Thursday, July 8, 2021

New in the 'Hood: Art and Coffee at Coffee Artea in Poblacion

Art and coffee combine for a soothing and refreshing blend at Poblacion's newest establishment. Care for a Leche Bruleé Latte?

Coffee Artea is the newest cafe and mini art gallery in the resilient and vibrant neighborhood of Makati's Poblacion taking the coffee experience with a touch of local art. The second part in a two-feature series (see my earlier post here at A Sip of the Local Neighborhood Culture at Coffee Artea in Makati's Poblacion), here's a deeper dive at Coffee Artea and their specialty offerings...

Located along Fermina Street corner Alfonso Street, Coffee Artea is the neighborhood's new kid on the block with their specialty blends and handcrafted coffee and tea-based beverages using the finest local ingredients. It's easy to spot the cafe and art gallery with its pristine white brick walls and the national colors displayed proudly at its entrance. It's good to see the once vibrant neighborhood slowly coming back to life with the easing of quarantine restrictions. But just to be safe, the establishment encourages health and safety protocols with face masks and shields and social distancing. The patio-like set-up allows al fresco seating options for your peace of mind. 

At the helm of Coffee Artea are Hanzel and Kalel Ervin Demetrio, aka The Liquid Maestro, along with other partners showcasing a variety of traditional coffee and tea blends as well as creative new expressions of the much-loved brew. That same attention to flavor and use of local ingredients The Liquid Maestro is known for with his cocktails and spirits can also be experienced with the beverages at Coffee Artea. And you just know it's special when it comes from the inventive mind of The Liquid Maestro. But Coffee Artea is clearly Hanzel's domain, managing each and every detail of the operations. 

Inside, customers can view and purchase various works from local artists. A good cup of coffee lets you enjoy the artworks in depth while the richness of the brew lingers on the palate. Art and coffee becomes yet another experience for both the palate and soul in Poblacion.

Hanzel spins these experiences in a corner of Poblacion where you can enjoy more than just a freshly brewed cup. And it's her attention to details that keeps the cafe on a smooth drive just like their soothing beverages. Since it opened, Coffee Artea has been steadily brewing and crafting their beverages generating much interest on the net. It's already a popular destination among Poblacion's many fans including bikers stopping by for their caffeine fix. But it's the way the cafe is configured that makes it unique. Simply pull up a stool by the street for that Poblacion experience. Best enjoyed street side style al fresco, that's like placing your hand on the neighborhood's pulse.  

Coffee Artea highlights local beans sourced from all around the country, from Atok Benguet Medium Dark, Barako Premium Dark, Mount Apo Medium, Sultan Kudarat Medium, Sagada Medium and Gingoog Medium Dark. Consistent with the style and character of The Liquid Maestro, there is a proudly local vibe at Coffee Artea giving it a unique character and image setting it apart from the slew of foreign brands.

That day, Coffee Artea prepared two of their specialty creations with the indulgent Leche Bruleé Latte and the South American/Mexican inspired Horchata Manchado. Two unique options with distinct notes for that perfect afternoon in Poblacion, Coffee Artea's soothing duo is just what you need to taste and experience the neighborhood's laid-back attitude.

Like any colorful neighborhood, walking down the streets of Poblacion reveals intimate vignettes. The wide glass window becomes your own lens providing a glimpse of the craft behind Coffee Artea's operations... 

...beginning with some of the finest local coffee beans. The fragrant aroma soon flows into the sidewalk and street, and you're just minutes away from a refreshing beverage. Nothing is rushed at Coffee Artea, more so with good coffee. 

The components of the indulgent Leche Bruleé Latte are then prepared...

...and capped by a fiery finish with a handheld torch. The complexity of the process behind each beverage at Coffee Artea makes you appreciate each flavorful sip. 

From their Craft Series, the Leche Bruleé Latte (P 200) takes inspiration from the classic Vietnamese Ca Phe Trung or egg coffee infused with the rich, deep and bold notes of local coffee. The decadent creaminess of the creation is tempered by the torched top adding a caramel-like sweetness followed by the soothingly sharp finish of local coffee. They don't hold back on flavors at Coffee Artea, nor should you expect anything less. 

Each sip becomes even more indulgent than the last as the different components combine in a lavish and sinfully luscious weave of richness and flavors. Creamy with a bold and flavorful finish, it's the perfect start to your Coffee Artea experience.   

Consistent with Poblacion's colorful tapestry of global flavors, the Horchata Manchado (P 190) brings the traditional plant milk based beverage from the Spanish Americas with Mexican Rice Milk infused with cinnamon and a shot of local espresso. The resulting combination is lighter yet equally creamy with subtle nuanced notes from the rice milk brightened up by the cinnamon and expresso. 

The mellow finish of the rice milk drapes the palate like a comforting hug while the bright notes of cinnamon and espresso add depth to the light and refreshing beverage. Two calming yet contrasting options get you in that Poblacion groove from the very first sip at Coffee Artea. 

After more than a year in isolation, revisiting the popular neighborhood is a welcome and much needed break from the lingering quarantine experience. A stop at Coffee Artea completes your escape.

And while at Coffee Artea, ask them about their indulgent Davao Chocolate Chip Cookies. Soon, Coffee Artea will be offering even more tasty bites from their growing menu including pastries.

The quarantine experience continues to change and transform our daily routine and will most likely be here to stay with more rules in a constantly evolving new normal. But the simple pleasures of enjoying coffee in a neighborhood that's been home to countless memories will remain as special as it was then and more so now in the new normal. 

Later in the evening, the lights will be switched on illuminating yet another facet of Poblacion. Let the warm glow reflecting on the white brick walls on the corner of Fermina and Alfonso Streets draw you in to Coffee Artea, and stay awhile. And just let their Leche Bruleé Latte, Horchata Manchado or any of their specialty beverages take you through the neighborhood's blossoming coffee culture...

Coffee Artea is located at 5966 Fermina Street corner Alfonso Street, Barangay Poblacion, Makati City. You can also visit their FB Page at or call 0977 077 7796 for inquiries, updates and more information. Follow their IG Feed as well at @coffeeartea.pob

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