Inspired by the row of London alleyway coffee shops of the late 1500s that served as the melting pot for commerce, Exchange Alley Coffee House hopes to become its own haven for coffee lovers in Alabang.
It is the first standalone speciality coffee shop in the neighborhood down south, serving beautiful mugs of coffee and open-faced breakfast toasts at 7am—a rare sighting specially in the super relaxed and late-to-rise Alabang.
Well-lit with two floors, wall sockets and ample parking within the new Molito wing, Exchange Alley serves all sorts: the freelancer that needs to park himself for that deadline, groups that need to congregate for business (the open second floor can be used for private functions), or for casual conversation.
Those who have followed Jonathan Choi’s career will see Exchange Alley has the marriage between his two ventures in BF Homes, Magnum Opus Fine Coffees and Bread And Botany.
Because it is conveniently located in the new wing of Molito, Exchange Alley is able to avoid the traps of mall hours yet still manages to cater to the very same market of Alabang Town Center. The third wave coffee house acts as a respite from the three Starbucks branches densely packed in that one area, too.
Specialty coffee is the star: you have the standard fare of hot and iced espresso drinks (with and without milk) but if you can’t decide what to get, you can always ask the barista for a Duet (starts P150). Because every order contains two shots of coffee, a Duet splits your coffee into two drinks, say a shot of espresso and the other shot going into a latte.
Now, if you’re looking for something offbeat, you may want a shot at their cold nitro coffees. There are two cold nitro coffees on offer: the Nitro Black (P190) and the Stout (P250).
Similar to an emerging “coffee on tap” concept that treats coffee like beer, “nitro coffee” or nitrogen-infused coffee can best be described as cold coffee with the texture of draft beer. Coffee is shocked with nitrogen gas to create a cold, creamy textured drink with micro foam. From afar, it’s hard to tell whether you’re drinking a beer or coffee.
On the savory end, Exchange Alley prides itself with sandwiches done differently. Fans of Bread And Botany in BF Homes will recognize traces of Jon’s handiwork with his jams and fillings, diverting from the more traditional sandwiches you can find anywhere.
Heck, even their plain Burnt Butter and Toast (P95) is something worth getting your mouth into. But if there was something worth recommending off the bat, the Mashed Avocado Toast (P180) topped with your choice of egg, salmon or prosciutto are all 5/5 stars.
By, the way, Exchange Alley is also a roaster, which means coffee here is served fresh everyday. If you love it so much, you can actually purchase beans by the bag and have them ground to your preference so you can brew at home. Ask any friendly barista and they can definitely give you a short tour of the roasting room at the second floor.
Unit 3 Molito Lifestyle Building 7, Madrigal-Commerce Junction, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. 7am-9pm. Instagram: @eac.h
Photos: Monica Panteleon
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