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  • Ericka Mae Valenciano

Coffee and Fate: An Open Letter to Coffee Tonya

Dear Coffee Tonya,


Oh, I remember how it was that time I dropped by you in Japan four years ago and I never thought I'd fall in love not just once but twice on that lucky day. Why was it lucky? It’s because that one day changed my life and you became a very special place to me. Unfolding a beautiful story I’d never dreamed that’d happen to me.


Photo by Hiu Yan Chelsia Choi on Unsplash


Before I decided to fly to Japan alone that year, I’ve heard different warnings from people to be wary of strangers. I never thought I’d actually be so anxious when the plane landed in Narita. I let myself take deep breaths, took the next bus to Yokohama to see the, surprise, surprise, Cup Noodles Museum. I got the admission tickets ahead of time because I loved cup noodles so much it’s my comfort food that time.


After spending the whole afternoon there, I took a cab to Nishi so I could rest for a while in the hotel but you caught my eye and I just knew I needed to go inside. Knowing the hotel’s nearby, I stopped the cab and went in. I stood awkwardly by the door, thinking I shouldn’t have gone in but just before I opened the door to leave, I heard my name called out. I was stunned at first, then I felt confused as I remembered where I was. I looked around and saw him.

Photo by Ingrid Hall on Unsplash


He was my best friend from high school that I haven’t seen in a decade. We barely talked through the years but it felt that time as though high school was just yesterday. Stories were shared over your coffee. I was not very particular with coffee then but it was just spectacular. It wasn’t surprising that I fell in love with the place and your coffee.


We spent the whole week in Japan together. We parted ways as I had to fly back to Manila. When he went home a week after, he shared that he discovered you now have a branch in Makati. We agreed to meet there that weekend to catch up and it’s funny how it turned out to be a #brewdol. The coffee we had there is as amazing as the one in Japan and we ended up buying some equipment and lots of coffee to brew at home. So surprised at the total when we checked out and just laughed it off.



Photo by NoliSoli


As coffee became our thing, we later become a thing. We got together when he confessed that one time we were having coffee at the café. We made so many memories in Coffee Tonya that we have explored most of your variants already. Sure, we tried other cafés but your exceptionally personalized customer service and trained baristas just stands out. You take your time to curate what’s best for each one of us, suiting any personality and preference. You deserve so much love for the care you dedicate in each coffee you help make.



Reminiscent of our time in Japan, it was as though we never left. And maybe we didn’t as your coffee will always be a part of us that every time we tell our story it will always start with that one fateful day and a shared cup of coffee at Coffee Tonya in Japan. We’ll be forever grateful to you and the magic you brought in our lives. We hope you’ll be here with us, staying stronger as ever and touching more lives.


With all the love,


A Coffee Lover

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