It’s not everyday that you’re invited to partake in “coffee that will change your life,” so when my officemate told us that this specific drink is capable of just that, our interest was awakened. Let’s take a look at how this humble coffee altered the trajectory of my destiny.
With the multitude of coffee spaces that popped up during the pandemic, it’s not hard to get lost in all the brand names that pass through our peripherals. Because Coffee by harlan + holden is one brand that sticks to my mind because of its unorthodox name. Who is Harlan? Who is Holden? All I know is that they have a branch in Bonifacio Global City. That info is enough for me to view it as an upper-class coffee shop and not something I would visit regularly.
But as I said in my opening paragraph, here comes my officemate with his guarantee for this “life-changing” coffee. With only P185 + Delivery to lose, some officemates and I booked the Sea Salt Latte on Grabfood and eagerly awaited this momentous turning point in our existence.
The Grab driver arrived and gave us a paper bag filled with lots of plastic bottles. I was surprised to see that this coffee is something that we have to assemble ourselves. With a price tag that’s more than double my average daily spending for coffee, I thought all I had to do was sip it and enjoy.
But I guess just like most things in life, we have to exert some effort and do things ourselves for change to happen. A bitter pill to swallow, but made easier to digest with this expensive iced coffee.
The mastermind behind this operation, Ira James, showed us how to make this coffee. Just empty the 250ml coffee into a glass and then pour the 60ml sea salt cream on top.
It was a bit more difficult than I thought. I learned that the best way to get all the sea salt cream out is to shake it vigorously before opening the bottle. Alternatively, you can just poke around with a spoon handle and hope for the best.
The result is an innocent-looking glass of coffee. The label says that it’s “Best Served Chilled” so there’s no need for any ice if the bottle is already cold to your liking.
Time for the moment of truth. We slowly put the cup to our lips and took a sip. We swallowed and waited for our lives to be changed forever.
There was no indication that anything grand had happened. No stars aligned or portals activated. All that happened was that we agreed that it was very nice coffee.
It’s not a new concept, but the saltiness of the cream complemented the taste of the coffee. The coffee itself was a bit too sweet for me, so I added a lot of ice to dilute the taste. I’m not a coffee snob so I can’t really explain the complexities of the flavors, but it was good coffee. Despite the sweetness, the coffee flavor was still present and there was hardly any bitterness.
And since I’m not the only one who tasted this elixir for the first time, here’s what my other officemates thought about the drink:
My life hasn’t changed yet but my wallet has. Hahahaha (my money) is about to run out. Hahahaha char -Alecks
‘Magbabago buhay mo pag na-tikman mo’ was the phrase that caught me when my co-worker offered me this drink. I grabbed it without having second thoughts because in this world full of never-ending cycles, who doesn’t want change, right? Upon drinking it, there’s no significant change that happened haha but there’s something in it that will instantly light up your mood. Maybe it’s the salty taste, or the way you pour the cream onto the coffee, or simply because its with whom you share all the process preparing it. -Shane
I didn’t feel anything (life-changing), I need another round of the sea salt (latte) hahahaha sheeesh -Hannah
‘Ang sea salt latte, masarap naman dahil ikaw ang KAPEling. ☕️’ -Princess
So yes, it’s decent coffee. But is it worth the price tag? The sea salt cream is something that can’t be easily replicated, but the coffee can be replaced with your own preferred blend. Plus, I’m not liking shops that sell coffee in these plastic bottles. That’s a lot of waste for a one-time consumption.
But if you’ve got the budget for it and like your iced coffee sweet with a salty kick, this is worth your money. Lots of people I know have tried and liked this coffee. It’s got rave reviews online. But for the real harlan + holden experience, I suggest you drink this at their actual store.
I think I can find a cheaper way to replicate this sweet + salty taste with my coffee and I’ll let y’all know if I pull it off. This was definitely an experience. But was it a life-changing one? We’ll just have to wait and see. Maybe the effects aren’t immediate. 😉
Because Coffee by Harlan + Holden
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7am to 9pm
G/F One Bonifacio, Philippine Stock Exchange,
5th Avenue, BGC, Taguig
Thanks for reading. If you have a favorite iced coffee to recommend, let me know because I’m on the search to find the best one in the metro. Stay safe!