26 May 2011

Real Coffee at Real Coffee & Tea Cafe, Station 2, Boracay

During my recent 3-day vacation on Boracay island, I had the opportunity to get my fix in several places, even in Starbucks! But I thought, why go all the way to another island -the world-renowned white sand beach- just to have the same things you enjoy everyday where you live? Where's the beauty of traveling in that?
So,ok, I had my standard grande soy mocha, but just that one time.

Apart from that one fix, I tried to get coffee only in places that are unique to the island. A friend who has been a frequent visitor for years, and knowing my love for the beverage, suggested a visit to Real Coffee. I totally missed checking out the place during my trips (for work) last year, so I swore I won't go back home this time without having tried their brew and breakfast.

My husband I decided to have brunch there on our last day. We were told it was on Station 2 (the more commercial and populated area), but very close to Station 1 (where the beach is not as crowded, and places more posh). We almost missed it, because several establishments have mushroomed and crowded the area, so it was a real mish-mash. Thank God we saw that relatively teeny-tiny sign, because we were already famished by then.

Go into a narrow alley where...
a larger sign tells you you've arrived.
It's a hut dominated by a bar/work station, made cozy with books,
photos, mismatched dishes, and artsy lamps.
Put up by a mother-and-daughter (Ms. Leigh and Nadine) team from San Francisco, this cafe has a cult following of Boracay residents and regulars. It's been around since 1996 (as the sign says),when the beach front was less cluttered and commercial. I think what really adds to its appeal is the mix of bamboo and rattan seats, barstools, wooden tables, and counters, make the cafe more ideally beach-front than most establishments' metro-looking appointments. Icing on the cake would be the pictures of past and fave customers displayed on an area above the kitchen prep/bar showing just what a "pioneer" this place is, Boracay-wise.

After a quick browse of their menu, I decided to order Real Coffee, a concoction of brewed Baraco and Arabica with a shot of Espresso, the latter, brought in from wherever the owners traveled to last, according to the staff. It was different, full-bodied with a kick, but very good. Good enough to jumpstart my day and a perfect match to my breakfast omelet of tomato, onions, and cheese, buttered toast (they bake the bread themselves), and mango jam. The omelet was heavenly - the eggs perfectly browned outside, but creamy, cheesy and moist inside, and the veggies cooked just right.

The place is known for their Calamansi (Philippine lemon) Muffins, which I had ordered for delivery to my resort-hotel during one visit last year. Since I didn't find it quite what people raved about, I opted not to have it this time. It didn't matter, because I finally tasted their coffee and discovered their omelet. Those were enough reasons to make a promise to myself:  another visit to enjoy the same breakfast, though at a more leisurely pace, and perhaps take a book to read while enjoying another cup of coffee, another time soon.

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