If you think there’s no space for another coffee shop in Metro Manila (or any city in the world, for that matter), well, think again. Yup, there’s a new brewer in town. Australian coffee company Where’s Marcel? will soon open its first shop in the country.
This shop, however, is unlike the big chain coffee shops we are used to. Where’s Marcel? is mainly a wholesale company that supplies artisan coffee beans to other coffee shops and retailers. But most importantly, this brand has more heart than most—conscience for good coffee and fair trade.
Craft coffee is in its early stages here in the country. In Melbourne, however, it’s already a lifestyle. The Melbourne coffee scene has been getting a lot of attention because of the many artisan brewers popping up in the Australian city. No, this is not another hipster trend because specialty coffee is not just about fancy brewing methods but also about sustainability and fair trade.
Melbourne-based Where’s Marcel? is all about fair trade. It operates based on direct trade, which means it gets its beans straight from the farmer, cutting off the middleman. This also means that the farmer gets the best price for his/her crops. It likewise educates farmers about good industry practices.
But its business is not just about fair trade because it also wants consumers to taste the true flavors of coffee. Darker roast beans, like our very own barako, tend to be bitter and harsh. Tween favorite frappuccinos are saturated with sugar and cream, which buries any semblance of coffee flavor. Instant coffee is well, instant.
During the recent launch of the brand, we were able to taste a clean and crisp coffee, no bitter aftertaste, just the true flavor of the coffee. Di Bella Coffee barista Melissa Hamilton used a different method of brewing: siphoning. Di Bella Coffee roasts the beans for Where’s Marcel? specialty coffee shop. Melissa points out that no matter what brewing method you use, the taste still depends on the coffee beans.
“It doesn’t matter what brewing process because if the rest of it isn’t done well (coffee production), it’s not going to be good,” she says.
In Where’s Marcel?, don’t expect commercial brews, although it offers cappuccino and latte, you should try its batch brew, hot or with ice. No frappucino here. Its food menu consists of international and local flavors. Australian staple muesli is an amazing breakfast and brunch dish. It is a mixture of raw oats and other grains, as well as different kinds of nuts. It is usually soaked in apple juice overnight then eaten with a generous helping of yogurt and fresh fruits. I love this so much.
Also try the chorizo carbonara and pork-chicken and kesong puti adobo sandwich. The desserts are a must-try, too, like the coffee muffins and the variety of cookie shards—thin chewy cookies.
Ultimately, Where’s Marcel? wants to educate not only consumers but its clients as well, spreading awareness about coffee brewing methods and good industry practices.
“In terms of our wholesale operations, we are focused on educating and building our clients’ businesses. When we supply coffee, we’re not just supplying bags of beans but we also work with their team, we work with their staff to prove their knowledge with coffee but also delivering that experience to their clientele,” Where’s Marcel? director Marcel Ruggieri ends.
Read my Manila Bulletin article here.
Where’s Marcel is set to open on March 30 at the ground floor f Pearl Place, Pearl Drive Ave. Ortigas, Pasig City (beside University of Asia and the Pacific). Facebook/wheresmarcelph; Instagram/@wheresmarcelph