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P50-to-P100 coffee startup launches iced teas |

Food and Leisure

P50-to-P100 coffee startup launches iced teas

Therese Jamora-Garceau - The Philippine Star

In this age of global coffee chains, can you imagine getting a handcrafted beverage for P50 to P100?

You can’t, unless you’ve picked up on Pickup Coffee, a local startup founded by Bien Lee, who noted that Filipinos love coffee so much it can get to be quite an expensive habit.

“Filipinos nowadays have coffee at every occasion: we have it when we’re hanging out with our friends and when we’re working,” observes Bien, Pickup’s marketing head.  “You go to BGC, a lot of the coffee shops are still full late at night. We opened our first branch there, and we see that even at 12 midnight people come into the store. So coffee really is part of our everyday lives.”

But they also noticed that specialty coffee usually comes at a hefty price: “If you want to get a cappuccino, latte, you normally have to spend over P100, which is why we had to come up with Pickup Coffee,” she continues. “We’re trying to make specialty coffee more accessible to everyone, so our price point’s at P50 and we have nothing over P100.  But we don’t see ourselves as a cheap brand. We really do try to provide value for money, so we invest in espresso machines, we do trainings with our baristas, we source our beans internationally, and there are no shortcuts.”

The Lees must be whizzes at cost cutting, because they offer handcrafted, espresso-and-milk-based beverages like cappuccinos, lattes, mochas and flat whites at an average price of P75, and Pickup Signatures like the Avo Latte (with real avocado) for P85, Brown Sugar Boba Milk with Cream Mousse for P70 and Milosaurus for P70.

“We have our cold brew also, which we brew for 18 hours,” notes Bien. “We really try to make all of these available in our branches. There’s not one beverage that we didn’t do a lot of tastings before we launched them, because again, our value proposition is that we want to provide affordable, very Pinoy-quality beverages to everyone.”


ow Pickup Coffee is applying the same principles to their latest product line, Pickup Teas, which are launching today. Four flavors of iced tea include Apple, Lychee, Peachy and Thaiger (Thai) Milk Tea, and they’re all freshly brewed with no artificial flavors.  Instead, high-quality natural syrups made from real fruit extracts are used for the fruit teas, while Thaiger is brewed Thai tea infused with Pickup’s creamy milk blend and brown molasses syrup over ice.  I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it.

Pickup offers Bites along with their teas and coffees, and they champion goods from homegrown brands like Butter Boy and Revel Bar by Maru to help and also build a strong local community.  Their extensive menu of baked goods includes empanadas; classic, chocolate, and ham-and-cheese croissants; garlic butter bread; White Choco Chunk cookies; pork floss rolls; smoked bacon twists; Pickup Cinnabuns and banana bread, for prices ranging from P79 to P99.

“On Oct. 17, we’re releasing a tea sampler,” says Bien, “so instead of paying P245 for all four, we’ll make it P199 until the end of the month.”

Now, that’s an offer that’s definitely hard to refuse.

* * *

Pickup Coffee’s new Pickup Teas are available on GrabFood, Foodpanda, Pickaroo, and Supah and located at One Uptown Bonifacio, 9th Avenue cor. 36th Street, BGC; Assembly Grounds at the Rise, Shangrila Assembly Grounds, 7248 Malugay; Glorietta 4, Dolphin Park, Makati; Exquadra Tower, 1 Jade Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig; and Landmark BGC at Three Parkade Bldg., 30th St. cor. Lane A.

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