Dahan Specialty Coffee is a third-wave cafe that just opened its doors in mid-June. Its interiors are minimalist, yet modern and chic. Colors are calming to the eyes, and the entire cafe is extremely well-lit, but somehow manages to exude a calm, laid-back vibe.
Instagram is abuzz with stories of the cafe’s delicious espresso-based blends and third-wave coffee offerings, as well as a curated collection of pastries, such as hojicha puffs and burnt basque cheesecakes from Sadie’s and brownies from Buckys.
The cafe’s name is inspired by the Filipino word “dahan-dahan,” which means slowly, carefully, or to take things easily.
The concept originated from the calm weekend escapes of Sarah Tolentino David during the pandemic.
“I previously worked in eCommerce and had a brief stint in fintech, and everything was extremely fast-paced. I wanted to take a break from everything,” says Sarah.
According to the entrepreneur, weekends were more calm. There was no rush to accomplish too many tasks. “On weekends, I always had enough time to drive to a decent coffee shop, in a calm neighborhood to enjoy a cup of coffee.”
The weekends gave her the opportunity to reflect, unwind, and just experience everything slowly.
At the start of 2022, she took the opportunity to pursue starting a cafe; she also left her corporate job to do Dahan Specialty Coffee full-time. She reached out to multiple roasters and eventually decided to work with a champion barista, and former owner of Need Coffee, Daniel Roque, to consult for her new venture.
Sarah wanted a different design perspective so she reached out to Knu Kim and Paco Fernandez of Re-union Collective, based in Madrid, Spain, to develop and visualize the branding for Dahan Specialty Coffee.
“Knu conducted numerous workshops and brand sessions for us. In one session, he showed me multiple illustrations of different building architectural styles and asked which one best represented Dahan Specialty Coffee. I had to explain my answer, and I dug deep to articulate my thoughts. That session helped me actualize what elements best visualize and represent Dahan”.
Knu and Paco (who both worked at Fjord) became inspired by circles, because they represented a bird’s eye view of a cup of coffee, but also signified community, and how friends can gather at Dahan as a meeting point. The colors they chose represented calmness and serenity.
Baristas at Dahan are a mix of both new and experienced in the (coffee) field. They are mostly female and are led by Dahan’s Head Barista, Misha Salud. Customers know that these people are knowledgeable and passionate about coffee and are friendly too. You may ask them more about the shop’s specialties and they’ll be happy to share with you their recommendations or personal favorites. It’s a safe space for beginners and connoisseurs of coffee alike but also for non-coffee drinkers.
Dahan Specialty Coffee’s menu, meanwhile, revolves around classics and contemporary espresso-based drinks (hence, classically new). The drinks are created through a La Marzocco Linea Classic, supplied by Yardstick. You can also enjoy pour-overs at Dahan. Chat with the baristas as they make a cup in front of you from Dahan’s slow bar which features a curated selection of single-origin beans from local and foreign roasters.
Dahan Specialty Coffee is located at President’s Grove, President’s Avenue, Parañaque City. Opening hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday to Sunday.