Location: Eastwood City Walk 1 (former location of Serye, beside Kyochon), in front of Activity Center | Worldwide Locations
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Official Website: www.costa.co.uk
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COSTA COFFEE PHILIPPINES: 2nd Largest Coffee Chain in the World Opens in Manila #CostaCoffeePH
We clearly haven’t seen the last of the second wave of coffee revolution here in the metro. Mind you, that’s second wave. With over 3000 shops worldwide, Costa Coffee, the second largest coffee company in the world after Starbucks and Britain’s largest coffee chain has opened in Manila last June 29, 2015. Costa Coffee has over 44 years of experience in handling the combination of Robusta and Arabica coffee beans known as Mocha Italia. To give you a comparison how Costa Coffee fares versus Starbucks in volume worldwide, Starbucks has nearly 20,000 stores globally. Costa Coffee’s parent firm Whitbread PLC has partnered with Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. and they hope to open 70 to 80 more stores in the Philippines.
This town is largely dominated by American brands with the likes of Seattle’s Best Coffee and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, but Costa Coffee hopes the market isn’t too late for a newcomer. While everyone’s keen on spending their peso more frequently in bite sizes than we’ve seen for the past decade, I had a few reservations about Costa Coffee since their announcement last September 2014 which I won’t say first before I’ve tried their coffee.
I’m not expecting too much about Costa Coffee, the brand clearly looking to reap profits out of this fad-ridden society. Whatever is in will surely thrive; that is, under the assumption that most personalities will try to spread the word about Costa Coffee. But then there are those who are knowledgeable of the subject of coffee enough to know what is good and what’s not. Costa Coffee’s Frostino, a take on the usual frappuccino delight everybody loves, hopes to bank on the Filipino’s sweet tooth and steadily gain a loyal line of consumers.
Latte (Primo) – P120
Slightly more expensive than Starbucks’ regular latte, Costa Coffee’s latte blend is too much on the milk and none of the coffee. I couldn’t taste the coffee at all.
Flat White (Primo) – P150
Costa Coffee’s Flat White, as many claims to be their bestselling cup, fell flat in my opinion, as the barista warily tries to conjure his best latte art, albeit, looking at a cheat sheet beside him. The result is a nervous cup of latte art that is long gone before I can take a sip.
“The key with Costa all our coffee are handcrafted. What you have is barista-handcrafted coffee, so it’s all about the quality of roast,” Matt Kenley, operations manager for Costa Coffee Southeast Asia and India, argues the cut that separates Costa Coffee from your everyday Starbucks. I agree wholeheartedly, except Costa Coffee’s barista needed more practice and training. I truly believe that their coffee beans are fresh, since it’s only the first week of opening, and newly stocked inventory is available. We shall see after a couple of months, if they’ll retain the quality; otherwise, the coffee beans won’t shine through and through.
BBQ Pork Loin Panini – P170
Costa’s selection of sandwiches are served by Crowne Plaza, the best of which in my opinion, is the BBQ Pork Loin panini. Even then, these couldn’t hold a candle to Starbucks’ sandwich, where the serving size matches the price you pay.
Ham and Cheese on Ciabatta- P120
Their Ham and Cheese was quite good, but again, the size was too small for a sandwich. I can’t imagine an expatriate eating this for lunch (and we know most of them want to eat a sandwich for lunch).
Spicy Chicken in Baguette – P170
Even smaller in size is Costa Coffee’s Spicy Chicken in Baguette, although the baguette is surprisingly good.
Though the area is relatively a good location during the work week especially for corporate offices beside the Eastwood Citywalk 1, the coffee shop is basically deserted on a Sunday morning. Eastwood is notoriously known for nightlife. In a location where The Distillery and Jack’s Loft make big bucks at night, I can’t imagine Costa Coffee thriving at night, save for those who are on an alcoholic break.
Costa Coffee is set to open more branches at Tera Towers, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Robinson’s Antipolo and Robinson’s Ermita this year.
Costa Coffee is a bit late on the scene. Had they come sooner during the time of CBTL and Starbucks planner craze, which was 10 years ago, Costa Coffee would have successfully thrived. While people love to spend nowadays for short zaps of happiness like food trips, budget airline sales ~ anything to keep their mind off the stresses a 9 to 5 work schedule brings daily, I believe consumers are getting smarter too. And that means knowing what’s the best out of the pack.
It’s hard teaching the consumer to go back again to where it was, when they’re living in the age of single origin coffee beans. I admittedly am pro-third wave, though I keep my mind open with any coffee available at reach. Seventy to eighty stores? You’re in for a rough challenge, Costa Coffee. Best to learn from veteran fashion retailers Michael Kors, Coach and Ralph Lauren. The age of expansion is passe.
Costa Coffee Philippines Rating:
|Taste and Originality:||(2.5 / 5)|
|Customer Experience:||(2.5 / 5)|
|Value for Money:||(2.5 / 5)|
|Brick and Mortar:||(3.0 / 5)|
|Average:||(2.6 / 5)|