To label EDSA Beverage Design Studio as another byproduct of the third wave coffee revolution would be, in a word, inaccurate. Neither would be dismissing it as yet another bar that served midday cocktails to the snappily-dressed twenty somethings lurking around Ortigas with time and a wad of cash to spare.
You can say it’s a little bit of both, but then that would be ignoring its entire concept completely. It revels itself in its own identity, self-defined by its very own name. It is in fact, a beverage design studio, a creative laboratory dedicated to crafting their own concoction of drinks in that same space.
The EDSA Beverage Design Studio is defined by its creators, the EDSA Beverage Design Group (BDG) —also affiliated with The Curator among other bars– as a coworking space, the home of creative collaboration. Cruise along EDSA by Annapolis and you might miss it, as it camouflages itself in an unlikely location between a bank and a furniture store.
Decked out in steel and wood, the studio creates the impression of a man cave, with its mix of aged and industrial accents, conducive for brainstorming sessions-cum-nights out. On the second floor where all the action is, a microbrewery and coffee roastery stand back-to-back in the middle of the room. No fuss, no frills on the offerings: their menu is written on the ceiling above the bar, and on the counter. A local menswear shop, Lost and Found, inhabits one of the co-working spaces, offering a selection of Carmina leather shoes and raw denim jeans, among others.
The studio is open as early as 10 AM serving both coffee and cocktails, yet there’s a certain appeal going to the studio at night, right smack in the middle of a metropolis that comes alive. With a BDG barista recently competing in the World Barista Championship in Italy last May, the coffee was a must-try. During our visit, I ordered a cappuccino (P200 at the time), available in two blends: Rwanda and Ethiopia, a bold, citric flavor with fruity tones for the more adventurous; and Dark Matter Theory, BDG’s take on a dark chocolate blend, with a nuttier flavor. While I personally preferred the Dark Matter blend, Rwanda and Ethiopia is sure to win over the more experimental coffee lovers, and might have suited a cold brew better.
But as the clock strikes nine in the evening, trade in the espresso cups for cocktail glasses as they close down the coffee roastery and let their craft drinks shine. A unanimous favorite is Lemon Head, a fragrant gin-based cocktail that is light and refreshing, perfect for reminiscing those summer nights. Besides their cocktails, the studio also takes pride in their craft beer in which the makers brew themselves on the first floor of the studio. They come in twos: Liberation, the rich and robust pale ale; and the lighter blonde ale, Summer Solstice.
In the midst of food and drink fads, EDSA Beverage Design Studio defies all those and rises above with a passion for crafting exquisite drinks, whether coffee or alcohol. So sit back, relax, and enjoy good company with the perfect brew in hand. Cheers.