By Michael Karlo Lim
LIKE with the mythological sirens of old, no one seems immune to the call of the twin-tailed one. I, for one, am a card-carrying Argonaut drowning myself in Venti Matcha-Espresso Fusions, the timely price-off Wednesday special or any of her limited-time offer iced marketing blends.
The average human male is about 60 percent water. About forty of my own composition is caffeinated. Coffee is my can-o-spinach, but I am by no means a connoisseur. I’d spit expletives between sips of random bad blacks, but I would do so to the last drop. I’d even have instant, convenience store dispenser variants and three-in-ones. When I can, however, I try to be purist and take it back.
The almost nondescript Linear Coffee Roasters is the best thing that has happened to my back street office-building, so far. Coffee is the language spoken here, and their concoctions are the exchange. While its home culture has artisanal and, by default, hipster leanings, we are presented only with the real coffee-geeks sans the pretense of painstakingly groomed mustaches and man buns.
Green Beans Trader& Roaster Lanz Mirondo declares that they are more a coffee-tasting bar and roastery than a café. “We’re all about carefully-sourced coffee. Linear is a place where you can interact with the baristas and other customers – coffee lovers all – while having our seasonally rotated offerings.”
Here a tip can is in place of a cash register, and a modest price point is declared across all coffees should one insist for a definite amount to pay. The community vibe is palpable with all guests squeezing into the available space and bonding over the brews and mainly brew-talk.
My initiation to their lineup was a cold-brew of Kenyan beans served in an Old-fashioned with ball ice and dried rose petals. It was quite the straightforward caffeine kick with the subtle fruity and floral notes from the medium roast brought to the front by the actual florals.
Having already been plied a wonderful variety of blacks for weeks, a shakeup was quite welcome. Fresh cow’s milk from Tenshinzhan, Japanese dairy farm in Negros, made a substantial latte with the rather winey Mt. Apo Arabica.
Cascara, Spanish for “husk,” “peel” or “skin,” is the dried skins of coffee cherries. Simply steeped in hot water, it results in a naturally sweet, fruity drink with a hint of smokiness. Technically not coffee without the inclusion of the beans nor an actual tea as it isn’t brewed from leaves, this exotica is best classified a tisane. Also known as Coffee Cherry Tea, it’s an excellent consideration for those undecided between the two.
Their Mt. Apo cold-brewed in milk, still Tenshinzhan, yields an exceptionally creamy and velvety drink with the liquor-like flavor of the coffee making it quite like a virgin take on Bailey’s. Their cold brews already a buzzword among the locals inclined; this special is quite the hot-ticket selling out online all the time.
As strong as their coffee is their conviction to serve coffee as it should be. The option for sugar or sweeteners isn’t offered nor do they stock any. This is along their bent for education and for the appreciation of the coffees’ actual flavors and the more subtle nuances otherwise masked by added sweetness.
The everyman need not be deterred by that sugar-averse preset as they encourage the pairing of their coffees with food. Their Frozen Mango-Lychee Cheesecake readily complements the fruity flavors of their mostly African-Arabian selections. Temperature contrasts between the cake and coffee play well against each other as do the flavors.
Their cookies are a more simple pairing option I would recommend for their more nutty, earthy and chocolatey South American coffees. Any one of their availabilities would ac
tually do. As to the backstory of these so curiously named “Cookie Ng Ina Ni Ralph”, that would be one of their many stories you would be privy to over enjoying a cup or two.
Linear Coffee Roasters is located at the ground floor of Mariepaz Suites, C. Rosal, Molave, Kamputhaw, Cebu City.