Friday, November 1, 2013

Elevating Your Coffee Experience at Mentore Coffee+Bar By UCC

Somethin's brewin' at UCC...

The story of UCC goes way back to the early thirties in Japan when Tadao Ueshima started with a simple mission: to serve the world's best coffee, establishing the Ueshima Coffee Company. Eighty years later, the Ueshima Coffee Company, now known as UCC, is known all over the world for its premium brews, which include Jamaica's Blue Mountain No. 1, Colombia Supremo, Guatemala SHB and Brazil No. 2. And now, UCC's newest concept store promises to elevate your coffee experience to an even higher level.

Located at the new SM Aura Premiere, UCC's brand new concept, Mentore Coffee+Bar by UCC represents the very best of UCC, a brand already known the world over for its premium quality. And this is exactly how you feel when the friendly and courteous staff bring you to your table. 
Loosely translated as "Mentor", the sophisticated and sleek new concept store features both in-mall seating conducive to your coffee experience. Or, if you prefer, Mentore Coffee+Bar also has an al-fresco seating area with a cool putting green. Now how cool is that?

Offering a full line of beverages, plus an extensive menu, Mentore Coffee+Bar offers more than just a cup of coffee. Have a Berry Chocolate Smoothie (P 180) or a Mango Passion Smoothie (P 180) for a quick recharge after a day of shopping.

Or go for something truly different with Mentore's signature touch. Mentore's unique and refreshing Perri-espresso (P 180), a cool blend of the finest coffee and Perrier sparkling water sweetened by honey syrup for a cool beverage with a caffeine kick. The sparkling fizz from Perrier adds a nice effervescent layer, almost like a high-end soda, for a truly different coffee experience. This one's a keeper, and a personal favorite.

But here's where Mentore Coffee+Bar differentiates itself from the usual coffee chain. Mentore goes a step further in offering its high-grade coffee by using classic techniques in brewing that perfect cup.  For coffee purists, choose from one of Mentore's premium blends and have it prepared in any of the traditional methods:

The French Press, first used and perfected in French restaurants. With a course ground of your choice of premium coffee beans, Mentore's expert baristas then adds the prescribed amount of water at the proper temperature. And after a specific time (all the French presses at Mentore include a cool timer to ensure you get your perfect cup), the fine mesh filter is pushed down to separate the ground coffee from the hot water. And after just a few more minutes, you have your cup with the distinct full-bodied flavor and aroma that can only come from a French Press.

The Pour Over, a manual method of the drip, using a cone shaped paper filter to extract the full flavors of coffee. Water at off-the-boil temperature is carefully poured on the medium fine-grind coffee. To ensure the proper amount of water is poured, each filter contraption is configured with a digital weighing scale. The classic pour-over results in a fragrant, aromatic and boldly flavored cup. 

The Syphon, another classic method in preparing a velvety smooth medium body using medium ground coffee for another flavorful cup. Best for high acidity coffee blends, the Syphon method creates a mild medium-bodied flavor. This method is also quite entertaining to watch, as you see the glass container slowly transform from clear to dark.

The Water-Drip, using precisely measured water to slowly drip on medium course ground coffee to produce yet another silky smooth cup with deep coffee notes without the usual acidity. The contraption used for the water drip also brings back images of a bygone era, when slow meant flavor. You can also opt for the Espresso method, for a shot of an extremely rich, syrupy and robust brew. 

Premium coffee, lovingly prepared in the classic and traditional way. Each premium blend is best enjoyed with one of these classic methods, and Mentore's menu of ten high grade single blend and blended coffee beans indicate which method is best to extract the bean's full flavor. Definitely an experience that's a step above.

As with all UCC stores, Mentore Coffee+Bar also offers a wide range of dishes infusing Japanese and Asian flavors. Start off with the richly spiced Thai Yam Unsen Salad (P 290), with fresh chili for a cooling and refreshing heat combined with Thai herbs.

You can also try one of many Western-influenced Japanese style pasta dishes , including this Yoshoku Spa Carbonara with Egg (P 340 Regular/P 430 Large). The best part is mixing the egg with the pasta for rich flavors. And if the deep color of the egg reminds you of the eggs used in traditional Japanese ramen, it is.

For bigger appetites, go for the Fried Shrimp and Hamburg Combo (P 430), with a thick and juicy patty made from a beef and pork blend covered in rich sauce, paired with crispy shrimps and a side of salad.

Looking for a lighter option? Try Mentore's  Hot Sandwich Salmon and Cheese (P 290), full flavors without the guilt.

UCC also offers a wide range of desserts to go with their signature coffee. Inspired by the traditional and popular Japanese sweets of Kobe, Mentore's dessert line-up include the best-selling Kobe Baked Pudding (P 180), a sweet and creamy custard that pairs well with Mentore's coffee.

Or, you can have some fun with Mentore's Claire Tiramisu (P 230), with rich mascarpone drizzled with coffee and a side of fresh strawberries. Slice up a piece of the waffle, add some creamy mascarpone and fresh strawberries, and roll it up.

Mentore Coffee+Bar's friendly and courteous staff, led by Steff, Athan, Krish and Lovely, are always on deck to ensure you have the best coffee experience. Different, special, and definitely a notch higher than the usual coffee chain, Mentore Coffee+Bar brings back the simple joys of a cup of coffee in a new and refreshing way. But there's more...soon, Mentore Coffee+Bar will be serving coffee-based cocktails too, check out my follow-up post for a sneak peek here at

And if you want to start your day right, Mentore Coffee+Bar also serves breakfast daily, including Filipino and Western breakfast dishes which include your favorite cup of coffee. Your day's pretty much covered at Mentore Coffee+Bar by UCC...

Mentore Cafe+Bar by UCC is located at SM Aura Premier, Bonifaio Global City, Mckinley Parkway corner 26th Street, Taguig City.

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