It all started with a few friends who were nowhere near being coffee aficionados, but whose passion for caffeine was all the same. As Lino Cayetano, one of the café’s partners, reminisces: “Luna was born out of coffee and a what if.”The homegrown brand has made a name for itself as one of the most accessible places to hit up for local specialty coffee—especially for residents in the Fort area, where two of its initial branches are located. But for those who are looking for something different from the hustle and bustle of their first two branches, you can expect something more like a hideout down south. Their newer Kapihan by Luna Specialty Coffee branch in Alabang doesn’t feel as hectic—the pace and crowd are more relaxed and even the price points are slightly lower. “It’s not in a mall, not in a commercial space, but somewhere you can just walk to,” Cayetano explains. “We want something that brings you home.”The café, which still prides itself on their Filipino roasts, allows their customers to experience the entire spectrum of coffee through their specialty blends, which vary each month—a way for customers to experience something different each time they visit.Like any other coffee-dependent student, I’m curious about the distinct flavor of Luna’s brew. “We purposely went for the sweet and bold because it’s a balance of not-so-bitter and smooth,” Cayetano explains. On the other side of their roster, for those who prefer to take their coffee sweet, Luna offers flavors inspired by our childhood sari-sari store favorites. The Candyccino line offers ice-blended coffee drinks with hints of White Rabbit and even Flat Tops.Once they figured out the fundamental coffee bases for Luna, the team dug deep into everything else that went along with it. Taking into consideration our local food culture, they immediately thought of the Filipino breakfast. “Our culture urges us to have a heavy breakfast,” Cayetano reminds us. Without a doubt, the Metro is already brimming with restaurants that serve Filipino food, but very few that specialize in Pinoy breakfasts.Luna prides themselves on their tapa lineup, which is different from those offered in their first branch—Garlic Tapa and Luna’s Famous Crispy Tapa (both of which are available for PHP99 during all-day Tapa Thursdays). Their localized takes on grilled sandwiches are also a must-try—namely the Bistek & Cheese and Grilled Cheese and Chicken Adobo. Lito’s personal favorite, a dish he had rushed because he couldn’t wait to show us, is the Eggs Benedict (off-menu, but you heard it from us).
“When you say Kapihan, it sounds like a place that you don’t even have to think about,” he says. “A lot of us associate coffee with waking up, but it’s more than that—it’s a constant companion that helps you pass time through the day.”
Photography by Chio Gonzalez
KAPIHAN BY LUNA SPECIALTY COFFEE IS OPEN FROM 7AM TO 11PM AND IS LOCATED AT 2/F CTP ALPHA BUILDING, INVESTMENT DRIVE, MADRIGAL BUSINESS PARK IN MUNTINLUPA CITY. FOLLOW THEM ONLINE AT @LUNAKAPIHAN.