Hello, Cafè Barbera.
This Italian cafè has been around for over a century and has grown from a small street coffee vendor on the streets of Naples to a global franchise. You'd think that this place would most likely have the best coffee. After all, espresso is something deeply rooted into the Italian way of life.
It all started with Domenico Barbera who first started serving his own unique blend in Italy. It eventually caught on and now, Cafè Barbera is located in 14 other countries.
So what sets Cafe Barbera apart from the other coffee shops? Enrico Barbera Jr., sixth generation owner of Cafè Barbera, quickly answered, "the way we roast our coffee."
Unlike other brands that use automation to roast its beans, Cafè Barbera sticks to the old school way as they believe that it's the best way to keep the taste and aroma of coffee, giving you the most pleasure.
I've tried a handful of its drinks and instantly fell in love with its Espresso Freddo (PHP125 | PHP135 | PHP145), an on the rocks sweetened espresso. I have to admit, I was scared to take a sip for espresso always mean bitter to me and when baristas say sweet, it just meant not extremely bitter. But this one was enjoyable to drink. In fact, I finished it in a few sips.
I also tried the Cappuccino Freddo (PHP145 | PHP 155 | PHP165) which had a lighter taste profile. It must have been because of milk but I still liked my first drink over this one.
The place was packed during its launch and I was glad that the organizers were nice to accommodate us again after the event for us to take better photos.
I headed back to Cafè Barbera two hours later and I got to try a few more drinks which were not served during the event Cappucino Italiano (PHP135 | PHP150 | PHP165), Bellagio Sipping Chocolate (PHP145 | PHP155 | PHP165), Cappucino Shakerato (PHP145 | PHP155 | PHP 165), Nutelloto (PHP195 | PHP215) and Matcha Green Tea Latte (PHP145 | PHP160 | PHP175).
I am a big fan of cappuccino and I usually go for one when I'm visiting a coffee shop. Knowing that Cafè Barbera is an expert in the field of coffee making, I was excited to try my favorite. However, it was bland. I think there was too warm milk on my cup that diluted the beautiful taste of coffee.
The Cappucino Shakerato had stronger taste than the first one but it was a bit too sweet too.
The Bellagio Sipping Chocolate was one comforting drink to have during a rainy day. It had the right thickness and sweetness.
The Nutelloto is Cafè Barbera's Nutella-based coffee shake topped with whipped cream and cocoa powder. Caffeine junkies who also love sweets would enjoy this drink. I found it a bit too sweet for my liking though.
The Matcha Green Tea Latte, which is not part of Cafè Barbera's standard menu and is only available here in Manila due to our addiction to matcha, was amazing! It had a strong kick of matcha but beautifully mellowed down by milk.
I also liked that it had that grainy texture making it feel even more legit.
We were also given Polpette Fritte Napoletane (PHP315 without pasta | PHP365 with pasta) which had that authentic Italian tomato sauce flavor. It was tangy and refreshing!
I was completely surprised with my favorites in Cafè Barbera. I suddenly liked espresso and I wasn't expecting to like its matcha given that it's not their expertise. I guess this place has a lot of surprises in store for me.