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Is Toby’s Estate Set to Be the Next Starbucks?

June 15, 2014
Toby's Estate Interior Photo Charlie Paw

Photo by Charles Paw

When word of Toby’s Estate’s arrival in Manila caught wind, both coffee fans, and foodies alike went in a frenzy. Around the world, the 3rd wave coffee movement has created a demand for high quality coffee, with people being more discerning about their beans. Toby’s Estate is certainly one of those places leading the global movement, and its arrival signified a new revolution in the way we drink.

Toby’s Estate seems to have bigger, bolder plans. Instead, the plans in the Philippines seem to be aimed at improving coffee culture not just among devotees, and for a higher market, but in the mainstream as well.

While Toby’s Estate opened a main outpost in Salcedo Village, with a little kiosk in Century Mall, it seems as if it was destined to just be a specialized import in the country, with just a few branches devoted to the art owner Toby Smith has become known for. However, instead of being a one-off, artisan concept in the city, Toby’s Estate seems to have bigger, bolder plans. Instead, the plans in the Philippines seem to be aimed at improving coffee culture not just among devotees, and for a higher market, but in the mainstream as well. Projected plans for expansion mean that hopefully, people will see a Toby’s Estate branch almost everywhere, all over malls. This would turn Toby’s Estate into a bonafide 3rd wave coffee chain on our shores, improving on the current choices we have for fast, accessible brews. When the next Toby’s Estate opens near you, you’ll get to taste the Woollomooloo and Rodyk beans, responsible for their cult following, and their status as pioneer of the 3rd wave movement.

Have you ever tried Toby’s Estate? What’s your favorite specialty coffee outlet in Manila? What do you think about the 3rd Wave coffee movement? Sound off in our comments section below!

Pamela Cortez Pamela Cortez

Pamela Cortez writes about food full-time, and has honed her craft while writing for publications such as Rogue, Town and Country, and The Philippine Star. She once rode on a mule for a mile just to eat mint tea and lamb in Morocco, and has eaten a block of Quickmelt in one sitting. Her attempt at food photography can be viewed online @meyarrr.

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6 comments in this post SHOW

6 responses to “Is Toby’s Estate Set to Be the Next Starbucks?”

  1. Volts Sanchez says:

    Are the concepts of third-wave coffee and large chain mutually exclusive? Is this the flip side of Starbucks Reserve? Am I thinking too much?

  2. AC says:

    With expansion comes issues on quality. If they are as good as what people say, then i hope they can retain the quality of their products when they expand. 🙂

  3. Jaq A says:

    I love Toby’s Estate, been a fan since they opened their Brooklyn cafe in 2011. I’ve since gone to Australia to visit the other cafes and was ecstatic when they opened here. Not happy with the way the management is handling it though, making it seem like a new status symbol. I appreciate the marketing and all, especially since it really is great coffee, but the coffee is slowly becoming the second start of the show. I’ve already visited and tasted bad coffee extracted by their barista (with a really arrogant and condescending server) because of a full house. I hope this is not the sign of times to come. I would hate to see great coffee get dissed because the cafe failed to make it their star.

  4. Az says:

    I prefer craft coffee more. While Toby’s estate has good coffee, it has really bad service and the food is nothing exceptional, and terribly overpriced I agree that the coffee is taking a back seat here. It also isn’t consistent. Nice interiors though

  5. Ompong says:

    Some musings by a coffee crazed Filipino-Australian:
    – Australians take their coffee very seriously, far more than Americans and even acknowledged by those in the know as better with the stuff compared with the Italians.
    – We are spoilt for choice over here in terms of all things coffee, from the beans, to the roasters, to the method of brewing, to the baristas, to the cafes, specially the cafes.
    – Toby’s Estate is more known in Australia as a supplier of roasted beans than a coffee shop chain. They only have a handful of company owned cafes.
    – Over here, coffee shop chains like Starbucks are far less popular than independent cafes are and will ever be. To that point, Starbucks is considered by most locals as very average to sh*t.
    – And Toby’s Estate? Well, many over here consider them as business sell outs more driven over their hyped premium image and bottom line than what really matters most, taste. Campos Roasters, Single Origin, Coffee Alchemy are just some of the many Sydney based roasters who would run circles around Toby’s Estate.
    – Which brings me to the title of this article. If a serious Australian coffee drinker read this, and you happen to standing next to him or her, you would get a very confused look in their face. The thought that Toby’s Estate would have Starbucks aspirations is very interesting indeed, almost perplexing. Best of luck anyway, Toby, seriously mate, make us proud.

  6. mobile247 says:

    probably not, i mean, they don’t even have something as simple as soy milk.

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