With the proliferation of huge global coffee chains like Starbucks, Seattle’s Best and even homegrown brands like Figaro, it’s great to see a small challenger take on the giants. A love for coffee turned into a small business for Tommy Villanueva who now markets Tommy’s Freshly Roasted Coffee from the Salcedo Saturday Market and from his home during the week. Today he has five different blends on offer including one from imported coffee beans as well as several blends of local arabica and robusta beans that are either dark or medium roasted. The medium roasted beans have slightly less intense flavor than the dark roasted ones. Established early last year, Tommy’s started retailing coffee in August 2004. He now has a steady clientele for beans every Saturday at the market and sells cups of freshly brewed coffee as well. He has started to supply different restaurants and you can also order and pick up coffee from him during the week.
Asked what his favorite method of brewing coffee was, he likes to use an espresso brewing kettle, or a mokatiera in Italian. He believes the flavor is best brought out with this method of brewing, though he also likes a french press and he least favors the coffee machine filtered process. He has several of his coffees on offer from his market stand so you can taste them before you make your purchase. His beans are very reasonably priced, ranging from PHP135 for a 200 gram pack to PHP230 for the priciest blend, and beautifully packaged. I enjoyed the taste of his coffee but to be honest I am more of a tea drinker… Check out his coffee the next time you pass by the market and taste it for yourself. To contact Tommy Villanueva, his cellphone number is 0917-533-8792 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sharing the table with Tommy’s Coffee is Gretchen Consunji and her Biscotteria Manila line of baked goods. She started off offering several varieties of biscotti that are an excellent match with the coffee. I tried her chocolate biscotti and was smitten. They were tasty, nut filled and very hard…the way they should be. She also has almond and chocolate chip (would the Italians wince?) biscotti as well. All freshly home made, the biscotti are excellent snacks with or without coffee. Generally lower calorie than traditional high-sugar cookies, I like to have biscotti around when I get those pangs for chocolate chip cookies or other sinfully high calorie snacks. At PHP155 per 100 grams, the chocolate biscotti are well priced. They would also make a terrific present for a host…
Gretchen has also tried several other baked goods over the months. I once tried a lemon poppy seed cake that was delicious but too small (I ate the whole thing by myself) and lately she seems to have shifted to several types of muffins including the best-selling apple muffins, some chocolate chip and nut muffins and the latest offering, corn muffins. I purchased some of the corn muffins (PHP25 each) and liked the taste and internal texture, but they lacked the nice crusty top that you tend to find in muffins cooked in commercial ovens. I suspect our high levels of humidity might also be the culprit. Gretchen takes orders as well and her contact number is 0917-889-8196 or email at email@example.com.