A lauded barista and prominent luminary of the Philippines’ burgeoning café scene, Andre Chanco worked in Singapore as an IT consultant for some years before discovering his calling. Coffee-crazed Singapore empowered him to open his own café in Manila. He founded Yardstick Coffee, which is saluted as one of the best cafes in Makati. Dedicated to serving high-quality coffee, Andre loves imparting skills essential to making good coffee to those interested. His numerous experiences and knowledge amassed groomed him into a bonafide expert, which he now uses to drive Manila’s coffee movement.

Andre Chanco and Leon Foo at Yardstick Coffee in Manila. The concept for Yardstick Coffee was inspired by Andre’s experiences in Singapore.

Be awoken to coffee
A barista making coffee at Chye Seng Huat Hardware

Become a more knowledgeable appreciator of coffee by visiting Papa Palheta, a famous coffee bean supplier and pioneer of specialty coffee in Singapore that convinced Andre to swap his computer for filters, pourers and knock boxes. Intrigued by Singapore’s coffee wave, which centred around Papa Palheta, Andre’s passion for coffee convinced him to apply to work weekends as a novice in Papa Palheta. This bastion of knowledge invites you too to learn more about the sourcing, roasting and preparation of coffee, here.

A 360-degree experience of a cuppa
Barista brewing pour-over drip coffee with a gooseneck kettle at Chye Seng Huat Hardware

A quirky arm of Papa Palheta also located in the thriving coffee district of Lavender, Chye Seng Huat Hardware too champions the art of coffee-making and made a strong impression on young Andre. Learn how coffee beans are roasted, in its roasting chamber, take away invaluable knowledge from its coffee school, and become a more discerning imbiber after a session in its private tasting room. Here too, you can indulge while growing as a coffee connoisseur in this revamped building that was once a hardware store, but now houses an influential institution of third wave coffee culture.

Visit Andre’s recommendations
Barista demonstrating latte art

Another favourite café of Andre’s, Nylon Coffee Roasters invites you to taste coffee from celebrated global bean exporters, like Brazil and Ethiopia. Like Yardstick Coffee, Nylon is a great place for discovering hand-brewing techniques. Witness your coffee made in an intricate manner that best expresses each batch of beans’ original flavour.

An establishment in Kampong Glam that’s shaping Singapore’s flourishing coffee culture is Symmetry, where you can enjoy a good cuppa. Andre recommends popping into Common Man Roasters while exploring the Singapore River, where you can enjoy an unmatched experience of unique blends and single-origin coffees. Andre likes Geisha Specialty Coffee too in nearby Bencoolen, which indulges you in high-scoring gourmet Panama coffee in an authentic Japanese café setting.

“Coffee is magical by how it connects people,” Andre shares. “My story comes with every cup of coffee that I serve. With every sip, people somehow get a glimpse of the personal experiences that allowed me to make my passion a reality in Singapore. And now, having Yardstick back at home, we become connected even deeper because they get an actual taste of that passion.”