After spending enough time waiting and shopping at the Podium in Ortigas four evenings in a row --well, almost because there was a break between the last two-- I had enough time to have coffee at the mall's Starbucks, Figaro, NYPD pizza, Cafe Breton, and Cinnabon (I'll pass next time). By the 4th day, I felt the Segafredo Zanetti Espresso bar calling out to me from its lonely spot on the 2nd floor.
I've had coffee here before, but it was never this empty, so I wondered if their coffee changed or if they weren't such an attraction anymore, but then that wasn't a fair assumption, since the entire mall just had a few patrons. And I was right. After warming up the barista with friendly chatter, I found out that weekday evenings were not their strongest periods. People usually had their coffee there after lunch or on weekends. The rest of the day and evening, they lose the crowd to the more accessible Starbucks and Cafe Breton.
This time, I tried the Cafe Lungo, or long extraction of espresso coffee, a.k.a. Americano (about P90.00). It was just right temperature and consistency, and was full-flavored. I loved that they have maintained the mod Italian look of the Segafredo brand, from the standing umbrellas (which, on a bad day, might make you wonder, "but inside a mall?!") to the table tops, which have images of the ubiquitous high fashion coffee scene in Milan, perhaps.
I loved their coffee, and even if they are just an open area with a small service counter that doubles as food prep and display/order area almost tucked under the stairs, I love that they are right smack where one would suddenly feel tired of walking all over the mall to check out fashion boutiques, health and beauty outlets, lifestyle shops, and bookstores. While enjoying your cup of brew, you might also suddenly remember a drugstore item or two you could have forgotten about, since they happen to be in front of Watson's. If it weren't for the bright white lights and the openness of the Segafredo space, I'd almost say it was cozy. Almost.
I'm getting tired of having to wait for an available seat at Starbucks and sometimes having to walk to the far end of the entrance for a cup of Cafe Breton's caffeine fixes. For a quick fix, this is a great cafe to hang out in.