24 May 2013

EDSA Shangri-La Hotel's Caf E

The program was about to begin in a media event I attended recently when someone from my table rushed back from the dessert buffet and quipped, "You know they value coffee when there's an espresso machine at the buffet, not brewed coffee coming from a tall dispenser." Okay, I paraphrased it. But that was the essence of what he said.

I've had nasty tasting coffee coming from a lot of those de rigueur event buffet dispensers. The contents may have been brewed but the coffee's left to stand for some time. Still, it being an event held at an EDSA Shangri-La Hotel ballroom, and knowing the hotel serves good coffee in their various outlets, I decided to have one.
Brewed coffee sourced from the stainless steel dispenser,
poured from a kettle, with a splash of fresh milk.

It wasn't bad, but it wasn't excellent, either. One shouldn't really expect an excellent cup from those huge stainless thingies, even when they're served to you from a smaller kettle if you request a cup from your table. 

After the event, I met up with a friend, EDSA Shangri-La's Director of Communications Ouie Bedelles, in a coffee place inside the FullyBooked store outside the hotel (meaning they have their own separate entrance). I ordered a brewed coffee, which came out of a coffee machine, had a wee splash of non-fat milk added, and sat outside to wait for him because seating inside was limited and I wanted fresh air for a change.

Only 1 barista was operating this place

CafE, pronounced, "Caf - Eee."

A splash of nonfat milk...

Voila! Delish Coffee!

The coffee was excellent. Just P100.00. Free wifi was courtesy of the hotel's open service, and with books a few feet away, who would mind waiting a bit? I thought it was pretty generous of the hotel to extend their wifi service to FullyBook's coffee place.

Turns out, as Ouie clarified, CafE was owned and operated by EDSA Shangri-La! 

Which made me ask Ouie to confirm what my table-mate at the event said about the buffet coffee dispensers. This is what I learned: 
  • The coffee served in events - via a dispenser or an espresso machine -  is the choice of the event client. 
  • Coffee machines cost a bit more. 
  • Each EDSA Shangri-La outlet (restaurant/lounge/bar) serves a different variant and brand of coffee.

Now about CafE coffee - because it was that good, I'm definitely considering one of my choice destinations when in the area. I'm also going back soon because I forgot to ask details about the coffee beans they use.

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