19 Apr2005

With the proliferation of huge global coffee chains like tommy1Starbucks, 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 tommy2coffee 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 tvillanueva@mobile1.com.ph.

Sharing the table with Tommy’s Coffee is Gretchen tommy3Consunji 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. tommy4I 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 gcconsunji@yahoo.com.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. barney says:

    I’ve been to that Saturday market a couple of months ago and yes… there are indeed good finds there.

    Note to self: Try the Tommy’s Coffe… :)

    Apr 19, 2005 | 8:29 am

     
  2. skunkeye says:

    My mom recently brought back to the US some Tommy’s coffee for me from a recent trip to Manila. Its quite good – I’ve missed the Philippines blends – batangas, etc., here in the US!

    Apr 19, 2005 | 11:02 pm

     
  3. wysgal says:

    I’ve long been planning to take a look at the Salcedo Market — just haven’t made the time. Is it worth the visit? Tommy’s Coffee looks good — although I’ve honestly been trying to cut back on my caffeine intake (last count had me at 6 cups a day). :)

    Apr 21, 2005 | 6:20 pm

     
  4. Marketman says:

    Salcedo is definitely worth a visit. A bit “sosyal”, it does have its brilliant finds. Its probably the only place that people dress up for before they head to the market. I will try to post an entry on the market tomorrow to help guide visitors this weekend.

    Apr 21, 2005 | 6:59 pm

     
  5. teddy says:

    coffee expert nicky matti says tommy’s coffee’s good and
    since i put a lot of weight on nicky’s word, it really
    must be good. i’d however like to also see master roaster
    manny torrejon and this guy who packs beans by the
    brand name jamica (someone tells me they roast out of
    silang,cavite)put their produce on the shelf in the
    market. i once had a taste of coffee from a blend specially
    roasted for massimo’s, chito and hazel galvez’s
    restaurant in tagaytay and it may be a matter of personal
    taste but let me tell you, that was one of the most
    swell cups of coffee i’ve tasted so far in my coffee-
    drinking life! BTW, can anyone please give me a list of
    where i can get sugar-free pastries, cakes, and other
    food products in manila? thanks and congratulations
    mr. marketman, for having one of the best, most interesting,
    erudite foodie sites ever!

    Apr 23, 2005 | 2:59 am

     
  6. Tisa Fernandez says:

    Tommy – I really admire you for taking on the coffee
    giants. Not only do you inspire other Filipino
    entrepreneurs to start something on their own, but you
    are contributing to Filipino food culture by offering
    your own Philippine-made coffee. While I understand
    the economics of bringing into the Philippines foreign
    coffee franchises, I believe that in the long run, it is
    people like you who will benefit financially, as well as
    make a lasting contribution to the Philippine economy.

    Apr 24, 2005 | 10:39 pm

     
  7. tina vitas says:

    Marketman,
    I am a returning Filipino resident who has lived in the United States for 17 years. During that time, my taste has evolved to a more “international standard”. I, though, had always had a nostalgia for ensaymadas in particular. I mean, who doesn’t remember eating them with tsokolate and being left with sugar, butter and specks of cheese on their lips. And licking the plastic it was wrapped in for whatever goodies got stuck on there. I found the ones I used to enjoy growing up either too heavy, too doughy, too sweet or the wrong texture. I discovered the ULTIMATE ensaymada in Manila when it was given to me as a present. It is made by one of my oldest friends’ bakeshop Divine Desserts. To summarize the ensaymada experience – it is fluffy, moist, a tad bit chewy (almost croissant-like) and the perfect contrast between the sweet, but not cloying, bread and the salty queso de bola piled heaps on top of the ensaymada. The best part for the chocoholics out there is the ensaymadas also come in the Belgian chocolate filled version. Now that is a serious indulgence worth trying. Millet Soberano’s bakeshop DIVINE DESSERTS can be reached at 913-9875 and 439-3069. Speak to Raquel if you want a freshly made batch. You will be in ensaymada heaven. By the way, this review is coming from a snobby, critical New York foodie. Tina V

    Jan 18, 2006 | 1:51 pm

     
  8. Marketman says:

    Tina, thanks for that. If you look in the archives, I have a review of commercial ensaimadas available in Manila. I am also hoping to finally post a recipe of my sister’s soon…

    Jan 18, 2006 | 5:28 pm

     
  9. Sean Fagar says:

    Dear Sir Tommy,

    Im Sean Fagar of QUAD SYNERGY MARKETING ENTERPRISES, we are inviting you to join our Trade Fair entitled “Coffee Festival”, we have two venue(Marikina Riverbank and Rustan’s Superstore in Cubao). We are guaranteed you that your product will be known in the market.Be a part of this event. Join now!Please contact: 09155194168/3865971(70). Email ad’s: hgarfa@gmail.com.God Bless and more power.

    Jul 14, 2008 | 3:37 pm

     
 

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