Of Pulling [espresso] Shots

Under a confused weather on an early afternoon of September 3rd, I drove to Concept Specialist HQ in Quezon City to attend a workshop for coffee lovers. I was under the impression that I’ll be covering the event – snap photos around, post them in Instagram and write about the event in this blog. To my pleasant surprise, I am one of the lucky few to participate in this random workshop to showcase Sanremo’s professional coffee machines and Delonghi’s home coffee equipment.


The workshop started with the introduction of Sanremo and Delonghi products. Short videos were played back-to-back to get more appreciation of the afternoon’s stars! A quick introduction of different manual brewing methods followed shortly which was spearheaded by Mike Canlas, a veteran in the local coffee industry and one of Concept Specialist’s main man! From my usual home brewing gear, the French press to Aeropress and, even the ibrik for the Turkish coffee, we got to differentiate different manual methods of extracting a flavour for a specialty coffee experience.

The familiarisation exercise on the various brewing methods is nothing but the perfect prelude to Sanremo’s flagship product, the OPERA. Its exterior can easily be compared to a luxury car. Mike diligently showed us how it works. After a few coffee grinding, tamping and purging, each one of us got to try to pull our own (my first!) espresso shot. Mine lacked pressure on tamping so I got a very watered down espresso shot with not much of a body and texture.


After enjoying our time in the exquisite Opera, we moved on to bridging the similar professional machine experience to a home equipment through Delonghi’s DEDICA. It is a very handy espresso machine perfect for your coffee party en su casa! Steam your milk right after pulling your perfect shot and create your own cappuccino and flat white with latte art!


To complete the comparison, we also got to try the fully automatic ELETTA. You only need to put in whole beans! The machine will grind it and pull you an awesome shot. Place your chilled milk in the holder and it will steam to perfection! With a press of a button, you can choose from getting a cappuccino, a long black and flat white, among others.


And to cap the day off, we were given the liberty to try any espresso machine we want and try to come up with our signature drinks! I instantly called dibs on a silver DEDICA and had to pull three shots before getting the perfect one. Double Trouble is what Mike called my drink. Too sweet even for me! It’s a mix of chocolate sauce and caramel, one shot of espresso, milk with a very abstract latte art (at least, I was able to make the milk form on top!).

This was made by Mike 🙂

I really had a blast. And that rush, oh the rush of doing something you really love – even if you’re not very good at it yet! It was a very informative and fun experience for me and the new friends I met in that afternoon. Thanks to Sanremo, Delonghi and ultimately, Concept Specialist for inviting me!

Frank x Dean

Frank x Dean is one of the cafes I frequent the most. It’s a few blocks away from the office at Bonifacio Global City so it has become a perfect go-to place to relieve stress or just kill time.


They are relatively young, with operations started barely a year ago. They are the first shop to open in the Forbes Town Center Open Garden. As of this writing, Tipsy Pig has already opened. With its very modern and artsy vibe, Frank x Dean has slid through the BGC market pretty smoothly.


Frank x Dean teams up with Yardstick Coffee to upscale their coffee menu and is at par with their creative and delectable food selections.

Here are a few of what I’ve tried so far:

Frank’s Espresso Shake

I am down with anything topped with ice cream! Frank’s Espresso Shake is iced beverage concocted with espresso shots, milk and vanilla ice cream! Perfect for a post-lunch drink with friends!


Basic Brew & Homemade Blueberry Cheesecake

This combination I got after a long day at work. I love the simplicity of the Basic Brew. It’s black and light-bodied. It has a very low level of acidity and just enough bitterness to wake you up. No unpleasant after taste which is really, really good.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I paired it with the melt-in-your-mouth Homemade Blueberry Cheesecake. I was really surprised at how the big the slice is! Crust was a bit too hard but it’s fine. That blueberry jam oozing from the top is really the star!

Long Black and Doughnut

I’ve been trying to get a bite of their doughnut but I only got a chance a few weeks ago. It was a bit crumbly and has a bit sour aftertaste (though not the bad sour, maybe brought by lime extract?). Paired it with a long black to get that perfect balance of bittersweet.

Another Day


I love the sharp taste of their cappuccino. It cuts right through my palate which makes it easy to down a cup! The foam is just the most perfect I’ve seen so far. I’m not a great of milk foams but I’d be pissed to miss this one.


Visit Frank x Dean in the morning from 7AM – 10AM. You’ll get a free basic brew for an order of a breakfast. Also, make sure to taste their pizzas for a #HoldAndFold experience!

Frank x Dean gives a different experience for your usual cravings! I love how I can just escape the busy urban life without really leaving the business district. I’d suggest to go in the afternoon and pick an al fresco table.

Frank & Dean Cafe x Kitchen

1/F Forbes Town Center Open Garden

Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig