Saturday, March 2, 2013

Food News: Taste the Bene Difference at Caffe Bene

Caffe Bene, Korea's largest and fastest growing coffee shop chain is now in Manila, with the first of many branches located at Eastwood City Walk 2 in Libis. The competitive local market is currently dominated by foreign brands, and Caffe Bene aims to achieve differentiation with its signature "medium roast" coffee and unique menu. And there's no better way to experience the "Bene Difference" than by tasting Caffe Bene's various menu items. 

Established in 2008 in Eastern Seoul by Mr. Kim Sun-Kwon, the Korean coffee chain has grown to over 800 branches including key locations in the US and China in a short span of four years. And Caffe Bene's global expansion has finally arrived in Manila, offering coffee fans more choices.

True to its name, which means "good or well," all of Caffe Bene's outlets feature the use of wood and earth tones for a friendly, warm and cozy ambiance, giving it a distinct European feel with subtle Korean touches. Very cool.

The wide open space is another signature touch, with the high ceiling and additional seating area on the second floor where you can find your very own personal spot, adding to that unique "Bene experience". 

Caffe Bene roasts its own coffee beans to achieve their distinct Medium Roast Espressos, giving it a less bitter and richer, creamier flavor as compared to the regular blends of other brands. To taste the "Bene Difference," Caffe Bene conducted a special "cupping" session using their own medium roast coffee as well as the usual coffee blends from the other coffee chains. And almost immediately, one can see the difference in color of Caffe Bene's Medium Roast versus the typical dark roast blends.

After pouring hot water, we then waited for four-to five minutes to complete the brewing process... 

...and after "breaking" the process by skimming a spoon, the cups were ready. The aroma of the medium roast espresso has a subtle, almost fruity note, as opposed to the the strong, almost burnt rubber-like aroma of the other blends. With a spoon, we sampled the different cups, and just like the aroma, the medium roast seemed to have a richer, rounder and sweeter flavor versus the overwhelmingly bitter notes of the other dark roast blends. And that's the "Bene Difference."

We were then served Caffe Bene's rich, medium roast Americano (P 105 Regular/P 120 Large) in their signature "kiss" cups. Served without sugar and cream, one can still taste a subtle sweetness and almost chocolatey note, a full flavored coffee without the usual bitter taste. A cool caffeine fix without the usual bitterness, Caffe Bene's medium roast provides a significant difference in flavor. To ensure consistency in quality, Caffe Bene only gets 2% of the world's best coffee beans sourced mainly from Brazil, Colombia and Kenya.

And there's no better way to enjoy a good cup of coffee than pairing it with some of Caffe Bene's signature bakery items... its specialty Liege Waffles, a Belgian-type waffle that is richer, sweeter, more dense and chewier than the usual light and fluffy waffle. The use of pearl sugar which caramelizes on the outside when baked adds to the flavor and texture of Caffe Bene's Liege Waffles. Each Liege Waffle is made fresh upon ordering, and no waffles are pre-made and stocked, so you get your waffles fresh off the waffle iron.

Freshly made Liege Waffles being plated, awaiting special toppings...

Liege Waffle with Caramel Banana Cream Topping (P 145), with fresh banana slices topped with whipped cream, drizzled with chocolate and caramel syrup. The sweet and creamy topping with the lightly crisp and chewy Liege Wafflesmake for one cool combo, and great when paired with Caffe Bene's medium roast Americano.

Liege Waffle with Blueberry Cream Cheese Topping (P 165), topped with rich cream cheese and blueberries, another perfect combo and a personal favorite. The sweet and tart blueberries with the cream cheese provide a layer of flavors that go perfectly with the chewy Liege Waffles. Other toppings include Honey Nut, Strawberry Cream, Red Bean and Green Tea Gelato and Strawberry Cream Cheese.

Garlic and Cheese Honey Bread (P 165), soft and creamy bread topped with garlic and cheese, great for sharing, and great with a good cup of medium roast.

Sliced in nine hefty pieces, Caffe Bene's Honey Breads are good for 3-4 people, or one really hungry dude. Other toppings include Choco Banana and Caramel Cinnamon.

Caffe Bene's Strawberry Bingsu (P 215 Large/P 280 Huge), a Korean version of halo-halo, with shaved ice topped with sweet beans, strawberries and ice cream.

Another cool treat for sharing, Caffe Bene's Bingsu or iced parfaits are perfect for the coming summer. The large servings are good for 3-4 people. Seriously. Other flavors include Red Bean Bingsu and Coffee Bingsu.

Caffe Bene offers a variety of frappes, specialty teas, signature mocktails, Benestos (grain-based drinks), yogurt smoothies and specialty drinks as well to go with their bakery items and sandwiches...

...and even its very own Bene Gelato. Try the Affogato, an espresso shot topped with gelato, or go for a double scoop, and win both ways. 

Discover the Bene Difference yourself, drop by Caffe Bene for a medium roast, their specialty gelato and bakery items and have a good time. Special thanks to Diane Chua, Chief Operating Officer; and Desmond Chua, President, Caffe Bene Philippines.

Caffe Bene is located at Eastwood City Walk 2, Libis, Quezon City. Check out Caffe Bene's website at for more information.

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  1. The coffee looks great... but I want those desserts. :)

    1. Hi Ramona, the Liege Wafles were awesome, best paired with a medium roast. Great to hear from you Ramona!

  2. A caffe store with quality desserts...that's going to be a HIT!

    1. Hi Angie, great coffee and food, a winning combo! Great to hear from you Angie!

  3. I love their desserts especially the honey breads and waffles. Also great ambiance. But I haven't noticed their bingsu product before, looks like it's time to give that a try :D

    1. Hi Andrew, the waffles are great, recommend the Bingsu, it's refreshingly different! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Hi, the coffee look really good. Everything look inviting and awesome. The waffles look tempting especially the topping.

    Have a great week ahead.

    1. Hi Amelia, the coffee and waffles make for an awesome pairing, great to hear from you Amelia!


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