Pursuit of Best Cafes // Muntinlupa PH: Steamyard Coffee






Steam Yard Coffee and Community is an establishment in Muntinlupa City, owned and run by siblings JM Madla and Michelle Madla who both share a vision–to make specialty coffee in a place that’s honest, casual and above all, easy to be in. Living in the south, from malls to villages, there’s plenty of good coffee shops–shabby, cozy, delicious. But there’s nothing like Steam Yard which is true to its form in serving third wave coffee. They trust local brew; their coffee is 100% locally grown, sourcing out the finest beans from all over the country, supporting coffee farmers in Benguet, Mountain Province, and South Cotabato. The store also houses and promotes established and emerging online brands, thus collaborating with local online stores creating a concept store.

Their goal is to serve coffee with an ethical core. A cup of coffee deliciously brewed can be a real morning delight for all when paying for it contributes towards securing better returns to the farmers who grow it. By educating their customers and themselves, they connect their consumers directly to the communities and individuals who produce their coffee.


Michelle Madla, one of the owners of Steamyard Coffee

The Philippines is one of the few countries that produce the four main viable coffee varieties: Arabica, Liberica (Barako), Excelsa and Robusta, although 90% of the coffee produced in the country is Robusta. They have studied the country’s coffee industry by visiting coffee farms, building relationships with suppliers and farmers, understanding their needs, and appreciating the crop more.



They source their local coffees from Benguet, Mountain Province, and South Cotabato


Banana chips sourced locally

The Store

Modern industrial interiors of black and wooden, exposed beams and cables, with generous lighting from hanging edison bulbs. Unlike a usual busy wall of graffiti and artworks, the owners opted for plain white thus drawing attention to different merchandise as the design element.



Modern industrial/rustic interiors


Interesting for-the-love-of-coffee items


Brew bar


Minimalist menu


A selection of dairy and caffeinated drinks and juices for perfect pairings


Their cakes and pastries complement your choice of coffee, tea or juices



For those who need a slap on the face, it’s best to order their signature drinks. Their Red Eye Cold Brew is an over-ice 12-hour brewed coffee with add-ons to customize your cold brew experience: espresso shot, milk, and sugar syrup. It is intense, refreshing, and definitely a pleasure to try. They also have Iced Shaken Black Tea (black tea, honey, espresso shot) for those who’d like to have double dose of caffeine of coffee and tea.


Red Eye Cold Brew

For milk lovers, they recommend cappuccino, latte, and flat white infused with dark chocolate syrup.



Steam Yard recommends anything from Brew Bar wherein your cuppa will be freshly brewed in front of you to complete the experience. Their brewing method includes Hario V60, Aeropress, Woodneck Dripper and French Press.


Brewing Method: Hario V60
Type of Beans: Arabica
Origin (Region): Mt. Matutum, South Cotabato
Tasting Notes: nutty, chocolatey


Baristas in Steam Yard are very knowledgeable about offerings. Coffee drinker or not, they also know what drink complements your choice of food or pastry.


Barako Muffin, Braso De Mercedes, Blueberry Cheesecake, Mango Cheesecake, Latte and Red Cold Brew


Their lattes are always served with double espresso shots


Mango Cheesecake, one of the best sellers

Main Course Meals

Their menu is not limited to handcrafted coffees and specialty pastries. They also have main course meals that are also a must-try.


Pandan Liempo. The dipping sauce is the key!


Beef Sirlion. Tender and savoury


Pasta Negra. Squid ink pasta with heaps of Parmesan cheese, toasted garlic and chicharon


Spicy Chicken Rendang. Chicken wings and noodles with sauce of mixed ground spices and coconut milk, sprinkled with ground chillies

Local Sellers

There’s an area where several merchandise from various local online sellers are displayed. They believe that most successful company efforts are collaborative by definition. By dedicating a space in their shop, online sellers can showcase their products and bring them closer to their target community. Combining an online store with a physical shop can be very effective. Brand partners can use the rich data e-commerce to encourage shoppers to visit their physical stores or pop-up shops.


Find interesting stuffs inside the store while waiting for your coffee to brew!


Steam Yard Coffee and Community is located at 49 National Rd. Brgy. Putatan, Muntinlupa City, Philippines

Steam Yard Coffee & Community provides a sanctuary for coffee enthusiasts and online shoppers where people can get together and figure out common interests and needs. Apart from serving good food and coffee, it is an honest and casual environment putting online shop partners, coffee roasters, local farmers and baristas at the frontline.
Instagram: @steamyardph



City Food Crawl // Your Local


Your Local Restaurant in Legaspi Village, Makati City


Your Local is a hardly noticeable small restaurant in Legaspi Village, Makati. While walking along Esteban St. from corner V.A. Rufino St. you cannot just depend on your Google or Waze locator to find the door to the restaurant. Though their humble signage can be seen if you look further up while walking.


During the day it is a serious industrial looking place. After working hours, it transforms into a cozy cocktails hub and speakeasy bar catering mostly yuppies in the area looking for a relaxation after a day’s work.




A great place to hold meetings, simple lunch or tête-à-têtes with colleagues.


The kitchen is exposed where one can watch how food is being cooked and prepared. A different perspective too for drinkers by the bar.


The restaurant’s unique branding shows off some pieces of industrial and retro elements.


Interiors of mostly blacks, whites, and few reds. Old-fashioned tiles, exposed beams and pipes and enamel porcelain cups that gave a retro look.


Repurposed old aluminum ladder transformed into a unique book shelf. Really industrial!


Steel bars never looked engaging until this restaurant made a wine cellar out of it.



A no-fuss menu offering mostly cocktails, beers, and wines. The resto has few food options but are delicately curated by Chef Denny Antonino and Nicco Santos to give their unique renditions of Asian flavors.


Steak Fried Rice  P740

150g Korean spiced Sher Wagyu, sunny side up eggs, fresh herbs on shiitake fried rice.


According to the waiter, this is by far their best-seller. I was enticed by the presentation and colors and quite surprised with how big the serving was. I love the flavor each ingredient brings, but my take is, the intensity of flavors altogether is just too much for the taste buds to handle. With a big serving like this, textures too need to play it’s role very well to avoid the “umay” factor. Less the oil from the egg and sauces and the too-soggy texture of the rice, this dish is excellent!


Chorizo Burger  P490

1/3 pound burnt onion and chorizo patty, pepperoncini cream cheese, fried egg, seasonal greens, on a squid ink bun (thus the black bun). with parmesan fries and truffled ketchup alongside.

Chorizo “Black” Burger is for me a biggest hit.  The patty is perfectly spiced and herbed which compliments the unique squid ink flavor of the bread. While the fries brings an extra gentle break on the palate from all the rumble of flavors in the mouth. An extraordinary treat I’d say!

On top of the unique fusion of Asian flavors, Your Local serves interesting drinks. A sure way balancer!


Strawberry Lemonade P190

Strawberry puree, homemade lemonade, Sprite.


Sea Salt Lemonade P160

Fresh homemade lemonade, sea salt, Sprite.

Wanting to check out what else Your Local has to offer?

Here’s their menu.

Find Your Local here:

Address: Universal LMS Bldg. 106 Esteban St. Corner VA Rufino St., Legaspi Village, Brgy. San Lorenzo, Makati


Cafe Carmencita // Tagaytay

We were on the lookout for an afternoon tea or coffee as we reached the breezy air of Tagaytay, killing time before our check in at our chalet. My desire to search for unique coffee shops around got me winded up to look for something vintage, if not native like cafes here in Tagaytay. From a short ride from Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road going to Rotonda and further, there are three gaudy signs of Starbucks easily seen from afar. Their big flaunting green signs are probably what makes them irresistable to stop at and the mainstream status it has reaped. They are conveniently everywhere! But I am saying no to Starbucks for now. We already got one just a mile from our house and its a good time to give other local coffee shops here in Tagaytay a try.

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Since we got no wifi to search for best reviewed local cafes, we depended on just checking what we could chance on the road. Past Sky Ranch, husband halts as we saw a store sign which says Cafe Carmencita and pulls to the curb so we could survey a bit. Sophisticated looking store signs along main roads in Tagaytay give an impression of having premium priced items due to competition on spaces versus rental fees/land costs having to put businesses on prime positions. We just hope their menu items are not too pricey to consider a merienda.

Upon entry, a fascinating facade lures you to walk towards a wooden door that says “Welcome”.

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Open on Wednesdays thru Sundays, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

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The place looks like an old house converted into a cafe.

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The homey ambiance of Cafe Carmencita’s interior.

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To the right upon entry is a wooden console with mirror and a rack for guests to place their hats. Ain’t that warm?

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A little powder room under the stairs, and a clean comfort room down to the left.

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The counter is near the back door where you can find the menu on chalkboards, and a selection of cakes and desserts are on the side.

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At the back is a little fish pond. I appreciate having a pond here where kids can look over the fishes while parents relax over coffee or tea.

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A cage with parakeet love birds near the door add up to welcoming guests with nature’s touch.

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We chose this serene spot with umbrella so we could enjoy the landscape and for the privacy it brings.

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Cafe Carmencita’s got more spaces for tables and chairs in the elevated area. For now, you can enjoy the view of the gardens with minimal crowd. Resembling the feeling  of being a special guest in a friend’s house.

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The only thing with Cafe Carmencita is, unlike other cafes in Tagaytay where you most likely enjoy the nature, it’s situated along Tagaytay-Nasugbu Road, so a sound of a busy road and zooming engines will be a part of it.

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What I love in Tagaytay is the abundancy of herbs. I’ve always been keen on restaurants and cafes that grow their own produce. You get the feeling of having served with fresh and home grown ingredients. Cafe Carmencita has a decorative rack of herbs at the side of the house where it makes it handy for the chef.

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We appreciate every detail in the cafe that we forgot we’re really after the FOOD!

So I asked Kuya what’s their best seller cake, and he suggest Salted Caramel Cheesecake which is on top of their list. Price is P150 which is considerably a fair price for a good place like this. My desire to eat at the moment was something chocolate-y and saw they have Hershey’s Chocolate cake for only P80, relatively cheaper than any other chocolate cakes in other coffee shops. But since they recommended the cheesecake, I am giving it a shot.

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What made it special is the salted caramel sauce with a burnt buttery sweetness. Although the graham crust was a tad dry and fluffy and wished it could have been more intact, crumblier in consistency and toffier in taste (a distinct taste I always look for in cheesecake crusts).

The cheesecake filling has a true taste and consistency, no extra fillers and baked just right with a rightfully twist of lemon. Maybe just add a little creaminess to the filling, and moisture to the crust, to pair with snappy sweetness of its caramel sauce, and totally a blow away!

Overall, it was a delight to pair with my cup of mocha in a breezy afternoon!

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I ordered hot Mocha which is for only P100. Topped with foamed milk and drizzled with Hershey’s chocolate syrup. It was a full-bodied Barako coffee which reminded me of a taste of coffees from our province, Batangas.

They do not have cold coffee drinks though, but who would need it in Tagaytay anyway?

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They also sell these packed 300g coffee beans for P260 which is a mix of Barako (Liberica), Robusta and Arabica. Their coffees are organically grown from the owner’s farm in Alfonso, Cavite.

I pretty much enjoyed my stay in Cafe Carmencita. Not only they serve quality artisan food and pleasing food presentations. You’d love to go back to try out more of their home-cooked dishes and lovely desserts and above all enjoy your food in a place like home. Definitely a place for families and friends to have some down time together.

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Coffee Rating: 8 / 10 (Hot Mocha)

Dessert Rating: 7 / 10 (Salted Caramel Cheescake)

Ambiance: 9/10