In Search of a Good Coffice

A coffice (coffeehouse + office) is a place where one can get coffee, but also where one can set up a laptop computer and do office work.

coffice

Despite my fervent hopes that somebody (business, interest group, enterprising individuals) would finally open a fully functional honest-to-goodness coffice (see how an actual coffice operates in London; Ziferblat London, pictured above) here in Metro Manila, it looks like it won’t be happening anytime soon.
So, to satiate my craving for a nice coffice, I am instead going to point out a few coffee shops that have become my favorite “working” haunts (as a freelancer). As I am fairly mobile, I can usually be found working away in some cafe in various parts of the metro. I find that this constant scenery change works best for my mercurial working habits, and coffeehouses have literally become my office of sorts.

Usually it takes me 30 minutes to 1 hour to decide if I “liked” the place well enough to consider it a favorite, which means that there is a very high probability that I would be coming back to that establishment sooner rather than later. Other times, I can tell right away that I’m going to like the place just a few seconds after I enter the store entrance. Typically it requires a quirky combination of factors — even seemingly inconsequential ones —  but when they do hit the spot, it just makes your work a little easier.

Anyway, here they are in no particular order.

1. Caffe Bene (SM BF, Paranaque City)
Pros: Fast internet, spacious, includes a walled smokers’ area, relatively near
Cons: Can get fairly crowded on weekends, closing time is rather early (9:00 pm)

Caffe Bene (SMBF)

2. Starbucks SM Aura (Bonifacio Global City, Makati)
Pros: Spacious with high ceilings, numerous convenience outlets, not too crowded
Cons: Too far, closing time is rather early, no wi-fi

3. Bo’s Coffee (Glorietta 4, Makati)
Pros: Good food selection; increased number of chairs, tables, and convenience outlets; fairly accessible; open for 24 hours; free wi-fi (for up to 2 hours)
Cons: Can get too crowded pretty quickly

4. Starbucks Bluebay Walk (EDSA cor. Macapagal Blvd., Pasay City)
Pros: Numerous convenience outlets, spacious, great lighting scheme, piped-in music, free parking, not too crowded (for now), long operating hours; a perfect place for reviewers
Cons: A bit far, no wi-fi

There you go. I am fairly certain that I will be expanding this list soon, but for the moment these are the places that I consider premium — which means that working in these particular coffeehouses can be a breeze. Also, I will be blogging about each of these establishments in detail later (when I have more time at my disposal).

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A Free Drink from Starbucks

Starbucks Free DrinkNice. This marks the fifth or sixth time that Starbucks gave me a free drink (on my next visit, that is) after randomly hitting the store jackpot of sorts.

I don’t know exactly how they time these things — purely hit or miss, I reckon (or perhaps it’s because I just happened to be their 100,000th visitor for the current month) — whatever it is, a freebie is always welcome, particularly if it’s coffee (latte!) from Starbucks.

What usually happens is, after you pay (and Lady Luck happens to smile on you), the barista at the cash register will pull out this extra-long receipt, then give you a smile and say something like, “Ma’am/sir, it looks like it’s your lucky day. You get a free drink next time you visit one of our stores.”
Starbucks Customer Voice
After a confused look of befuddlement crosses your face, you pocket the receipt wondering what just happened. Then, you realize that the barista isn’t through with you yet.

They will tell you to keep this receipt (which contains a 16-digit Customer code), then log on to their site (MyStarbucksVisit) where you’re supposed to complete a short survey, after which you will be given a five-digit code. You’re supposed to write that code down in the receipt they gave you earlier. Then presto, you’re entitled to a free drink of your choice.

Pretty neat, huh?

(Note: Nope I wasn’t asked/paid to do this piece.)