Photos by Gian Nicdao
I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to walk into a coffee shop and have the barista ask me if I want “the usual.” There’s no particular reason for this — I guess it’s just nice to have a solid routine to make it look like your life is in order.
As someone who lives in an area that’s kind of isolated from the usual hustle and bustle of the city (let’s go south life), I’m always on the lookout for quaint coffee shops to stay and work at while I’m in Makati.
Habitual Coffee opened its first branch along Chino Roces in 2014 with the humble goal of wanting their food and coffee to keep customers coming back. After expanding with branches in Uptown Mall BGC and Ayala Vertis North, owners (and Aeropress power couple) Kaye and TJ Rocamora, and Raph Garcia decided to close the original Chino Roces base and move to Salcedo Village, also in Makati.
Welcome to the grind: Habitual Coffee sources three different beans from Kalsada, a brand that works with local coffee producers.
Opened last August, the new Salcedo branch boasts all new- interiors, WiFi and sockets, and a couple of new menu additions. To complement the Filipino palate, they created four rice bowls exclusive to the Salcedo branch, all of which are packed with premium ingredients despite their reasonable price points.
First up is their Bacon Bowl (P280), a crowd favorite of bacon fat garlic rice and creamy scrambled egg that’s topped with eight pieces of home-smoked bacon. The Samgyup Bap (P295) is a bibimbap-based rice bowl topped with samgyupsal strips. There’s also a vegetarian-friendly option in the Tori Katsu Green Curry (P295), which you can opt to have with tofu instead of the usual chicken katsu.
Breakfast of champions: Habitual Coffee’s Salcedo branch boasts exlusive rice bowls that pack a good bang for your buck.
The true star of the menu, though, is the Steak and Eggs bowl (P380), which Kaye describes as “meat tenderloin and… actual heaven!” They’re especially proud of this menu item because of one regular, who comes in every single morning after yoga just to eat it.
Non-rice eaters have no need to fret, as they’ve got new and improved sandwiches including version two of the Buffalo chicken sandwich (P240), which uses a sourdough bun instead of a toasted loaf of bread, and of course, the staple Grilled Cheese (P220), filled with cheddar, goat’s cheese and mozzarella.
Of course, the couple doesn’t scrimp on the coffee (their takeout cups still come with their branded sleeve that says “[your name here]’s habit”). They source three different beans from Kalsada, a brand that works with local coffee producers. At Habitual, you get to customize your coffee by choosing from the three kinds of beans (classified by area they’re sourced from, with two being single origin) before choosing how you want it prepared (aeropress or pour-over brew). Kaye says that this way, “you’re able to get the distinct flavor and flavor profiles” of the beans.