UCC Now Serves Third Wave Coffee via UCC Clockwork

October 9, 2019

The opening of Starbucks Reserve has raised a lot of eyebrows and questions about the capability of  popular coffee brands when they attempt to venture into the third wave trend. UCC Clockwork, the first of its kind in the world, is a new concept by the UCC Company. Having opened just yesterday, October 14, in Blue Bay, Macapagal, the hippest sibling  yet of the UCC family is about to prove anybody who second-guesses its ability wrong.


The bar has been set high in our local third wave coffee scene. Priced slightly more expensive than your average cup of joe, we expect to leave third wave coffee shops feeling richer, and not as if we were stripped of our bloody cash. But unfortunately, some third wave coffee shops have an air of snobbery—asking for a packet of sugar is considered a mortal sin; the head barista in hipster, gradeless glasses looks at you as if you were a squashed cockroach should you ask for a bit more chocolate syrup in your mocha. That is what UCC Clockwork aims to change; third wave coffee doesn’t need to be pretentious or intimidating, instead, it should just be about having an immensely enjoyable cup of coffee.


Panama Santa Teresa Geisha, PHP 590

“The approach to any third wave coffee is simpler, but it is a much more different approach to coffee than what we are used to,” says Manny Torrejon, President of the Specialty Coffee Association of the Philippines (SCAP), and Sales Director of UCC Philippines. “Beans are sourced from farms instead of countries, and the roasting’s focus is more of bringing out the purest flavor fron the coffee beans,” he continues. There is the Blue Mountain #1, a popular UCC blend, but his personal favorite is the local Kapatagan, which has a deep, nutty aroma and a citrusy hint. According to Hubert Young, part-owner, UCC Clockwork’s star, is the Panama Santa Teresa Geisha, which starts off light and ends with a bold, fruity, almost tea-like finish.


UCC Clockwork also makes use of various brewing methods such as a cold drip, a pour over, the popular syphon seen in most UCC branches, a La Marzocco for espressos, and an Aeropress, which is still on its way. Their Sumiyaki beans are roasted in charcoal—the only one of its kind in the country—before being served syphon-style. The latte espresso uses a blend whose beans are nitrogen-infused to hold in the oils before being ground up. This way, the flavors are more concentrated and focused when being brewed into a robust cup of coffee.

Quinoa, Grilled Chicken, and Mandarin Orange Salad, PHP 320

Clair (Japanese-Style Waffle Crepe with Ice Cream), PHP 250

Milkfish Belly Paksiw, PHP 300

Though the coffee is a bit bolder and more adventurous compared to the ones seen on a normal UCC menu, UCC Clockwork’s food selection keeps its familiar identity intact. Napolitan and Indian Curry pastas are staple UCC flavors, while a Matcha High Toast drizzled with Nutella and Topped with Vanilla Ice Cream is an indulgent take on the Japanese favorite, Honey Toast. Kimchi Rice with Fresh Corned Beef lends a hand to the trendy Momofuku-inspired dish, and their Kouign Amann, which took inspiration from B Patisserie in San Francisco, might just be our new favorite in Metro Manila—gently caramelized walls of puff pastry are broken into and are greeted with a golden, silky pool of melted butter. The Green Tea Sans Rival, a unique dessert to UCC Clockwork, is a mandatory order, where an airy tower of meringue and cashew is held together with dense and addicting matcha cream. The Tiramisu is best paired with their signature Sumiyaki blend—place a spoonful in your mouth, leave it there, and take a swig of coffee. It’s a melt-in-your-mouth experience that is hard to come by and that you will relive in the days to come.


Fresh Corned Beef with Kimchi Rice, PHP 350

Green Tea Sans Rival, price available upon request

UCC Clockwork is a reflection of today’s constantly evolving coffee generation. Less is more; simple yet complex at the same time. With different brewing methods and an applied modern perspective, UCC Clockwork’s method with coffee is well-thought of, approachable, and relaxed. But don’t get me wrong, these guys mean business, and they’re damn serious about it, too.

Sumiyaki Syphon, PHP 190; Tiramisu, price available upon request


What are your thoughts about UCC’s venture into the third wave coffee scene? What’s your favorite UCC coffee? Tell us with a comment below!

Pepper.ph was invited to feature the above establishment. Therefore, the feature includes no rating whatsoever, which can be influenced or biased.

Mikka Wee Mikka Wee

Mikka Wee is former editor of Pepper.ph and was part of the team until she got whisked away to Singapore in 2016 where she worked in advertising and eventually found herself back in the food industry. She currently does marketing work for two popular Singaporean dessert brands and is a weekly columnist for The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s lifestyle brand, Preen.ph. She has always been crazy about travel, food, and her dog Rocket.

6 comments in this post SHOW

6 responses to “UCC Now Serves Third Wave Coffee via UCC Clockwork”

  1. Victoria says:

    Always thought UCC was overpriced for what they serve, but the prices here at Clockwork seem reasonable. Also, based on those great pics–from the wooden boards and tables, pastry display, and even the beef and kimchi rice combo and plating–it looks like they’re heavily “inspired” by Wildflour. 🙂

  2. Volts Sanchez says:

    For some reason, I find it funny that some items are “price-available-upon-request.”

  3. Nate Nate says:

    Coffee, coffee, and more coffee… I’m shaking. I wait for the day when these third-wave shops serve affordable coffee. I’m sure Clockwork will just tell me to visit their regular UCC shop.

  4. […] Based on some press work from the UCC management, UCC Clockwork is the company’s centerpiece (they have several stores scattered around the metro) for their current approach on third wave coffee. The logic of it escapes me, but you’re into a more detailed explanation of that, here is a good place for that. […]

  5. d says:

    I go to UCC Clockwork every week, during my break time, to eat and to have coffee. My favourite is their Kori-kohi (which they also offer in other ‘regular’ UCC’s) and their Sumiyaki. I have also tried most of the food they offer in their menu–and it did not disappoint. I like staying here (yes, I’m at UCC Clockwork at the moment) because I love the ambiance and there are not much people in the afternoon, hence, the place is not to noisy that I can read and study too. Although, there’s only one thing that makes me sad about this place… the servers. Unlike Starbucks, the servers here aren’t always smiling whenever they approach the customers. They are not as nice and friendly as the baristas in Starbucks. It’s like they’re always judging the customer whether they’re wearing nice clothes or just uniform, if they have money to pay for what they ordered or not–which is totally not making me feel really good because I am a regular here and I do not just hang out here for hours with one order of coffee or whatever their cheapest drink is! Whenever I would stay here for hours, I make sure that I always order enough food and drinks to justify the length of my stay. A couple of minutes ago, I just heard two of the servers mocking me. I know my voice may be irritating sometimes but it is not a good enough reason for the staff to mock their customers. I really want to let their head to know about this but I do not want to make a scene by having to call the manager that’s why I decided to make this review hoping that someone in their business would see this and might know what to do.

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