Opening Tomorrow at Burgos Circle: Starbucks Philippines Joins the Third Wave Coffee Bandwagon with Starbucks Reserve™

With the ubiquity and increasing number of third wave coffee shops populating the busiest parts of Metro Manila, are the business models of the bigger and more mainstream coffee joints threatened?

Starbucks Reserve Forbes Town Burgos Circle copy

Starbucks Reserve™ is opening its first few stores in Metro Manila, and is expected to serve up their range of “exotic, rare, and exquisite single-origin wholebean coffees in very small quantities.” With the first branch open in Tomas Morato since early this May, its second location in Burgos Circle, Fort Bonifacio, is set to open its doors to the public tomorrow, May 13.

Coffee Masters brewing at the Starbucks Reserve™ UK launch

Given today’s escalating local coffee culture where more options abound, and where customers have a more aroused curiosity to try newer (and sometimes more unusual) coffee experiences, Starbucks grabs this opportunity to showcase their coffees in their rawest, uncorrupted, Frappuccino-free states.

It might be difficult to unsee Starbucks for the giant coffee conglomerate that it is. Being the largest coffee chain company in the world, one would expect it to source coffee beans in incredulous amounts, and this stigma can be easily applied to the smaller, more earmarked specialty Starbucks Reserve™ stores that claim to serve the more top-of-the-line stuff. It doesn’t help that most of the coffee-related buzzwords have been carelessly thrown around so much; they might not mean anything anymore.

Interior of Starbucks Reserve™ stores abroad

Understanding the importance of the coffee journey is integral in preserving its purity. After being harvested, many transit points and other processes are involved that put the coffee’s integrity at risk—and minimizing the risk has been the main challenge posed to both coffee suppliers and buyers.

Starbucks Reserve™ reassures its customers that they’ve made their coffee journey traceable by keeping track of every exchange of hands that are made—the shorter, the better. With the commitment to holding all their supply chain players accountable, it increases their safeguard against quality risks, environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic transparency. In short, trust in their partners and precise documentation are the tools Starbucks Reserve™ uses to bring their message across the table.

Starbucks Reserve™ merchandise

Since there are only limited quantities of the handpicked flavors Starbucks Reserve™ supplies its customers with, we can expect the offerings to be constantly varied depending on availability.

We’re personally excited to see how Starbucks Reserve™ will pan out. How do you think the third wave coffee trend has been affecting mainstream coffee joints? Do you feel that Starbucks Reserve™ might be the start of other mainstream coffee shops putting up their own third wave versions? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

StarbucksStarbucks ReserveHuffington PostHuffington Post

Image Sources:
1. Starbucks UK

2. Resorts World Sentosa Blog
3. Starbucks Reserve Stores in Other Countries (From Top to Bottom, Left to Right): Chictip, Fortport, Starbucks Melody, Justin Lee

4. Starbucks Store

19 Responses

  1. Starbucks is absolutely not threatened. Third wave coffee start ups are still relying on sweet, milky lattes to drive sales, often matching Starbucks’ prices. Equally as often, these third wave start ups sell their kidneys just to keep their AC on the whole day, can’t provide many power outlets, don’t have an awesome supply chain of sandwiches thus relying on a hot kitchen, and are literally SMALL. But don’t get me wrong — I just love these shops bringing in new coffees into Manila — let them be the harbinger of love, peace and joy that is associated with drinking coffee.

    For me, black coffee is sweeter than a Hershey’s bar. Then again, my Facebook friends rave about the latest milk tea rather than some awesome coffee. Nope, they don’t actually drink coffee, but when you hand them a latte, “Ah this is the coffee that I like!” And who’s king at that? Starbucks! And there’s no other socially-responsible company I’d like to give power and props to.

    1. I agree. The third wave culture is a hard sell as most Filipinos still spout comments such as “ay, ang pait” or “ay, ang konti naman, yun lang for P160 [referring to Aeropress coffee]”, but I’d like to think the small specialty stores and purveyors of specialty beans are slowly getting more traction, and hey, getting educated on new things is never a bad thing. Just that to slowly appreciate good coffee, you have to ease your way into it by bastardizing it bit by bit with milk, and then slowly weaning yourself until you get to taste the pure coffee. I hate people who ridicule others who get into the third wave scene just because it’s a hipster thing to do. If learning about new things is being hipster, then sign me up.

      In terms of corporate culture, I am forever regarding Starbucks as the best and the brightest. Their supply chain is also amazing, and I truly believe that of all the big conglomerates that have made their money in the international scene, Starbucks has been the one with the least complaints as far as issues of sustainability, the green initiative and their carbon footprint are concerned.

  2. Another way corporation profits on the gullible public … A way to dispose of unsold inventory because of it’s really uneconomical or unpractical costs …. West Java and Papuan coffee is not exotic … Maybe the Galapagos ones … I still love Philippine arabica coffee … The best

    1. Interesting. What kind of Philippine Arabica coffees do you get your hands to these days? I’m pretty sure you can let me know where to get it, because all I find in the market is robusta these days.

      1. go to your local beanery, there are arabica beans grown but i wouldnt recommend it yet, our coffee farms havent matured as much as id like it, starbucks does sell Philippine origin beans you can buy from them, its supposedly 100% Arabica but man is it stale :))

      2. It is true that Philippine coffee is generally of a lower quality, but it should be said that there are some gems in the mix. Go out of your way to find the Hinilaban, Bukidnon arabica. It’s a typica that works great blended into an espresso, but is still very interesting as a lightly roasted single origin bean.

  3. Sa lugar na ito mahihiwalay ang mga taong may alam talaga sa kape mula sa mga taong nagsa-Starbucks lang para magpasosyal.

    1. Hi Gerard! I went there yesterday and the prices depend on the beans. But they’re in the same range as the frappuccino prices:)

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