With many coffee places popping up in the metro, one shop stands out in its own quirky way.
At various cafés, you may encounter drinks with complicated descriptions using words like "infused," "slow-steeped," or "dark roast." You may order those drinks out of curiosity without even having an idea what they mean.
But things are far different with Candid Coffee, which went viral because of its truthful, simple, and straightforward menu descriptions that could also spice up one's energy aside from drinking coffee.
"Catchy and madaling intindihin yung descriptions," an X user said.
"Parang kwentuhan lang," another social media user wrote.
Hanggang ngayon tawang tawa pa rin ako dito!!! Ang tahimik sa cafe tapos nung nabasa ko yung menu napasigaw nalang ako kakatawa, sobrang benta sa akin nung description nung drink! 😭🤣 pic.twitter.com/Y2ayeJCOhS— Ethan Winters (@arieshunter12) January 7, 2024
Other users even suggested some funny lines that the cafe could consider.
"Actually parang mas gusto ko yung ganyan na description. Maganda rin kung may random reviews from customers para kwela."
"Missed opportunity yung african sunrise... pwede sanang 'mala simba ang datingan at mapapakanta ka ng nants ingonyama bagithi baba...'"
'Walang pake basta may kape'
In an interview with PhilSTAR L!fe, Lorenzo Castillo, the president and founder of Candid Coffee, said his company's concept derived from his coffee shop's experiences. Through these, they started the cafe to produce specialty coffee that is "less intimidating" or "pretentious."
"My experience kasi with other third wave coffee shops [is] masyado maarte and not relatable although I enjoy the craft and science, I wanted to translate it being more down to earth," he told L!fe, noting that the best way to do this plan is to engage with people via humor and by being "brutally honest."
"Aminadong papansin rin kami cause who doesn’t want attention right? Guess you could say, medyo parang Angkas brand na makulit 'cause it's fun," he explained, adding that these witty and relatable wordings came from his personality.
Castillo described himself as frank, straightforward, honest, and comedic, making his business shareable online.
But more than the attention and relatability, Candid's shop owner implied that acquiring this kind of branding—by having a candid conversation—breaks the ice between its employees and the customers, staying true to the shop's name.
"Ang highlight namin sa shop [is] our people and service. Anyone can make good coffee but it's hard to be a great barista kaya constantly kami naghahanap ng ways to improve service making," he explained, "We understand our clients and we treat them as relationships not just transactions."
'Coffee na hindi maarte, medyo lang'
I bet you also laugh when you read the phrase stated above, and yes, that is one of the humorous descriptions of their branch located at the Haven Building, Congressional Extension, Quezon City.
Some of these funny descriptions can also be found in food-delivery applications such as GrabFood and FoodPanda, as Candid Coffee's offerings are also available there.
There, you can read descriptions for drinks including, "Mas masarap sa Xmas drink nung other coffee shop" referring to their Toffee Nut Latte, "Coffee na hindi hot," for Cold Brew, "Homemade caramel na may asin" for their most ordered Salted Caramel Latte, "Espresso na may kasamang gatas," for their Flat White, among others.
Candid Coffee's signature drinks start at around P150, placing it within the price point of its competitors. You can score pastries for P150 to P190.
Among their branches are Santol, Culiat Town Center, SM Air Residences Makati, Greenhills, Sta. Mesa and Bonifacio Global City (BGC).
'To be a homegrown third-wave coffee chain'
Candid Coffee was started in 2018 in Quezon City and focused initially on supplying ingredients to various cafes, restaurants, and hotels. They provide 100% premium local, roasted coffee beans on demand.
Like any business, the pandemic hits them, allowing them to pivot to retail and direct to consumer. However, it is a blessing in disguise as they are one of the most celebrated cafés in the Philippines. Its flagship store is located at SM Air Mall near The Rise Makati.
"Now we're an organization with 6 branches all company-owned, we don't franchise because as silly or stupid as we sound, we mean business and we don't want to compromise quality," Castillo said.
"We still do wholesale but mostly private label and we want to be known also for our coffee cart which we started back in 2016 when no one was offering that service," he continued.
Moreover, according to Castillo, as part of their products is concerned, they wanted to become a homegrown third-wave coffee chain similar to American coffee roaster Blue Bottle Coffee.
"Our shops have great design, quality drinks & great service. We don't need to reinvent the wheel but just make it our own. Ang goal namin is to becoming a homegrown 3rd wave coffee chain similar to Blue Bottle," Castillo said to L!fe.