A cup of coffee in Lanang

THE last thing you would see amid a pandemic is the opening of new coffee shops. However, after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was lifted and Davao City transitioned to a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), a new coffee shop opened in Lanang, Davao.

Espresso Lab in Lanang Suites opened sometime in July offering a great cup of coffee for those living in the Northern part of Davao City.


THE PLACE

Espresso Lab features a modern industrial interior. I love the gray and brown tones of the coffee shop.

It has a variety of seating options for its customers. It has high tables and chairs at the center of the coffee shop. There are also some near the entrance.

At the sides of the shop, you have tables for four. You also have some armchairs on the other side of the coffee shop. 

If you like seeing the action going on at the counter, there are also several seats at the counter.

I also find the coffee shop to be quite spacious too.

My favorite aspect of the coffee shop is its wall of lightbulbs. I think it is because it is something new to me. It is also the favorite spot for many customers to take their photos.


FOOD and BEVERAGE

The coffee shop offers a range of food and beverages that many will enjoy.

Espresso Lab serves a great cup of coffee — whether it is their pour-over coffee or one of its espresso-based drinks. 

One of my favorite drinks here is their Passionfruit Magicano. It is iced Americano with passionfruit syrup. I love that sweet and citrusy flavor the passionfruit adds to the traditional iced americano drink.

I also like their latte here. I don’t usually order it because I have a tendency to go for the Magicano but when I want something different, I would go for the latte.

The Rose Latte is also great. Somehow, the taste of the rose water reminds me of Bali, Indonesia.

They source their beans locally for their espresso-based drinks.

For their pour-over coffee, they offer beans from Urban Coffee Roaster. These beans come from Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. 

Their Ethiopian coffee beans are my go-to option. I just love the taste of coffee from Ethiopia. Love those fruity notes. The coffee beans from Papua New Guinea also gave an interesting and memorable experience after it was brewed. I was surprised to get notes of raisins from the Papua New Guinean coffee.

As for their food, overall, I have no complaints. I like most of the dishes.

Their breakfast sets are my favorite. I tend to go with the Lightweight set, which includes bacon, tocino, toasted bread, eggs, and hashbrown. All the components of the set are good. The bacon was tasty while I love the balance of the sweet and salty of the tocino. I am also a big fan of their toasted bread. 

Another favorite of mine is the pork steak. I just love how well seasoned it is. However, some would find it a bit too salty. Nonetheless, I love it. I tend to eat it too quickly though. 

The Tocino Sandwich is also a must-order. Messy to eat but a really good breakfast sandwich. I also like the bread they use for the sandwich — light but not airy.

Espresso Lab also makes their own pastries. They are serving mainly Basque cheesecakes. Currently, their available flavors include Earl Gray, Blackout (Dark chocolate), Matcha, and Burnt Basque. They also have Hokkaido Cheesecake, Japanese Passionfruit Cheesecake, and Double Chocolate Orange Cake. You can also order their cakes as a whole but you have to message or contact them in advance.

I like the Hokkaido Cheesecake, which is light, fluffy, and not too sweet.

They are also introducing a new cake — Double Chocolate Orange Cake. It tastes like that orange-flavored Bingo we used to had during recess while in high school or elementary. I think orange and chocolate are an underrated pairing and I think they work really well together.

The Japanese Passionfruit Cheesecake is also a personal favorite. I love the crunch from the candied passionfruit seeds. 

One of the things I noticed about their cakes is it is not very sweet. Those who do not have a sweet tooth will enjoy eating their cakes. Those who love cakes and sweets will be satisfied and happy with the level of sweetness of their cakes.


SERVICE

Overall, I experienced and observed good service from Espresso Lab.

One of the proactive actions I observed from the staff is ensuring that the glass of water of the customers is filled. I like how they refill your glass without asking them.

The staff is also quite knowledgeable about the products they offer as they are able to explain most of the items on the menu properly.

I also love that the comfort room is kept clean. They have placed some small cards in the comfort room that you could hand out to the staff if it needs attention. 

In compliance with government guidelines for the pandemic, the coffee shop has marked some seats to observe social distancing. There are also reminders placed on tables to remind customers to wear their masks and to follow other minimum health protocols. There are also QR codes placed at counter for you to scan and fill out the contact tracing form.

Espresso Lab also has Wi-Fi. But with the state of our internet service in the country, don’t expect much. It is fast enough to get some work done.


BOTTOMLINE

When Mugshot’s Beauford informed me about the new coffee shop in Lanang, I got excited. Prior to Espresso Lab’s opening, I think there was no decent coffee shop in the area that I know of. 

The opening of Espresso Lab in the Northern part of the city will allow those living in the area to enjoy a good cup of coffee. 

I love many things about this coffee shop — food, beverages, service, and the ambiance. I also like working here, especially early in the afternoon.

Overall, Espresso Lab is a well-rounded coffee shop with the quality of what it has to offer and a great place to work or simply dine.

Espresso Lab is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. They are located at the ground floor of Lanang Suites in Lanang, Davao City.


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