Opening Hours: 7:00 A.M. – 11:00 P.M. (Monday – Saturday), 8:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M. (Sunday)
Telephone: (+632) 845 0073
Mobile: (+63) 917 723 6079
Usually, coffee shops are part of a chain. If you see one outlet in, say, Manila, you're bound to see another outlet in Makati. Yardstick Coffee, however, is an exception.
Like the Your Local restaurant, Yardstick Coffee is located in a somewhat obscure part of Makati city. You'll have to squint really hard at the exterior of the Universal LMS Building before you see the shop's unmistakable logo, comprised of a Y enclosed in a square.
There are two ways to enter the shop. The first is the conventional route; that is, from outside the LMS Building. The second is through a not-so-secret entrance inside the aforementioned Your Local restaurant. As you can guess from the similar addresses, Your Local and Yardstick Coffee are literally right next door to each other.
Either way, you'll have a coffee shop experience unlike any you've had before.
Most coffee shops have warm lights, cramped spaces and an overall cozy atmosphere. Yardstick Coffee, however, is "open" in every sense of the word: Not only are there bright lights all around, but you can even get behind a barista while s/he's making your favorite cup of coffee. We wouldn't recommend that, though, since you might distract them from their work.
Also, Yardstick Coffee's interior has a pastel palette, giving a bright and quirky feel to the place. It's like Toby's Estate, except it's much more casual and unique to Makati City. You can bring your whole barkada here, and not feel out of place. ("Barkada" is an informal Tagalog word for "group of close friends," typically used by younger people.)
Because it's so different from your usual coffee shop, you may feel a little disoriented with the whole setup at first. Luckily, the friendly baristas are there to take your orders, answer your questions and usher you to a seat.
Unfortunately, if you're the type who likes to work in a coffee shop, you may want to go somewhere else. There's no Wi-Fi in Yardstick Coffee at the moment, which is a shame considering how conducive their interior design is to bouts of creativity. Oh well, you can't have them all!
For the beverage, we ordered one white, single-shot cup of coffee worth Php140 (shown above). For the meal, we had one lemon pie for Php135.
As for the lemon pie, it proved to be a revelation. Every ingredient — from the melt-in-your-mouth meringue frosting to the lemon bits — is sweet, but not to the point that it will overpower all the others. In our humble opinion, this is one treat you'll want to plow through slowly but surely.
Overall, we think that both products are worth their price — at least, by coffee shop standards. So the next question is: When will we get that Wi-Fi to complete the whole experience?
Every transaction here is worth a service charge of 6 percent. We decided to set a portion aside for the tips box, though, because the personnel deserve it!
Sure, the barista who served us didn't ask for our names (like in a certain other major coffee chain). But in spite of the relatively crowded place, she was able to remember our faces and bring us the correct order, even though we were seated in a corner far away from the counter. If that's not exceptional service, we don't know what is.
Also, the barista served us water kept in a corked wine bottle before the orders were served. It's the same type of bottle where water is served in Your Local. Coincidence?
Other Bits and Pieces
If you're a hardcore coffee aficionado, you may be pleased to learn that Yardstick Coffee has the aptly-named Yardstick Academy of Resource & Development (Y.A.R.D.). According to the website, the academy aims to raise the quality of Philippine coffee in general by providing courses and workshops for coffee enthusiasts and professionals alike.
You can get a feel for what the course is like here. For questions, comments and reservations, drop them a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't get us wrong; Yardstick Coffee isn't perfect. For one, the lack of Wi-Fi may deter coffee enthusiasts who view places like theirs as a second home. The open atmosphere may also be off-putting to those who visit coffee shops for privacy. But its unique take on coffee shops, while being infused with the characteristic Filipino warmth, earns it a 9.5/10 from us.