed perfect. It was the best cup of coffee I had ever tasted back then. I had a coffee-induced epiphany.

Coffee is not just coffee and I was saved by the angel of cappuccino disguised as a college temp in Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. So from then on, every time I ordered cappuccino in Starbucks, Coffee Bean, Seattle's Best, and Figaro; I asked if it was a perfect shot; half of the time the barista looked at me with a blank expression or a friendly look of "excuse me sir?" I went back to Coffee Bean in Tomas Morato and sadly, the angel of cappucino was gone. She was not working there anymore or she had a different shift. From time to time, I came back to the place, but I never saw her again.

But what she left me is the realization that a perfect cup of coffee is heavenly bliss. The following day after I had the perfect cup of cappuccino, I won an important work-related battle, like Queen Elizabeth won over her bickering bishops. Perhaps it was just a coincidence but still...

And so began my search for the best coffee in the city, and so far, I haven't found it yet. I have some candidates, but nothing compared to that first sip of true coffee greatness served by the angel of cappuccino.

Update as of June 2, 2010: The last best coffee I tasted was from a restaurant in Greenbelt, lower ground in the new building. The waiter said the coffee was an Italian brew. It was great but very pricey, with that price it should come with an Italian. I forgot the name of the restaurant but I hope to come back one of these days if I have the budget. They still have a dozen to choose from, and I just tasted one. Well, thank goodness for 3-in-1.

This post is valid only from June to December 2010.

Our food reviews are only good for 6 months because the quality of food and services change over time.  Some improve and some deteriorate. 


[1] The food critics in "The Movable Chair" do not and will never do paid write-ups. They would rather drink hemlock. 

[2] We are also careful in choosing which member will do the review.

[3] Our reviewers do not know any of the owners or staff of a restaurant that we review.

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