Philippine gourmet blends and brews are offered at The Garage and signature restaurants
Locally grown Arabica beans in South Cotabato and Benguet, and Robusta beans in Batangas are taking center stage at City of Dreams Manila’s outlets, where artisanal concoctions are roasted, blended and brewed to perfection. While coffee creations are drawing coffee lovers to The Roaster at the luxury resort’s The Garage, executive chef Audi Budiman and his team continue to work on their coffee artistry by also customizing gourmet blends served in the other outlets operated by the resort — delivering a homegrown coffee experience for its guests.
At The Roaster, The Roaster’s Brew is the cafe’s signature drink — a concoction that is uniquely prepared through manual brewing methods using any of the three devices: a Chemex, which results in a perfectly rich and clean cup of coffee; a V60 Coffee Dipper, which delivers a rich and refreshing coffee experience; and an AeroPress, which results in a coffee drink with a clean taste and clearly defined flavor notes.
The café also highlights other designer brews, including Moca, a medley of double espresso, cacao ganache, textured milk, and enhanced with a garnish of grated chocolate and cocoa powder; Spanish Latte, which combines double espresso with textured milk and muscovado sugar; 9 to 5, a mixture of single espresso, steamed textured milk, hazelnut syrup and a drizzle of caramel sauce; and Black Pearl Macchiato, which is a blend of double espresso, butterscotch syrup, textured milk, and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
Local coffee is also showcased in staple brews including cappuccino, latte, and macchiato, among others, that are available at City of Dreams Manila’s operated dining outlets and signature restaurants including Crystal Dragon, Nobu Manila and Red Ginger.
City of Dreams Manila sources the beans from local farmers, specifically in Matutum, South Cotabato and Atok, Benguet for the Arabica beans; and in Lipa, Batangas for the Robusta beans.
Robusta beans from Lipa, Batangas is known for its full-bodied taste and earthy finish, with notes of peanuts; while Arabica beans from Atok, Benguet exhibit flavors of latik and tangerine resulting in a creamy mouthfeel with hints of citrus and tropical fruits. Those from Matutum, South Cotabato deliver a taste of grapes and toasted almonds, whereas the blend of Atok beans and Lipa’s Robusta beans results in flavors of walnut, cacao nibs and dried prunes.
The luxury resort’s initiative to support Philippine coffee produce was realized through a collaboration with Philippine Coffee Board Inc. (PCBI), which believes that these local varieties, along with other coffees grown across the country, are at par and sometimes even better than other coffees being used by many establishments.
“Together with PCBI, we are proud to help uplift the Philippine coffee industry through supporting local farmers, whose produce deserves to be put into the spotlight. We invite coffee enthusiasts to discover different local coffee profiles in our restaurants,” Kevin Benning, City of Dreams Manila’s Chief Operating Officer said.
Michael Ziemer, City of Dreams Manila’s Vice President-Hotels and Food & Beverage; and head of the luxury resort’s Sustainability Committee, adds, “With the roasting, blending and brewing of signature coffee creations all done on property, City of Dreams succeeds in sharing its farm-to-cup advocacy with our guests. It excites us to let them sip local yet high quality coffee brews and at the same time, let them enjoy each their well-loved caffeine drink knowing that it was sourced sustainably.”
Philippine coffee was first highlighted at the luxury resort’s newest café, The Roaster at The Garage VR Zone and food park. Opened in October 2018 under the helm of Chef Budiman — together with a team of skilled baristas including Jordan Yniesta, a “coffee roaster” who along with his colleagues do the roasting themselves on the Probat 5 machine — The Roaster caters to discerning coffee-drinking enthusiasts.
Being one of the few establishments in the city that owns a state-of-the-art Probat 5 machine, City of Dreams completes the farm-to-cup cycle, and roasts all of the locally sourced coffee in-house. Also located at The Garage, the Probat machine supplies the coffee needs of The Roaster and the other dining outlets operated by the property.
Going beyond local towards sustainability
More than advocating for local coffee, City of Dreams Manila is pushing for the highest standard of sustainability by making full use of the coffee beans it sources, ensuring that nothing goes to waste. About 63 kilos of used coffee grounds are repurposed and gathered daily from the different kitchens and outlets and then brought to the property’s vermicomposting area to create organic fertilizers.
Rich in nitrogen, an essential element to enrich soil and provide nutrients to plants, the used coffee grounds, together with other organic wastage such as vegetable trimmings, fruit peelings, and egg shell remains are fed to the worms at the property’s own vermicomposting chambers. The by-product of the process are vermicast and vermitea, which are then being used as potent compost and fertilizer in the greenhouse nursery and herb garden situated at the roof deck of the parking building, and to fertilize ornamental plants across the property.
Going hand in hand with this initiative is City of Dreams Manila’s support to Nespresso’s commitment to sustainability by taking an active part in the coffee brand’s capsule recycling program. The used aluminum coffee capsules are collected from the rooms of the property’s three Forbes Stars-awarded luxury hotels Nuwa, Nobu and Hyatt Regency, and are turned to a recycling partner that transforms them into raw materials again. Some used coffee capsules are upcycled by Negrense Volunteers for Change (NVC) Foundation’s artisans to create decorative items, which are then sold for the benefit of artisans and the communities the NVC foundation supports. As with City of Dreams’ vermicomposting, the coffee grounds from used capsules are donated to local farmers to use as natural composts in lieu of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.