23 November 2008

Cafe Americano, Cordillera Coffee, University of the Philippines

Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Q.C.

My husband and I took our son to U.P.'s Vargas Museum to view some of the works of Amorsolo and his contemporaries during WWII, part of the Amorsolo Retrospective 7-Museum Exhibition. It was a school requirement, but a good time as any to infuse some culture into our weekend. 

It was such a treat for me to discover an al fresco coffee place right there at the left corner of the museum calling to me as we got off our vehicle. Cordillera Coffee, hmmm, seeing it printed on all the canvass umbrellas over each table. I've heard and read only good things about this coffee brand so far Coffee for a cause, if I recall. I just had to try it. The thought of savoring a steaming cup of the local brew didn't leave my mind throughout our educational half hour or so in Vargas Museum's 2nd floor. Sorry F.C. Amorsolo, sir. So right after re-claiming my purse at the reception area, I headed straight for the cafe.

Ok, I won't get too effusive about the service, which was not so great, or the food, which was not so great, but the ambience -- how cool can it get? Right outside a University Museum and with lush greenery running along the driveway parallel to the side dining area? Beautiful wooden tables and chairs, and runners with the unmistakable weave and colors of the North adorning each table. No smoking allowed, even if it was outdoors. I see why. It's a good venue for quiet talks, post-exhibit discussions, moments of solitude, writing, or just finding some creative inspiration.

The coffee? Super! I got an Americano, and it was delivered to our table with steamed milk and muscovado. I was not disappointed at all. It was full-bodied, looked like it was very strong, but was actually very flavorful, and almost cocoa-ish. It didn't have any of that sour aftertaste of some full-bodied coffees I've had. A really pleasurable brew.

Now I know. I'll definitely crave for this coffee, so I know I'll be back there. I will absolutely get myself a pack of their coffee for my own use at home next time.
I wish, though, that  I didn't have to take so much time setting up for the photo. By the time I took the shot, the froth had already began to subside. My apologies.

Christmas Specials, Starbucks

I love little reminders that Christmas is coming. One of them would be Starbucks Coffee's Christmas Specials (or whatever they call them). Allow me to do a top 5 here even just for this single entry in my caffeine fix section. Though they've been available for some weeks now, I didn't rush to try them out as I used to. Nor do I have any compelling reason to go get a cup every day. Here are my top 5 reasons:

1. There wasn't much fanfare. At least I didn't get to hear of any fanfare.
2. The planner you get for free after consuming X number of a variety of Starbucks beverages is not as instantly appealing as those in the previous years. I only filled out a few pages from this year's planner, so I don't exactly see how I can use another set next year. I noticed there were more colorful pages and beautiful illustrations in this year's offer, and it's less bulky, and -yay!- they brought back the ballpoint pen. But I think I can do without one in 2009. What if... they try doing away with lined pages next year? Then we can actually doodle and do mind maps and such.
3. Didn't they already offer the Toffee Nut Latte before the season began? It's not that special then.
4. The Praline Mocha is not such a great Christmas beverage. It's good and you can really appreciate the extra nutty flavor, and it offers a good break from my usual soy mocha, but it doesn't take me to any Christmas place or bring about any feeling of Christmas, unlike the Gingerbread Latte and the highly popular Peppermint Mocha (to mention just a couple) of seasons past.
5. The Dark Cherry Mocha is good, but nothing I would look forward to having everyday, every other day, or even once a week.

Sorry, didn't mean to come across as a disgruntled customer. *gasp* Am I turning into a scrooge?! I was just hoping they would have better coffees to offer. But, to each his own Christmas fave. I say, bring back more Christmas-y Coffee specials!
Bring back the Gingerbread Latte!

07 November 2008

Smooth brew, Krispy Kreme

I'm not a doughnut person, but once in a while, I figure, what the heck, if I have just one, all that sugar, grease, and white flour can't kill me. I can even enjoy it, especially if I have just one and most definitely when it comes with good coffee. 

Krispy Kreme has this Arabica blend that is freshly brewed, quite strong, but very good. They call it, "smooth". It so makes up for all the sugar in even just their regular glazed donut. I was told that they use a robusta for their decaf, so either way, you get good coffee to complement your donut.

I thought the day would never come for me to visit a Krispy Kreme branch more than once a year, but, well, it has come. Because of their full-bodied, freshly brewed coffee. Now the challenge will be staying away from their donuts, because you need something to complement the strong brew. *sigh*... chicken and egg. 

02 September 2008

Americano, McCafe, McDonald's

I had about 40 minutes to wait for someone, a 5-year old girl, and P100.00 to spare, and all these banners of McCafe with coffee looking so good just called out to me. 

I got my daughter -- who fortunately, didn't ask for anything more -- a sundae cone and decided to try the coffee in McCafe. Most of their coffee variants are just about P20.00 more than the McDonald's brew.

I chose to have an Americano, P50.00, which they defined on the menu board as, "espresso coffee topped with hot water for full-bodied flavor". The addition of water made me think -- will it taste watered down? Is this how Americano is usually made?

Filled almost to the brim of the paper cup that didn't have a single splash of Ronald red (after some studying, I did find a tiny Ronald drawing suggesting how to dispose of the cup), the coffee did come with the flavor they promised. It was strong, absent of any high acidic taste, and with a color that guarantees it did not come from the same machine as the ones they sell in McDonald's. The server or barista (is that how they're called in McCafe as well?) informed me that their coffee was Arabica sourced from Australia. It was very, very hot (had to wait a bit to get a sip I could appreciate), and my heart started to palpitate a bit, but it was a good type of thumping. The coffee was very good! 

Do I sound surprised? It's probably because the fast food giant's coffee is not half as good, even if it used to be, and is no longer reliable when you need a good cup of coffee. On bad days, you either get a cup that's practically coffee-flavored water, or one that is bordering on grey in tint, and on mud on a rainy day in consistency. Does it cost so much to provide the same kind of coffee to go with their breakfast, which I'm a great fan of (I am over the big mac phase)? 

There's been some ads on the new, more full-flavored coffee they added to the McDonald's menu. I have yet to taste something better and consistent from them... but that's for another day. Today, I had the McCafe Americano, and I was happy with it. It would help, though, if they could serve it with some milk instead of the same packet of non-dairy creamer they serve at the fast food restaurant.

26 August 2008

Brewed Coffee, Max Brenner

Have you ever been to Trinoma mall, in Quezon City, on a non-working holiday? Caught the first screening of Wall-E with my fam, then met up with a friend after lunch. Parking was already bad even shortly after 11am, so you can imagine the crowd when we came out of the cinema. Close to the frenzy of last-minute Christmas shopping!

My friend C and I had documents to complete and a quick catching up session, so we needed coffee, a table, and none of the noise that surrounded us during our search for a good place to spend our short meeting.

Not surprisingly, the old dependables -- Starbucks (all three branches), The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Figaro -- were already full and actually SRO. Good thing there was Max Brenner's -- a walk-in, 3-wall small (about 8 tables) on the cinema level.

It's absolutely the place for chocoholics, that time of the month when girls crave for chocolate, and for consolation via a comfort drink in one of their hug mugs (more of that next time). But since we needed coffee and didn't want to blow P180 or something on hot chocolate (this can be shared, though), we had their brewed coffee --- only P88! I was delighted to discover they had coffee -- I never went past their list of chocolate drinks before -- and they offer about 5 variants: plain brewed, decaf, latte, double espresso, cappuccino. At least that's what I remember.

No queues, good thing, and a waiter with a buzz cut (hey, I thought they were supposed to be clean-shaven) invited us in with a smile, showed us to a clean table in a good spot and took our orders, leaving us with the menu in case we wanted something else (like a super expensive cookie) to go with our coffee.

We didn't wait long for our coffees to come. The beverages were really hot, C had to add some cold water to get her first sip without scalding her tongue. We each got a packet each of white and brown sugar, but no creamer or milk, which we had to ask for. They ran out of non-fat, but it wasn't a big deal at this point, especially when the server gave us this bit of news with an apologetic smile and quickly came back with our mini cups of warm milk. The coffee was very good, just the right strength, slightly acidic, and full-flavored. For me, it was excellent.

The music wasn't bad, but I honestly can't say it was good --- anything was actually a relief from the noise of the mall.

All in all, we got to do what we planned on doing. Now I know where to get a good cup of brewed coffee when all the other places don't work. Who knew? I don't usually go to a Chinese restaurant for a Paella.

P.S. I believe Max Brenner has closed most, if not all, of their outlets here in Manila, 25 Feb '11  :((

30 July 2008

Brewed Coffee, Figaro

Figaro used to be one of my fave coffee places. I would meet most of my clients and friends there. I would also opt to get my coffee there after a visit to the MMPI office in Ortigas Ave, Pasig City, for my writing assignments instead of the other nearby coffee place, also because they have this list of delectable real food to choose from -- yummy muffins, a really good sans rival (my little oscar, I think, is how they call it), generous servings of pasta and freshly assembled and panini-pressed sandwiches. I am also crazy about their bread pudding with vanilla custard.

The lighting in Figaro is warm and cozy, and probably because they serve real food, they have more of those curved cane chairs and marble-topped tables than easy chairs and couches. So, it's relaxing, but you won't get too relaxed you'd stay all day. 

Back when I was working at The Fort in Taguig (y2k), I had a non-fat latte from Starbucks in the morning, then a flat white coffee from Figaro after lunch and in mid-afternoon... every single day. That's how much I loved their coffee.

If the local coffee expert I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs were to be believed, they have the best-tasting coffee among the bigger coffee places, because their coffee is not freeze-dried, packed, and sent here from another country. They're grown and packed here, served as close to the date packed, and ground right before being served. 

I ordered the plain brewed coffee last night, instead of the latte or cappuccino because for some reason that baffles me, esp since most Asians are lactose intolerant, they haven't had non-fat, low-fat milk and/or soy either for many months now. With a latte, the milk would be about half the cup, so that's a lot of whole milk to take for people who can't take milk. It really would be unfair to let coffee lovers order fresh-brewed world-renowned barako coffee with packets of powdered creamer. So please bring back the non-fat and/or low-fat, and start serving soy!

It's not that I didn't like the coffee, which I found a bit more on the acidic side. I probably was looking for the fuller taste of espresso, which I believe is what they add the milk to for the lattes. I'll try that next time.

Oh, and maybe -- something can be done to perk up the personality of the staff in some of their branches. A ready smile always helps. A person standing behind the counter always helps, too. I was unfortunate enough to have had to call out, "hello?!" after clearing my throat a couple of times before one broke away from the coffee machines (there were two of them, one just watching) or the room behind to take my order. 

I can't believe I am giving Figaro a lower rating than Burger King, but they're not in the same category. And just for this piece, it was probably more the experience than the coffee that got to me. I will definitely go back and order something else, hopefully, with non-fat milk.

19 July 2008

Regular BK Joe, Burger King

Yes, I order coffee in fast food restaurants. Better than soda, right? Many times, it's just, you know, fast food coffee. I learned not to expect much.

I was surprised to learn that Burger King decided to up the ante a notch with their coffee. Summer last year, I tried their Big Joe, upon the recommendation of one of my brothers. 

It's brewed coffee, yes, but they have began serving it in three variants: regular brewed (sorry, I forget what they call it), turbo, and decaf, as printed on the other side of the cup. Other fast food joints would also have these choices on the cup or the lid, but for what? They have only one type of brewed coffee, which may come in two to three shades, depending on how long it was left on the warmer. 

Unlike other fast food coffees, the BK Joe comes in a better, sturdier cup, with a lid that has a raised drinking spout, which can be opened and resealed with a snap. I love that their coffee also comes not with a packet of non-dairy creamer, but with those little brown sealed cups (like in hotels and planes) with milk in them.

I tried both the BK Joe regular (I already had two coffees earlier that day) and the turbo (on a day when I badly needed coffee to keep me going). Not bad... In fact, they're very good. No grey color and you won't grow hair on your chest with every sip. I was told it was Gourmet Coffee's Mountain-grown Arabica, one of my faves since late college.

Try their cuppa-joe with BK's NY Cheesecake or Apple Pie. If you have a sweet tooth, have their sundae or Hershey's choc candy pies instead. Whichever -- the coffee is good, so it won't matter. 

I would have it anytime over the coffee of my all-time fave fast food restaurant (because I used to work there and wolf down those two-all-beef-patties-special-sauce-lettuce-cheese-pickles-onions-on-a-sesame-seed-bun and large fries, with a sundae for dessert, when health and fitness were not yet life's challenges), which differs from branch to branch, and from crew shift to crew shift, even if quality and set standards are two of their business mantras. 

19 May 2008

Mudshake Original Cappuccino

Here's something with the rich creamy flavor of cappuccino but a different kind of buzz.  Introduced to me by my bro A during our trip to Subic, it is vodka-based (which I love and can have because I'm over 21) and a fab chilled drink. 

It gives quite a punch, which reminds me of Mule, something that became such a hit during the rave party period shortly before the turn of the century. Unfortunately, with the same speed it rose to fame, Mule's popularity took a nosedive to obscurity. What makes Mudshake better is it is creamy and flavored with coffee and/or chocolate, resulting in something like a black russian, or the Bailey's and vodka concoction served at several launch events. 

A warning for the younger ones, below-legit-age, and those with little or no control over their alcohol intake, this could be dangerously traitorous, because the creamy flavor candy-coats the strong hit of the vodka. 

One bottle gives a good enough buzz for one person, but with ice, you can enjoy half a squat glass of each flavor -- cappuccino, chocolate, mochachino, if I remember right -- within the bounds of a bottle's content. 

This drink is good only for those who like coffee, chocolate, and vodka. If you're only a coffee and/or chocolate lover, stay away from this wolf in sheep's clothing.

16 May 2008

Tall Cafe Mocha, Bo's Coffee Club

I've been intrigued by this coffee place for some time now, but never really got the chance to try it out. These days, at about P70 at least a pop, experimenting with coffee is just not worth it. 

Glad I did venture beyond my comfort zone today, though. With 2 hours to burn, I needed a cup with just a bit of chocolate for a the feel of a hug on such a rainy, glare-y afternoon. 

The tall cafe mocha looked yummy with the swirl of frothy cream and chocolate syrup on the top. I loved that it was steaming hot... perfect for the weather. I couldn't wait to take a sip, and did just that before remembering to take a snapshot first.

It was a bit too chocolate-y and sweet for my taste, but the espresso I did get to taste was rich and full-flavored. All in all, I'd add a half star to my four-star rating.

Apologies to Bo's Coffee Club for the bad photo.

14 May 2008

Brewed Coffee, Gram's Diner

I was so happy to be served a good cup with my breakfast at Gram's Diner in Rockwell, Makati yesterday morning. It was good enough for me to request for a refill, and then another still.

Nothing can ruin breakfast for me more than coffee that's been sitting at the percolator for an hour, then passed-off as freshly brewed to go with your first meal of the day. Virtual mud, in consistency (well, maybe smoother and more watery), in color, and in taste -- no matter how much milk or creamer you add. This remains a frequent downer for me in several of Manila's restaurants and fastfood places, in spite of the coffee-lizing of our city.

Gram's Diner's coffee had a familiar smell and taste to it -- I knew it had to be my mom's fave for years -- Gourmet. This was confirmed by one of the servers. "Specially made for us, from Batangas, po," she proudly added. Maybe it was this comfort factor that made me consume so much for breakfast. The only time the smell and taste changes at my parents' house is when they occasionally shift to Starbucks' Varona, at my youngest brother's request.

It helped a lot, too, that the diner's servers, even if they were a bit overwhelmed by the deluge of breakfast and brunch crowd, still had ready smiles everytime they visited our table.

Fab way to start the day. Did me well all the way through my gruelling spinning class at 6pm. Three cups of coffee -- I felt the need for my next caffeine fix hours later, close to midnight, which I got at Starbucks. Soy mocha, naturally. I'm a creature of habit, what can I say?

12 May 2008

Brewed Vanilla Latte, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Mother's day, we headed straight to this fave coffee place to cap the long dinner of rich neo-Asian dishes. It was practically next-door, which added to its appeal. 

Recommended by their very helpful barista, the brewed Vanilla Latte has more coffee than steamed milk, as opposed to the espresso Vanilla Latte, which has more steamed milk -- naturally, espresso coming in a strong shot. I was told that if I wanted more of a coffee taste thank a milky taste, the brewed variant is what I should order. I believe the words, "stronger coffee" were used. But isn't a shot of espresso stronger than a cup of regular brewed coffee? Anyway...

I loved it. The milk did not drown the coffee taste a bit. The vanilla flavor, which I love (it's even my favorite scent, but that's another thing altogether) helped bring an instant warm-all-over experience. The added joy for me was it wasn't very sweet.

Like I mentioned before, I normally order a chai latte when I visit this place, so I believe I have never actually tasted -- or remember having ever tasted -- their coffee. It was good and smooth. It smelled fresh, so I guess it's freshly ground, but it had this bitter after-taste, in spite of the vanilla and the milk. If I have my terms right, it's had a strong acidity factor. To double-check, I had a bit of their plain brew; the bitter after-taste was from the coffee, not the vanilla syrup.

A good discovery, which I'll try it again soon. Perhaps not so late in the evening.

08 May 2008

Brewed Coffee, Seattle's Best


We were hoping to get a relatively quiet coffee break, so we chose to go to Seattle's Best along Katipunan Rd, Loyola Heights, Q.C. 

If a place's regular or basic coffee is good, the rest can't be all bad, right? That's why I try to stick to the basic brew before graduating to the flavored, spiced, chilled, iced, blended, and whatever else variants. Being one of the few times I visited Seattle's Best, I opted for their basic brewed coffee, which their barista told me was richer than the Americano. It was good, slightly bitter, but true to their promise. Went really well with their sansrival. Fab combination, plus I got the caffeine fix I needed for a gloomy, cloudy afternoon. 

Unfortunately, three out of five times we spent at Seattle's Best are tied to horrible experiences with the food and the parking arrangements -- no need for that in this coffee review -- , so I don't get too much of a thrill thinking about their coffee. I try to keep an open mind, though, so who knows? I just might get myself to try their other variants

07 May 2008

House Brew, Cravings

Took a short trip down memory lane when we decided to have some dessert and coffee in Cravings along Katipunan Ave., Loyola Heights, instead of Starbucks in the next block. Had their famous choco caramel cake and mini cheesecakes, too. There was a time when theirs would be one of the best places for coffee. With the mushrooming of international and new local coffee places around, there's just too many to compare it with, and, in my opinion, Cravings coffee hasn't evolved.

It was ok, not like those you'd pay good money for even if they're as dense as mud, turning slightly grey when you add creamer or milk, and threatening to bring out your chest hairs because they've been sitting in the pot for over 30 minutes. Knowing that they're no fast food joint, and that they maintain some quality because they run a leading culinary school after all, I'm sure the coffee was freshly brewed if not from freshly ground beans. But it wasn't great.

Unfortunately, considering there weren't too many people in the resto during our visit, the coffee took too long to arrive, and wasn't as hot as I expected it to be.

01 May 2008

Authentic Green Tea, Celestial Seasonings

Who could ignore the word, "authentic", apart from the unique packaging -- ancient chinese man, etc., when choosing from racks of an array of brands of this healthy beverage du jour? It just says, "choose me, pick me, love me!", so very much like Meredith Grey. Of course I fall for it almost every time.

Seriously, I first heard of this brand of teas from my sister who let me have a cup of their sleepy time tea (camomile, I guess) during one of her visits from the U.S. It tasted so good, and really almost instantly got me to chill, I assumed their green tea had to be good too. And it is. Take a whiff before you sip. It smells really fresh and pure. Almost like the L'Occitane green tea scent.

I have to borrow the copy on the box to give you an idea of how good it is: "... tastes smooth from the first sip to the last swallow. Its fresh flavour whispers of the moment when a new day first dawns, alive with invigorating sunlight and clean air. The gentle touch of our Authentic Green Tea makes taking care of yourself a pleasure." I wouldn't get so poetic, but it does take you places.

I love that it helps burn fat as well. That's the 'taking care of yourself' part that each cup makes more pleasurable. Having four cups of green tea a day to make it an effective fat burner, I don't mind so much, because it's one of the best green teas I've ever had. It's one of my top two supermarket-bought brands among the many I've tried. 

The best thing is the not-so-fine print close to the bottom of the box -- "contains caffeine". That just about cinches it for me.

30 April 2008

Chai Latte, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Speaking of Chai, this is one of my all-time comfort drinks. I first got to experience this drink over 4 years ago when I was doing my research for an article on teas for Cathy Babao's Me Mag. The TCB&TL peeps were so helpful and very generously treated me to a cup of this hot, rich, creamy and foamy concoction of steeped black tea with vanilla cream powder, and 14 spices -- cinnamon, cloves, anise, nutmeg (I think?), etc. 

It was love at first sip. That very first taste took me back to Christmases past, cold and rainy nights, comfort after a heartbreak, tete-a-tetes with my late grandmother before the sun came up. It was probably the eggnog-y flavor, or the vanilla, but it was definitely magical.

This is as close as this coffee drinker can get to a glass of warm milk. I turn to this beverage everytime I need a dose of caffeine with a heart.

20 April 2008

Cafe Americano, Chaikofi

Found this new place on the 2L of Robinson's Galleria, along the wing that faces EDSA. You can't miss it because it's this free-standing mid-sized yellow and black structure that'll make you stop in your tracks if you've never seen it there before. There were also banners posted around it, showing some of their specials that made me remember that it was almost dinner time. It can seat about 50 people. Couldn't pin down their look -- funky, hip, cosmo, or asian with a hint of persian, even clubbish, with its semi-private area that has sheer black curtains enclosing it. They had some wall art with a fantasy, yellow submarine-ish touch, and the seats were cozy. Whatever, you can't mistake it for a yellowcab resto. Different enough to intrigue me. So I got the rest of the fam to agree to try the place out.

Their food was good --esp the adobo-rice (sorry for the segue) -- now I know they have to be asian: see, they had adobo and they also had pork and chicken sate. So maybe neo-asian? The prices were not too expensive for an unplanned dinner. Of course, I had to try the coffee, since the unique name called out to me before the smell of the food.

I wonder now, though -- is there chai tea in their coffee? I never got to find out. I didn't dare order a cappuccino or latte or mocha, since they didn't use, nor did they have any, non-fat or soy milk (I am lactose-intolerant). So I had to choose between a single or double-shot espresso, but I already had several cups of coffee by that time of the night, so ... what the heck, get the basic coffee, right? So I ordered an Americano.

The presentation was ok, in a no-nonsense crystal (or glass) cup-and-saucer set, which was meant to show that the coffee had a good color and was freshly-made (notice the froth). It came with a good-sized gingersnapish cookie (good thing, because the dessert we chose to order was --- "out of stock" Welcome to the Philippines!). The brew was relatively mild, just right as an ender for the heavy dinner, and the flavor was alright -- no bitterness that will make hair come out of your chest. Nothing to go jumping around about, but I won't say I was disappointed.

Nice alternative, especially if I find myself in that side of the mall, unwilling to walk to the center or the other end for my usual soy mocha or latte from Figaro. I will have to go back to find out if the cafe does have chai tea.

15 April 2008

Grande Soy Caramel Macchiato, Starbucks

Like I said, I planned on having another one of this refreshing iced drink variant, and I did... more than once, in fact.

The most recent one was last weekend, and I decided, as it was a really hot sluggish afternoon, to get a bigger size -- grande, I believe. I took my time with this one to enjoy the flavor, the chill -- no brain freeze with iced drinks! --, and the caffeine fix. What a way to snap out of my near-slumber state!

I was able to appreciate how -- and I had to hold back a bit -- if I allow the caramel that tops the drink to melt slowly through the ice and, swirling, blend with the black espresso, there won't be that adjustment of the straw as you try to hit the right level for the (a) sweet vanilla syrup (which, on its own reminds me of paracetamol syrup) with some bitter coffee with creamy soy milk, (b) colder, watered down bitter vanilla-flavored coffee with creamy soy milk, and (c) sweet sticky caramel. Once actually allowed to combine, and having been chilled by the ice as well, it becomes the perfect coffee drink for a hot day. 

And because I got a larger cup, there was more of this delicious thirst quencher and more buzz. Fabness!

09 April 2008

Brewed Coffee, Energy Lounge

Energy Lounge is on 4L, Crossroads Bldg.
Mo. Ignacia Ave., Quezon City, Phil.

Very strong, just the way I want coffee before my workout. I need coffee before hitting the gym because it gives me the boost of energy to begin my workout, and, as I learned from one of the reading materials posted in the gym on the same floor (Planet Infinity), having a cup at that specific time helps burn fat while doing the resistance and cardio exercises.

To help contrast the strong flavor -- or to complement it -- each cup of brew is served with a yummy, melt-in-your-mouth snow cookie. Just one, though, so it's safe. I choose to have it with a packet of creamer, (oops) which makes it just right for me. 

Fifty bucks a cup; super worth it. I see some people water their coffees down, so it's like a cup and a half for the same price. Other fab reasons to enjoy this coffee in this resto-lounge are, I get to (a) go online to surf, work, answer email, or chat -- wifi access comes free with anything you order, (b) read from of their selection of well-looked after fitness books, magazines, and daily broadsheets, or (c) watch a fave show on any of their 4 (if I remember right) TV sets.

05 April 2008

3-in-1 instant coffee, Pan de Manila's Cafe con Leche

As far as 3-in-1 coffees go, this is very good -- creamy and not very sweet. I discovered this on the shelves of the friendly neighborhood pan de sal place. I'll be happy to settle for this mix when there's no brewed coffee available. In our home, in spite of the many coffeemakers on the counter, the instant 3-in-1 varieties are a frequent choice over washing the different, sometimes delicate, components of a coffeemaker. Just boil some water, then voila! A taste (if not the same buzz) of coffee. Coffee helps wake me up. I am often nearly catatonic when I feel the need for coffee, so these are the times when instant works. Unfortunately, you'll be needing the buzz in -- you guessed it -- an instant as well.

P9.00 for each sachet. Not bad.

28 March 2008

Iced Soy Caramel Macchiato, Starbucks

It was just too hot the other day and I had to get something cold, but not necessarily creamy for my caffeine fix. The barista suggested an Iced Caramel Macchiato. Got it with soy milk, of course.

I was ready for the worst, since I was told that it was on the sweet side. Surprisingly, it was very good and absolutely refreshing. Perfect for this summer's almost intolerable heat. 

I'll definitely have that again soon.

14 March 2008

Grande Soy Mocha, Starbucks

I used to love their nonfat mocha, but substituting the milk with soy adds a nuttier taste to the chocolate flavor of this coffee variant. I am simply stuck at the moment. I find myself ordering nothing but a soy mocha during each visit to starbucks, even if I make a promise to try other offerings.

Believe me, I have this so often, I'm beginning to get tired of it.  Starbucks, why do you have to be around every corner?!