Would you dare pay P1 for a cup of coffee?

If times are hard, Recession Coffee will understand


Is coffee a luxury or a necessity?

For many of us who enjoy good brew every morning (or afternoon, or all day), it’s definitely something more like a necessity. I know many of us on the team need coffee to get us ready for the workday, and the fact that there are hundreds of coffee shops in Manila, and that these coffee shops are almost always full is a sure sign that coffee really is part of the average person’s daily life.

But imagine a period of declining economic activity, of low income across all classes, and of rising unemployment rates. Do you think you’d still consider coffee a necessity? Or does it become a luxury?

Recession Coffee lets us explore this (grim) possibility in a cheeky, risky, but simple way: Just order your drink and pay whatever you think your cup is worth.

nolisoli eats restaurant recession coffee
The minds behind Recession Coffee (and Digital Walker) worked with the EDSA Beverage Design Group for the coffee menu.
nolisoli eats restaurant recession coffee
Coffee can be hot or iced. Here’s a hot cafe latte.

There aren’t too many items on their drink menu. They stick to the basics: Americanos, cafe lattes, cappuccinos—after all, this is the recession. No one has time (or resources) for fancy frappes or blended drinks. Besides, nothing really beats having a good, unadulterated cup of coffee, right?

The only difficult decision you have to make at Recession Coffee is how much you’re going to shell out for your drink. You could pay a peso if you want, or P500 if you’re feeling extra generous. (Both have been done before, by the way.) Just know, though, that you’ll literally be labeled for how much you’ve paid.

nolisoli eats restaurant recession coffee
The price you have to pay for… well, pay-what-you-want-coffee is also a label stuck to your cup for your entire stay. To help you decide, check the daily average on the counter.
nolisoli eats restaurant recession coffee
Note to self: Check out all the tables for the cards with recession survival tips

A helpful chart has been put up above the counter. Paying less than fifty pesos will earn you well-wishes for a job, while paying more than P200 will earn you a marriage proposal.

I didn’t see the chart until after I paid P120 (which I thought was a pretty standard price for coffee, and was a little bit more than the daily average they had posted), giving me a “You’re the water to our coffee beans” sticker on my cup. Oh, well. At least they still think I’m necessary to their existence…

Once you get a hold of your luxurious cup of coffee, you can sit and read some tips on surviving the recession. Just in case.

nolisoli eats restaurant recession coffee
If you’re in desperate need of coffee, maybe you can sell your kidney. Google says you can survive with just one, anyway.


Read more:

Can a neighborhood cafe help a Manila’s survival?

Quaint cafe in Kapitolyo gives you all the reasons to love Mondays

We gathered the best cafes in the metro so you don’t have to

TAGS: cafe coffee digital walker nolisoliph pay what you want recession coffee