To continue my journey through Maginhawa Street, I headed over to KKK Coffee. Southwriter’s League was having a joint ops workshop with Learn Lokal here and we got to test out some of the coffee here.

The most striking thing about KKK Coffee is that it has a very strong patriotic, Filipino Theme. KKK refers to the Katipuneros that rose against the Spaniards back in our history — you may have seen Heneral Luna lately and you may remember this little insignificant group of indolents that had nothing better to do than to, oh, establish the very basis of modern Filipino society back then.

Instead of focusing on coffee products with names like “Cafe Americano” they brand their products as distinctly Filipino. Black coffee is not “Cafe Americano” but now “Caffe Filipino.” They also have things on the menu like “Kapeng Ginto” and “Kapeng Labuyo.” It’s very interesting stuff.

The menu brought out my sense of patriotism. For a moment. Then it was gone. Time to watch Heneral Luna again.
The menu brought out my sense of patriotism. For a moment. Then it was gone. Time to watch Heneral Luna again.

Guido, one of the proprietors of KKK Coffee, sources coffee from all around the Philippines and talks about the brand of KKK Coffee. I feel it’s great that we have local entrepreneurs working to improve the local coffee culture and get Filipino coffee on the map.

Guido of KKK tells us about the story and branding of KKK Coffee, all with the sweet aroma of coffee beans in the background.
Guido of KKK tells us about the story and branding of KKK Coffee. His hand is really shaking like that from all the coffee he’s consumed. I bet the founder of Starbucks does the same thing.

 

Again, as this was a joint workshop and KKK Coffee was the venue and not really a place where were intending to eat, I didn’t get to order food and really sample everything out. Such a shame, but I’ll do that the next time I drop by.

The actual workshop was excellent. It’s SWL’s trademark “Kickstart your Freelance Writing Career” workshop, which aims to help people make a good living off of their passion: writing. South Writer’s League is an organization of writers, novelists, poets, bloggers in Southern Manila dedicated to helping writers write. Oh, and we play boardgames a lot. Do join the Facebook Group here if that sounds like your thing.

This particular workshop however would not have been possible without Learn Lokal’s efforts. Learn Lokal is a startup whose aim is to produce workshops and classes about things people want to learn, sourced with local talent and expertise. It’s a lovely group, you can look forward  to the rest of their classes. For October they have classes for water color, baking, ukelele, makeup and paper cutting. Do check out their calendar of classes if you are interested.

Learn Lokal knows its branding. I should get something like that, too.
Learn Lokal knows its branding. I should get something like that, too.

Anyway, back to the food. KKK Coffee was gracious enough to give us a bunch of drinks and snacks to liven up the afternoon. Here’s what we have on the plate.

The banana muffin! It tastes great.
The banana muffin! It tastes great.

This isn’t the best banana muffin I’ve tried, but it’s really great. It’s just sweet enough, and it’s very moist and there’s a great flavorful nutty taste. The texture is just right, not too soft, not hard or crusty, and the baked top is just the right level of raspiness. I love it!

Here on the other hand is the Adobo Pandesal.
Here on the other hand is the Adobo Pandesal.

The Adobo Pandesal is a totally Filipino treat. It looks very plain, it’s really just some pandesal cut in half with some adobo chicken slices stuffed inside.  The pandesal used is very good, though. I am not sure what kind of pandesal it is, but it tastes a lot like pugon-baked pandesal from Pan De Manila. That’s a good thing, because Pan De Manila makes some of the best pandesal in the country.

The adobo itself is lightly browned. It’s just the meat hunks, no sauce, no peppers, nothing else to permeate into the taste. So the taste was not that strong, but I found that that’s a trend with KKK Coffee’s flavors. It’s more into subtle nuances than strong flavors. As a proponent of strong flavors, this disappoints me, but hey I finished off my plate as well as Irene’s and Len’s.

Here is the Kapeng Ginto and the Caffe Filipino.
Here is the Kapeng Ginto and the Caffe Filipino.

The Caffe Filipino on the right is their standard black coffee. It’s the KKK answer to Cafe Americano. And it tastes about the same. The preparation is the same. This black coffee is not the best I’ve had. It’s a little strong but the kick isn’t as powerful as some other Americanos I’ve had such as Seattle’s Best. The taste isn’t strongly nuanced like some of the Americano I’ve tried from Starbucks or Coffee Bean. However it’s a good shot in the blood for those people who need that jolt of caffeine to get their brain working.

The Kapeng Ginto was much more to my taste! It looks like a wonderful delicious latte, it’s quite creamy, not super creamy, but just enough creaminess to keep me happy. It is also quite sweet. That must be the honey and muscovado talking. It’s great coffee!! It appeals to the sweet tooth in me. I love it.

This on the other hand is their Tablea Chocolate.
This on the other hand is their Tablea Chocolate.

Now, this one was a really pleasant surprise. It’s KKK’s premium hot chocolate, sourced straight from Davao. It has a very nuanced flavor, not a strong chocolatey taste like you get from Batangas or Bicol tablea, but instead a soft wafting chocolatey zest. You don’t feel too much of the tablea chocolate particles like you would from a Bicol cup, but instead you can pick up some fruity sour flavors swirling around your tongue. I have never tasted tablea chocolate like this before.

When I asked if it had some coffee blended into it, Guido smiles and says no. It’s just chocolate. I’m surprised; it has fruity undertones of tartness that I associate with African coffees. I guess those guys in Davao could teach us all a thing or two about making chocolate! Color me impressed.

Some nice handicrafts; they are actually for sale!
Some nice handicrafts; they are actually for sale!

KKK Coffee also had some interesting decors at the counter. To my surprise, they weren’t decors, but were actually for sale! I remember making these back in highschool, or was it in college. They are bead necklaces and bracelets. They were all the rage back in the mid to late 90’s. It’s refreshing to see it here and I had a big blast of nostalgia seeing these.

 

You’ll note that they do have Barako and Civet coffee on the menu as well. They are the more premium coffees on the menu, and with good reason. I was not able to sample these, but I have had Barako coffee from Batangas and Tagaytay before. It’s really good stuff. Civet coffee I have also tried from Mt. Manabu.  Guido also gets civet coffee from there, so I’m pretty sure I’m familiar with the taste. You guys should try it!

I totally want to go back to try the Labuyo, Pandan, Salabat and Ifugao coffees. There’s just so much here that you don’t get anywhere else. If you really want to try unique coffees, this is the place to go.

Proprietors Mara and Guido from KKK Coffee. I had a good chat with them.
Proprietors Mara and Guido from KKK Coffee. I had a good chat with them.

KKK Coffee is found along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City.  Come over and say hi to the proprietors. I found out that Mara and Guido were alumni of the Ateneo de Manila, which is just a short distance away from Maginhawa food street. As Mara explains, people who go to Maginhawa are looking for something unique, something different.

You’ll get quite a lot of that unique personality here at KKK Coffee. Come drop by and try out their unique coffee flavors.

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Posted by Erwin Anciano

Erwin has been eating food for the past 30 or so years. Yes, he actually thinks that makes him an expert on all things food-related.

Website: http://emuncher.com