Finding the perfect blend of coffee can be a lifelong pursuit for some, but not for those who’ve heard of Sherlock Cafe. While it may not be your typical local coffee shop, Sherlock Cafe differs from the rest not just by its exterior and masterfully crafted coffee, but also because of its authentic, unapologetic, and passionate personality.
Co-owned by two Benildean alumni, ID 116 Export Management alumnus Manolo Tan and ID 117 Interior Design alumna Nina Rubio, Sherlock Cafe exhibits more than just quality with their coffee.
“Regardless of where you’re from, what you’re passionate about, or what you’re into, you’ll always find open ears and opportunities for discourse here,” Tan remarked in an interview with The Benildean.
Come as you are and you will be welcomed with aromatic coffee beverages, refreshing non-caffeinated drinks, friendly baristas, and a diverse community in this quaint, maximalist, dark academia-designed space. The cafe has a lot of character, not just because of its interior, but also because of the community and the insightful conversations.
People like different things and they can’t conform to one thing. That is why Sherlock Cafe finely crafts each coffee without following any rule book. Every drink served is tailor made according to the preferences of the customer.
Tan explains that “We’re not just gonna throw our bestsellers at you. It’s like whatever you want, we’ll curate the caffeinated experience for you. If you don’t like coffee, there’s non-coffee. There’s something for you here that’s a guarantee.”
Exploring the menu
Ranging from a price of ₱100 to ₱180, the menu is divided into three categories: coffee, non-coffee, and refreshers. Since there are a lot of exchanges of ideas that take place in the cafe, every drink is experimental as some recipes spring from the feedback and ideas of customers and regulars.
When it comes to picking a best-seller, it’s quite a challenge since most, if not all, of the drinks are uniquely crafted. A few of the most notable ones come from the coffee section—boasting an exclusive roast of local Benguet and Arabica beans, are the Belgian white (₱160/₱180), Mocha (₱140/₱160), Salted Caramel (₱140/₱160), and Long Black (₱100/₱120).
As for the non-coffee options, Dutch Chocolate (₱140/₱160), Chai Karak (₱140/₱160), and Matcha Latte (₱140/₱160) are the definite go-to’s. And lastly, their Strawberry Lemonade (₱120/₱140) is worth a sip from the refreshers list.
Regardless of what your preferences are, there’s always something for you or what you're looking for. There is even a secret menu with a quirky set of drinks that’ll surprise you on every visit.
How Benilde life was blended into Sherlock
Hailing from Benilde grounds, Tan expressed that his life in Benilde affected the way they do business.
“It’s the immersion part of things [...] this is a place where you can talk to people about what you’re passionate about [...] Basically that’s how my life in Benilde has kind of poured out here. It’s kind of like giving a space for people who are passionate to talk about things,” he shared.
The list of what Sherlock cafe can offer doesn’t just stop there. They also host various events, such as “Oogie Boogie Nights,” “Blank slate sessions,” and “Flow on Fridays,” that take place almost every end of the week, with alternating DJs and music genres each session.
Why go the extra mile
Sherlock cafe is located at 3674 Bautista St., Makati. While there are many cafes in closer proximity to the campuses of DLS-CSB, Sherlock Cafe is still worth the four-minute drive—or even the 20-minute walk—from the College all for what it can offer, on and off the menu.
Tan and Rubio expressed that “It's really just eliminating the whole isolation part. We’ve had enough of that in COVID. So you go in most coffee shops nowadays, people are so secluded and sequestered [...] we’re taking out the standard barrier also.”
Coffee enthusiast or not, Sherlock Cafe serves as a common ground for people from all walks of life to simply have some good coffee and a good time.
Tan expressed that “From the drinks to the experience, we offer our truest selves,” and that’s what makes this place worth going back to.
Give this Lamondays episode a watch and you might find yourself being Sherlock Cafe’s new regular!