When twelve year olds know what sizes they prefer for their Mocha Frappes, and a single mall would house not one but at least three outlets selling these, it's not far fetched to say that we already have one too many coffee churners in the metro.
And then, Caffe Ti-amo decides to join the game.
Caffe Ti-amo is Jollibee Food Corporations' latest venture, their attempt to penetrate the market catering to caffeine slaves. What's a bee got to do with making coffee? Nothing. But trust his charm, superb marketing skills and penchant for mass expansions, for more coffee options at competitive, if not, cheaper prices. P79 for a Poco or a "short" Mocha Frappe? Now that's one thing you've got to love!
This brand, originally from Korea, offers the usual family of Latte, Cappuccino, Macchiato, Americano, and Espresso with prices ranging from P75 for the smallest and at P130 for the largest. Their beans are purportedly just from "the finest from around the world." Though the Cappuccino (P79) I've had on two occasions did not spell extraordinaire, it didn't give off undesirable flavors. Mostly creamy, silky and nutty, it had all the traits of an acceptable Cappuccino. I'm no coffee connoisseur but I know when a coffee is bad, too acidic, and muddy; Cafe Ti-amo's isn't.
What they miss with their passable but relatively drab coffee blends, they make up for in their branding, interiors and food line. If only I could, I'll give who ever designed their Greenbelt (flagship) branch my highest praises and stamp 5 shiny stars on his/her hand.
I've been to other cafes that are obviously bigger than Caffe Ti-amo's space, but none were as comfortable and open. It was bright, wide, and spacious. Mismatched cushions and chairs can be found all over, but not so close for you to be bothered by the other table's conversation. When I saw a rocking chair at one of the tables, I knew I had to sit on it. They have a Victorian style rocking chair! How much cooler can they get?
Apparently? A lot more. Because aside from the rocking chairs, they have a sofa bed in their "Anything Area" where customers are welcome to lounge, and even lie down(!), to their hearts content. I wanted to wait for the person occupying the sofa bed to leave so I can baptize it, check how comfy it feels. But who am I kidding? The guy had the best seat (bed) in the house with unlimited free wifi. He's not leaving if not for Anne Curtis!
But aside from their interiors that successfully gives you the feeling of the outdoors while indoors, this coffee shop is set apart from among others by their gelato line. To cut it short, not only is this a cafe, it's also a dessert place.
Their gelato, just like their coffee, is just about one of the cheapest you can get in the metro. A small cup will cost you a mere 49 pesos. The largest, where in you can combine 4 flavors, would only cost you P169. You can opt to eat them as is but Caffe Ti-amo promotes three more exciting ways for you to enjoy your gelato. Having tasted all, let me say I promote them, too.
If you want to hit two birds with one stone, try their Affogato, which is a mix of espresso, vanilla or tiramisu gelato, plus cashews, which would only cost you P99.
The mixture works well, that's if you don't mind and espresso that's extra creamy. I don't. I love how they even added cashews for added texture. Served in a nifty way, the kind that includes heart handles and happy spoons, you'd definitely feel like your getting more than what you paid for when you opt for this.
Ordering a Waffle Gelato on the other hand entitles you to your choice of gelato, whipped cream, and slices of kiwi and peaches, beautifully placed on top of a thick, flavorful, but not so sweet waffle.
Be careful in choosing your waffle size though as they may come surprisingly big. You'd have to be a severely depressed emotional eater, dumped twice on the same day, before I believe that you've just had their Grande Waffle Gelato (P379) by yourself. Our group of three girls asked for this one and we barely finished the dessert that is the size of a plate.
Last of the ways you can enjoy your gelato is by putting it on top of a honey- toasted, butter-soaked bread named Honeybread Gelato (P120). The light, cinammon-tasting bread definitely goes well with fruity gelato flavors. Opt for this if you want something lighter than the waffle.
Peppermint tea to wash all the flavors
Even in an already dense coffee market, Caffe Ti-amo's sofa bed, rocking chairs, happy spoons, indoor tree, and gelato flavors make it unlike any cafe we now have in the metro. That's not to mention the relatively low prices they charge for their products. If they'd retain the same "in-fresco" interiors and budget-friendly prices in the rest of their future branches, it is not unlikely to see the brand grow as mighty as its father bee's business. If anything, this darling of a cafe does deserve that little heart that always accompanies its name.