Kape Diaries’ Favorite Coffee Shops of 2022

The year 2022 is another memorable year for the coffee scene in Davao City because of the number of coffee shops opening around town. It felt like almost every month, one or two new coffee shops open in town.

With so many coffee shops to visit in the city, I am surprised that I am still able to narrow it down.

The reason these coffee shops are on the list is that I enjoyed everything they have to offer — coffee, service, vibe, and food (if available).

In no particular order, let’s start the list.


Lot38

Location: Deca Indangan Phase 1

This was my biggest surprise for the year.

When I visited Lot38, I was honestly blown away by the design of the small coffee shop alone. Gotta love that your eye goes directly to the small zen garden that has been framed like a painting.

Lot38 also impressed me with their drink. The Gentleman’s Americano has to be one of my favorite coffee drinks this year. It was not your standard Americano given the smokiness and umami you get from the drink. Europa, their version of a sea salt latte, has a striking blue color that makes me not want to drink it because it was so pretty.

Another great aspect of Lot38 is its options for pour-over too. There is a good selection to choose from.

Lastly, I love Lot38 for the uniqueness of its mugs and glassware. It gives so much personality to the shop.


Steep Kohi

Location: Circumferential Road, Marfori

I had no idea I will love Steep Kohi so much this year.

Located inside a travel agency, Steep Kohi is a small coffee nook. The owner is the lone barista of the coffee shop and does a great job in handling several customers at once.

Having tried several of their drinks already, I can say that they took time to carefully craft their drinks. The result is a menu offering quality drinks using only the best ingredients.

One of the most memorable coffees I had was from Steep Kohi. It was a pour-over of Bukidnon coffee that had notes of peaches, cherries, and bananas.

Another regular order of mine is their Sakura, which is a refreshing non-coffee drink that I would highly recommend.


Humble Coffee

Location: San Pedro St.

I think what makes Humble Coffee so memorable to me is how it is located in one of the last places I think I would find a decent coffee shop.

I find their concept and where they are located quite unique from other coffee shops. It is nice to find a grab-and-go coffee shop in this part of town.

For their drinks, I love their Spanish Latte with ice cream, Affogato, and the Iced Americano.

But the drink that I just keep coming back for is their Bandung Latte or Pink Coffee, with or without the coffee. In terms of presentation, the pink color of the drink just pops and makes it look so appetizing. In terms of taste, it is a really good drink that I could not get off my mind.


Lerus Coffee

Location: Lacson St., corner Cervantes St, Bo. Obrero

One of the many coffee shops within the “Obrero Coffee Town”, Lerus was my go-to place every Sunday. (No, they do not have WiFi but I use my mobile data to work whenever I am here. And I’m fine with this) Anyway, I find the coffee shop to be conducive to working. It is fairly quiet and there is seldom a noisy crowd.

Lerus also serves a decent cup of coffee. I love all my orders here — Citrus Black, Americano, Spanish Latte, and Einspanner. They also serve a good cup of cappuccino too.

I also like their croffles here. As a cinnamon lover, my regular order is the Cinnamon Sugar Croffle.


Glasshouse Coffee

Location: Oboza Heritage House, Rizal St.

It was a toss-up between their main branch in Rizal and the new one at Aeon Towers. But I have to go with the main branch simply because I love its overall vibe compared to the Aeon branch.

Glasshouse also serves a great cup of coffee and delicious bagels. Of course, my favorite is their Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Bagel. It is a savory bagel sandwich with a sweet finish.

For their coffee, I like their Americano though I also enjoy a good cup of cappuccino from time to time.


Darkk Coffee

Location: Teodoro Palma Gil St., Obrero

Since discovering them at their first location in Diamond Village Phase 1, I have enjoyed the coffee they have to offer.

One of the things I love about Darkk is the pour-over selections. Just like many other coffee shops that offer pour-over coffee, they change their offerings for pour-over from time to time. Thus, it is always a different coffee experience for me whenever I come here.

I also enjoy their iced latte and iced Americano. They also offer a different-tasting cold brew. I do not want to spoil it for you. Go there and try the cold brew.


Secret Garden Cafe

Location: Opal St., SM Village, Bangkal

Secret Garden Cafe’s location is quite far from where I work and live. Despite the distance, it is always a worthwhile visit here.

The cafe has a great selection of coffee, matcha, and non-coffee concoctions. Each drink is carefully crafted and tastes pretty good. Some of the drinks I have tried are the Salted Popcorn Latte, Matcha Mango, and the Lychee Bliss.

The cafe also serves, what I think, is one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in the city too. I also like the Bacon and Maple Grilled Cheese, it was a sweet and savory snack to enjoy with your coffee.


Purge Coffee Roaster

Location: Tulip Drive, Juna Subd.

I’m going to keep this short for Purge because it is simply a great coffee shop. Hence, being on my Favorite List for the third time.

One of the OG third-wave coffee shops in Davao City. Purge Coffee Roaster just never fails to serve me a good cup of coffee. The Mocha Lava is a favorite of mine and their pour-overs are always good.


Grind Coffee

Location: Padre Gomez St.

One of the first mobile coffee shops in Davao City, Grind Coffee has a soft spot in my heart. I have seen them grow from being a pop-up along Roxas St. to now operating both a mobile coffee shop and a physical shop along Padre Gomez St.

Similar to Espresson, this is also one of my go-to shops near my workplace. My regular orders here are their caramel cold brew, Strawberry Collins, and iced latte.

I also love hanging out at their coffee shop when I can. I like chilling and enjoying my coffee as the cars pass by.


Olo

Location: Ecoland

The coffee shop is one of the best-looking coffee shops that opened this year. I love how they recycled wood from their old house to be used for the coffee shop.

Olo also serves a good cup of coffee. My regular orders here would be their Espresso Tonic, Smile., and Iced Americano. I also enjoy their pour-over every now and then too.

However, one of the biggest wins for them is their pastries. Olo’s pastries are some of the best I have had this year. Of all the pastries I tried here, their chicken pot pie and burger were my favorites.


SPECIAL MENTIONS

(Note: I am trimming down this section from 2022 to make it simpler)


Hall of Fame: Purge Coffee Roaster

The coffee shop is on my favorite coffee shop list for the third time now. Hence, I am putting it up in my hall of fame.

As I said earlier, Purge Coffee Roaster is a well-rounded coffee shop offering a great cup of coffee that you can enjoy with some tasty waffles.

Their pour-over, Iced Americano, cold brew, and Mocha Lava are some of my favorite orders here. Their Mocha Lava is definitely my favorite of their espresso-based drinks.


Go-to for Pour-over: Darkk Coffee, Purge Coffee Roaster

Both coffee shops offer a great selection of coffee beans for pour-over. Purge, I think, offers some of my favorite local coffee beans for pour-over. As for Darkk, I like his foreign beans selections. Both coffee shops offer a different pour-over experience whenever you visit them.


Pour-over of the year: Steep Kohi’s Bukidnon beans by Milalittra farmers

This pour-over blew me away when I first had it. I did not know that you would find notes of peaches and cherries from Bukidnon coffee. It also had notes of banana but more like a minatamis.


Signature espresso-based drink of the year: Lot38’s Gentleman’s Americano

There were so many good espresso-based drinks this year! However, I have to give the crown to Lot38’s Gentleman’s Americano. The drink was smokey and had an umami finish to it. It is one of those drinks that really impressed me this year.

Other memorable espresson drinks this year are Humble’s Bandung Latte, Owl Cafe’s Coffee Jelly, Hid’n’s Milo Espresso, Cafe Sola’s Lavender Latte, Lot38’s Europa, Lerus’ Citrus Black, Cafe Prelaya’s Orange, to name a few (I’ll make a separate post on this)


Non-coffee drink of the year: Zandro’s California Adventure

This drink was crafted for kids. BUT! This is a delightful drink that I crave constantly. It is also my favorite drink here by far. This is a malty drink topped with fruity cereals.


Hid’n Coffee

Of course, I will advertise our coffee shop. Hid’n is one of the leaps I took in 2022 and I am happy to take part in the industry. But since I am one of the owners, I cannot include it on my favorite list. That would be odd (hahaha). However, our Milo Espresso is one of my favorite espresso-based drinks for the year. It is a nostalgic cup of coffee. Visit us along N. Torres St. (The road connecting Abreeza and Obrero).


Well, those are my top coffee shops of 2022. It was not easy coming up with this list because there are several great coffee shops in the city, which you can check in my Kape Ta! Coffee Shop Guide. You can also check my previous favorite lists: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021.


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