Cold Brew Coffee 101: What It Is And Where To Get It


If you’ve reached a point in your life where frappuccinos have become too bagets for your taste, it’s time to move onto something that’s a little more adult and sophisticated. Meet Metro Manila’s beverage of the year–the cold brew!

Cold brew coffee

Before you go thinking that cold brew is just a fancy term coffee snobs use for iced coffee, there are huge differences between the two. Their brewing methods aren’t the same and neither are their flavor profiles or their benefits to the body!

Read on to find out how cold brew is made, why it’s so popular right now, and why you and your wallet should totally get behind this drink.

Cold brew coffee is the better, hipper version of iced coffee

The next time you’re about to order an iced coffee, stop and consider getting a cold brew instead. It won’t go all gross and watery on you like most iced coffees like to do and they’re also much easier on the stomach!

To make iced coffee, coffee grounds are subjected to boiling water for a few minutes, a rapid extraction that brings out the bitter taste in coffee. The drink is then poured over ice. But to make cold brew, as the name implies, you brew coffee grounds in cold or room temperature water without heat for a good 18 to 24 hours.

It’s a longer process but a much gentler one, producing a much sweeter, less acidic drink! And because of the longer steeping time, cold brew coffee tends to pack more of a punch than its other caffeinated siblings.

Cold brew coffee

Because cold brew is already cold (duh), putting it over ice is optional. But if you do want ice cubes in your cup, you don’t have to worry about your drink getting too diluted because the coffee’s not hot (another duh) and won’t melt the ice too fast. As for sugar and milk, it’s completely up to you if you want to add them to your cold brew but it might make your barista cringe on the inside.

For these reasons, it might be safe to say that the cold brew wins against the iced coffee! But you have to try it out for yourself to taste the difference. Fortunately for you, more and more coffee shops are joining the bandwagon and putting cold brew on the menu!

Eight third wave coffee shops in Metro Manila that serve cold brew coffee

Cold brew coffee is hardly a new thing but it has never been as mainstream in Metro Manila as it has come to be this year. Even the big coffee chains like Starbucks Coffee, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Bo’s Coffee now have it in their lineup too! But if you’re more into artisanal coffee, here are eight third wave coffee shops where you can get your cup of cold brew:

1. Afters Espresso & Desserts

Afters Espresso & Desserts is the place you’re gonna want to hit up after a big savory meal. They have everything you need to make the umay go away, including store-made gelato and quality coffee. For an extra invigorating post-meal experience, try their Cold Brew Coffee!

To make their Cold Brew Coffee, they steep coffee grounds in ice cold water for four hours to extract as much flavor as possible without the acidity. If you want to learn more about how they make their coffee, they have coffee appreciation / brewing workshops on the regular!

Afters can be found at Lansbergh Place, 20 Tomas Morato Ave., Tomas Morato, Quezon City, Metro Manila.

2. Cartel

Cartel is a cafe, deli, and market place all rolled into one, showcasing an eclectic selection of brands that have made a mark in their respective fields. They have Yardstick to credit for their quality coffee, most particularly their signature blend called the Salcedo Swing.


Photo from Unisse C.’s looloo review for Cartel

Made with cold brew coffee, almond syrup, and rosewater, the Salcedo Swing is the pick me up you need if you’re having a slow day. In her looloo review, Unisse C. described this unique drink as very strong with a good flavor.

Cartel can be found at The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences, 119 LP Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati, Metro Manila.

3. Fundamental Coffee

Fundamental Coffee is a local concept that was created by two other local concepts–Yardstick and Bo’s Coffee! By opening this homegrown coffee shop, they wanted to prove that you don’t have to be an international brand to shine in the third wave coffee scene.

Weekends are meant for some SUMMER COLD BREW

A post shared by Fundamental (@fundamentalcoffee) on

On the menu, they have a whole section dedicated to just cold brew coffee, with flavors like Cacao, Mocha, Almond, and Honey. In his looloo review, Dennis O. raved about the Cacao Cold Brew, saying: “It was impressive, you could taste rich bitter flavor of Malagos chocolate.”

Fundamental Coffee can be found at Park Terraces Bldg., A. Arnaiz Ave., Makati, Metro Manila.

4. Kuppa Roastery & Cafe

An old family business that started in Bacolod, Kuppa Roastery & Cafe has at least sixty years of experience under their belt. Needless to say, they have mastered all the different types of brewing methods. They’re also the first in Metro Manila to roast their beans in-house!

Their 12-hour Cold Brew has all the flavor and caffeine you could ever need in a day. Sean C. described it in his looloo review as having an “incredibly deep and complex” taste profile and that you have to try it out for yourself to believe it!

Kuppa Roastery & Cafe can be found at these locations.

5. Local Edition

Local Edition lives up to its name by sourcing all of their coffee beans from Philippine farmers, dedicating every cup of coffee they make to these hardworking individuals. They also support homegrown talent by featuring different art installations made by local artists every month!

Start your morning right by drinking proudly☕️🙌🏽 #localeditionph 📷 @tope07

A post shared by Local Edition Coffee and Tea (@localedition) on

As for their menu, there’s something there for you no matter how you like your coffee. If you prefer yours to be cold, refreshing, and flavorful, order up their Cold Brew, coffee that’s been brewed for 6 hours via the slow drip method!

Local Edition can be found at 116 Perea St., Legazpi Village, Makati, Metro Manila.

6. Luna Specialty Coffee

If you’re wondering what inspired the name Luna, it’s two Filipino men who have done our country proud–Juan Luna and Antonio Luna! Not only does Luna have a patriotic name, but it was also created to celebrate The Fort and the history that goes along with the area!

Have your afternoon coffee break with us at #LunaCoffeePH and try our Luna Cold Brew. #CoffeeIsLove

A post shared by Luna Specialty Coffee (@lunacoffeeph) on

On their menu, you’ll find coffee drinks that run the gamut from hot to cold and strong to sweet. If you’re looking for something that’ll rejuvenate your senses, the Cold Luna Brew, made using the slow drip method on a cold brew tower, is the drink for you!

Luna Specialty Coffee can be found on the G/F of NAC Bldg., 32nd St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila.

7. Nitro 7

Nitro 7 is the first of its kind in the country. If you’re wondering what’s so special about them, they combine their cold brew with nitrogen and release it through a pressurized container to create smooth, creamy, and sweet (no need to add sugar) coffee!

Nitro 7

Photo from Cindy S.’s looloo review for Nitro 7

There are a bunch of flavors to choose from, including variants like Toffee Hazelnut, Mocha, and Chocolate Macadamia. Cindy S. tried the Mocha and said in her looloo review that it wasn’t too sweet and that she could still appreciate the taste of the cold brew coffee.

Nitro 7 can be found at Crave Park, Blk. 3 Lot 22-24 Mayor Gil Fernando Ave., Sto. Niño, Marikina, Metro Manila.

8. Single Origin

Single Origin is a collaboration between restaurateurs responsible for popular concepts like La Cabrera, Nikkei, and Shi Lin. Which might explain why they have great food. But it’s not just their entrees that are noteworthy–their coffee’s top notch too!

As you can guess from the name, they use single origin coffee and not blends, which means you can expect higher quality drinks. If you need one that’ll keep you from dozing off during the day, their 18-hour Cold Process Iced Coffee should do the trick!

Single Origin can be found at these locations.

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About Author

Denise Jose

Denise is a recovering food addict. She distracts herself with photography and keeps off the pounds by doing pilates. She is still struggling, however, and has occasional relapses. Her food comas are mostly induced by oily burgers and chocolate desserts.