Selfie Café

I saw something last night here in Manila that got me excited. It actually got my heart racing to the point where I ran home and started Googling.

Selfie CaféNo, I didn’t see a famous porn star walking down the street (you guys are pervs for even thinking about that!). Instead, I witnessed something that had me foaming at the mouth in anticipation – and it’s a business that I literally am trying to get the information on opening a franchise as we speak.

I’d like to introduce you to Selfie Café.

The Selfie Cafe in Manila Review

After getting dinner with a good friend at an upscale Global City pavilion here in Manila, we were walking along the outdoor plaza, enjoying the cool night air and watching people go in and out of the myriad bars, restaurants, and shops along the way. In the center of the plaza was a huge fountain, with a red structure that looked like a shipping container with brightly colored and vibrant graffiti covering it.

“Let’s get a cup of coffee and talk a while,” my friend said, as Filipinos value sitting and chatting with friends as a way to relax and recharge their batteries.

So we walked over to the red kiosk, and I saw that it was called the Selfie Café. The menu had the same standard fare as most coffee shops, with lattes, mochas, Americanos, and plenty of sugary drink mixtures as well as a few cookies and other sweets. I ordered something and paid the smiling lady working, who asked: “Did you want that with a selfie?”

At first, I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about and didn’t even fully understand, so I just shrugged it off as another solicitation and just asked for my coffee. But when we sat down to wait at one of the small tables set up outside, I looked up to a display on the wall and saw exactly what she meant: they actually take a photo of you and put it ON your coffee!

What?! Amazing!

They had me stand right there by the cash register as the café worker snapped a couple of photos of me and my friend on the worker’s phone. Then, she showed us the pic (not technically a selfie, although you can take your own selfie or use whatever photo you wish, I guess) for approval.

We sat down to wait a while as their hi-tech 3D printer whirled and worked away, digitally recreating the image using microdots of food coloring.

And when it came out? Voila! The image was surprisingly accurate! It also didn’t fade or “melt” away while we sat there and talked a little bit more. It was even recognizable this morning when I took that same coffee out of the fridge!

The brainchild of a UK man and his Filipina wife, the Selfie Café is operating in London, Australia, and a few other major cities, as I’ve read – including Manila in her home country.

I’m so excited by this idea that I actually want to find out what it takes to buy a franchise – or at least that digital printer. Until then, I’ll keep taking selfies and drinking coffee!

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Norm Schriever is a blogger, Amazon best-sellling author, cultural mad scientist, and enemy of the comfort zone. His work appears in the Huffington Post,, Good Morning America, The Anderson Cooper Show on CNN, NBC, MSN, Yahoo,, and media all around the world.
Norm grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he was never accused of overstudying. After expatriating to Costa Rica in 2011, he started traveling the world and documenting what he saw. He now lives in Southeast Asia, writing his heart out and working with local charities.

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