According to Andre Chanco and Kevin Tang, Fundamental Coffee aims to put coffee center stage. This is immediately apparent upon walking into the cafe on the ground floor of Park Terraces in Makati. In lieu of a counter set against one wall, there’s a 360-degree open bar built in the middle of the shop, a literal center where coffee is ordered, made, and served.

A joint venture between Bo’s Coffee and Chanco and Tang’s own Yardstick, Fundamental Coffee combines the former’s experience in full scale operations with the latter’s penchant for unique brews. Ultimately, they aim to widen the reach of specialty coffee in the Philippines.

The low-key interiors are contrasted by Fundamental Coffee’s explosive flavors for both their drinks and their food. Chanco and Tang recommend their rice bowls and pasta, but it’s the Fundamental French Toast, they say, that makes mornings (or whenever it suits your fancy, really) extra special.

Exclusives like the hot or iced double mocha and old fashioned cappuccino are crowd favorites. However, what makes Fundamental Coffee truly stand out is how open it is to letting customers experiment and find the exact kind of coffee they like. As such, americanos and flat whites may be customized using homemade syrups, with flavors like vanilla and butterscotch. They’re also pushing boundaries with cold brew, introducing varieties that make use of the likes of cacao base, local honey, and almond milk.

With Fundamental Coffee’s “different pockets of spaces for different needs,” as Chanco and Tang like to put it, the cafe becomes a warm, no-fuss backdrop for working, getting brunch, treating yourself to some alone time, or catching up with friends. Coffee may be in the center stage, but here, your interests and needs are still in the spotlight. – Fiel Estrella

Photos by JL Javier

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