326 – On The Brewman Coffee Experience

I used to frequent alternative lifestyle hub Cubao Expo back when COVID-19 was still unknown. It was one ride away from my then-workplace, which made frequent after-work trips possible. One establishment there – KatHa Lifestyle Store – stood out in particular because of its pour-over coffee, courtesy of The Brewman Coffee.

Let me share a bit of history about the place. Cubao Expo is similar to Singapore’s Haji Lane with the proliferation of establishments catering to the hipster crowd. It used to be called Marikina Shoe Expo due to the many shoe stores and shoe repair shops that once lined the place. While the shoe stores have all but left, different establishments took over their old spaces.

I started frequenting KatHa Lifestyle Store and The Brewman Coffee in late 2019, eventually building the closest thing to a social circle I ever have. I mentioned in an entry from 2015 that I find building social connections rather difficult, but the frequent coffee shop trips were of much aid. The visits became longer and more frequent as my work situation became precarious. I was driven by a need to de-stress from work and know more people that share the same wavelength as I do.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic struck and lockdowns were imposed to curb its spread. I got stuck in my residence at a city known for high poverty and crime levels. It did not help that the two subsequent jobs I had were both on a work from home setup, which continues as of writing. Things managed to loosen in 2021, but I still remained under what I call a “house arrest situation.” My mom’s passing in August of that year made it impossible for me to visit, as a lot of things needed to be ironed out.

During that span of time, The Brewman Coffee managed to find a bigger space it completely occupies. KatHa Lifestyle Store also expanded its space and partnered with a local coffee purveyor, serving up its own specialty beverages. Prior to this, The Brewman Coffee occupied a quarter of the space while KatHa Lifestyle Store had the rest.

It was only in April 2022, more than two years since my last visit, that I managed to check out The Brewman Coffee‘s new location at Cubao Expo. I told my team lead that I was planning to work remotely on one Saturday as cabin fever was preventing me from working properly at home, to which he replied in the affirmative. He even encouraged me to do so just to get a breath of fresh air!

The first place that came to my mind was The Brewman Coffee, and it was a good decision to work there! Friends and acquaintances, both old and new, were pleasantly surprised to see me again. I finished my work with sufficient motivation, given that I was at a new environment compared to simply working at home.

The Brewman Coffee is run by Jonathan, the eponymous “brewman”, alongside other baristas. Aside from signature drinks, the shop also offers both savory and sweet baked goods courtesy of Kabuki’s Bakery – run by Jonathan’s wife Ira.

I took a corner spot at the café’s community table, which was conveniently positioned near an electric outlet. Let me share some of the menu items I ordered during my visit.

The Breakfast Latte is an exclusive The Brewman Coffee creation. It’s composed of the signature Spanish Latte – coffee with condensed milk – topped with a generous amount of Milo cereal. Additional cereal is available for a fee. While the combination is good, one ought to be careful when eating (or drinking) it to avoid spilling the cereal.

Since I had not eaten lunch yet, I ordered one of the savory breads the café sells. The Tuna Bun was a good pick, as it stood out from other breads I tried out before. Kabuki’s Bakery did not scrimp on the tuna filling; others would put a minimal amount of tuna and pass it off, but not this. Every bite had a piece of the filling.

I later ordered a hot cup of The Brewman Coffee‘s Hot Chocolate. According to Fons (one of the baristas on duty), the café uses Auro chocolate buttons and cocoa powder as a base for this drink. Local chocolate brand Auro is known for its exceptional products, and it reflects with this beverage. It had the right amount of chocolate taste and sweetness, needing no sugar to liven it up.

Of course, hot beverages like these are best paired with cake. The Ube Custard Cake fit the bill perfectly. Jonathan gave me a 50% discount on this cake as it was the last piece, which I appreciated. The cake reminded me of a snack cake from Regent Foods that was a childhood favorite. Furthermore, the ube (purple yam) flavor wasn’t too cloying and jived well with the mildly sweet custard layer.

I wrapped up my office work as more and more customers entered. Since I was already done for the day, I decided to hang out at the counter to talk with the rest of the crew. It had been so long since I last had a conversation like that – a welcome respite for an introvert like me.

Café owner Jonathan also treated some children, who were kids of a regular patron, to a round of iced chocolate.

I decided to call it a day at around 6:30 in the evening as I had an important matter to attend the following day. Nevertheless, this trip to The Brewman Coffee was definitely the highlight of that Saturday – and I look forward to visiting the place again. I ultimately hope that things return to normal so we can all return to the life we once knew pre-pandemic.

I’ll end this entry with this wonderful dog right here who wanted to join me while working. “Your owners might get mad at me, because you’re hanging out with me and not them,” I even joked.

“Hello, Sir! I want to be a blogger just like you. May I shadow you while you write?”

Visit The Brewman Coffee on Facebook and Instagram to stay abreast with its updates and promotions.

Until the next post, bon appetit.

The Brewman Coffee
Cubao Expo, #3 Gen. Romulo Avenue,
Araneta Center, Brgy. Socorro,
Cubao, Quezon City 1109


47 thoughts on “326 – On The Brewman Coffee Experience

  1. I liked this post for the coffee and community vibes, but the picture of the pup at the end just stole my heart. Coffee, company and a four legged friend is perfection!

    • Indeed! Much as I wanted to make that dog sit on my lap that time (which wasn’t an issue for the owners, as they told me) — I had to focus on my work haha!

      Hopefully, I can come back there this month or by the Fourth of July weekend — as our US-based bosses often make it a holiday for the Philippine office.

      Thank you for stopping by, Helen!

  2. That breakfast latte looks fun and delicious! I might have some condensed milk handy – I might make myself an American (USA) version this weekend, thanks for sharing. And triple thanks for the birthday wish, it was an excellent day and you helped ❤

    • Sure thing, and thank you for stopping by! 😁 Now I want to try that out myself; coffee with condensed milk is also a thing here in the Philippines, and breakfast cereal makes it jam-packed!

      You’re most welcome, and I’m glad I brightened up your special day with that small gesture. 😊

  3. All of it looks delicious! And how awesome it’s a warm and welcoming place to help lift you out of seclusion, which has so many challenges. I remember when I was a stay at home mom in a new town with no friends, with a boyfriend who drove truck and was gone all week, and I found a lovely coffee shop a half hour away. I used to drive there several times a week to chat with the baristas, who always lifted my spirits and filled my need for adult interaction. I spent way too much money on coffee and gas, but it kept me from losing my mind. 😂

    • Thank you for stopping by, Rachel! Glad you found a coffee shop that helped you maintain your sanity. 😊

      Funny that when I visit other cafes and I mention the names of some of the Brewman baristas, they get recognized more often than not!

  4. Cubao expo… brings a lot of memories. Before, there’s a bar there named Mogwai and we frequently went there until we were drunk hehe. The best part was the weekend bands which featured some of the indie/alternative bands that I used to love… Sigh sadly, nagsara na siya pre-pandemic. I love the ambiance of the place so much…

    • Yeah, naririnig ko nga yung Mogwai back then. Pero truth be told, marami na ring nagsarang counterculture spot sa Cubao — including yung Today X Future na lampas lang ng konti sa Expo.

      On a brighter note, marami na ring bago sa Expo — including Brewman and KatHa! The long-time favorites are still there; Habanero, Tacio’s, tsaka Bellini’s.

  5. There’s something about working away from home that clears the head. I’m the exact same way at my local coffee spot. It’s one of my most favorite places to go! You place looks amazing and I’m glad you knocked your work out of the park 🥰💪

    • Great to hear that! 😀 We can only handle being in the same spot for so long a time before monotony gets the best of us.

      Well, from the looks of it – I guess it’s gonna be a monthly thing. Dad often travels to his side of the family’s ancestral home every end of the month, so I can definitely sneak out to visit this spot! 😆

    • I gotta admit, that dog is really damn cute! Good thing I snapped multiple photos of that cutie during my trip!

      Thank you for stopping by and for following The Monching’s Guide! 😊

  6. I used to frequent the late night restaurants / bars in Cubao expo back when it was still along the way on my commute home. I heard some establishments have closed down, but I’m happy to hear that some places are getting back on their feet.

    • They definitely were!

      And I agree with you on the change of environment part; I find that most of the time, I become more productive when I work outside my house. I hope I can leave the house again on a workday.

      • There are co-working spaces here in Manila nowadays (with some offering food and unlimited coffee), but they often require a reservation. I do hope I can check out one of those sometime soon.

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