31 December 2012

More to come!

Here's to another year of coffee loving and java jiving. Praying and wishing for more and better times to stop a bit, take stock of what's happened and what's to come, what could've gone better and what more can be done, and just being grateful for being alive (and for coffee)!
Vietnamese Coffee,
Cocktales in Trinoma Mall (same floor as Topshop/Topman)

Exotic coffee, pressed in Fred's Revoluccion Bar (CubaoX)

Barako/House Brew at KKK (Mega Mall/MOA)

PS Cafe, Paragon Mall, Orchard Rd., Singapore

Ya Kun Kaya Toast Kopi C, Takashimaya, Orchard Road, Singapore

Brewed Coffee, Mom & Tina's, Regis, Katipunan Rd.  

Toast Box Kopi, Greenbelt 5/Trinoma Mall

Brewed Coffee, Dulcinea

Brewed Coffee, a stall in Universal Studios Theme Park, Sentosa, Singapore

Brewed Coffee, Fely J's, Greenbelt 5

Brewed Coffee, UNO, Scout Fuentabella near cr. Tomas Morato, Q.C.

Americano, Marco Polo Hong Kong, Canton Road, Kowloon, HK

Brewed Coffee, Mandarin Hotel, Manila

Kopi, Orchard Road (restaurant), Mega Mall

Funky Coasters!

This not a coffee review -- more like a coffee accessories review, this time. I found these silicone coasters, available in 4 colors (red, green, brown, black), at the lifestyle shop Dimensione. I got the green ones, which I'm now using on my workstation, a.k.a. desk. Love them!

Just P88.00 for the pair.

Enjoy your life. Yeah!

30 December 2012

Grande Reserve Malongo Coffee at Borough

Borough is a restaurant we've always planned on trying out. I believe it's been around for a couple of years, tucked into a corner of the Podium Mall's ground floor. You'd have to seek it out. In the evenings, though, its side door invites late night urban crawlers (or call center peeps, which I guess the side door, open long after the mall closes, was designed for) to unwind or have a one-for-the-road drink if not something warm to prepare for a long drive home. We haven't been going to that particular mall a lot the past months, so we just never got around to doing it.

So I had this opportunity to check it out when an assigned interview was held there the last weekend before Christmas. Since we were set-up in the closed-off 2nd level section of the restaurant (off-peak afternoon hours), I just had to content myself with enjoying the warm interiors, especially the dark green walls filled with framed pictures of anything and everything (I didn't have time to figure out if there was a theme, if it was all about NYC, since it was called Borough, something I associate with the state), and..

... a cup of coffee, and thought to myself that I would try out the food if I was still there close to dinner.

Loved the coffee selection and the coffee did not disappoint. I've heard good and bad reviews of this place, but based on the coffee, which was true to what was promised in the menu, I'm excited to go back and try out their food and more of the coffees in their menu. 

I needed to get out of Ortigas Center before the Holiday rush traffic got really bad, so the food taste test will happen on my next visit, which is all set for the 2nd week of January. Looking forward!

Regular Coffee at Katsu Cafe

The Loyola Heights area was unusually quiet the past evenings, the typical groups from the residential and academic communities absent. It was close to New Year's Eve, so of course there was none of the activity and noise generated from several schools that line the area, no students milling in favorite hangouts and restaurants, and very minimal panic and/or last-minute buying by residents at the supermarkets and drugstores. This is how it is during Holiday breaks in an area that's mostly filled with learning institutions and young family residences, more than offices. 

It would normally be a challenge to decide where to eat since many of the small restaurants around would be filled, so it was also strange that with the choices of near-empty ones, it still was a challenge.

Katsu Cafe was convenient and inviting, so we decided to have our dinner there. An added treat was not needing to go around the long stretch of Katipunan Rd. just to get to the supermarket (our real destination), which was just a few tens of meters on foot.

The place is cozy, food's very good - Katsu, Donburi, Curried sets that came with soup, some greens, unlimited rice (a must if a dining business operates around the school areas), beers, cold teas, and the deliciously comforting house hot tea - and the staff minimal but efficient AND friendly.  The real bonus for me that night was the very good coffee.

It says Cafe, so they had to have coffee... right?

Designed and supplied by Boyd Coffee, Philippines, and made in an impressive coffee maker, they couldn't and shouldn't go wrong. Nothing better than a restaurant that has good coffee.

Regular Coffee, P60.00!

Katsu Cafe is located a few steps away from Xocolat on B. Gonzales St. near the corner of Katipunan Rd where Bo's Coffee stands.

13 December 2012

Kuppa's House Blend

"Surprise me,"I challenged my friend Marco when he asked where I wanted to meet up for coffee.  We were supposed to meet for lunch, but the traffic that day was so horrible, I finally got to The Fort in Taguig over three hours after the time we initially set our 'lunch date'. So coffee it was and the venue, up to the hungrier person - me. 

Yes, I was surprised, and absolutely pleasantly so. The place was Kuppa Roastery and Cafe at the ground floor of CommerceCenterBuilding, 31st St. cr. 4th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio Global City,Taguig.

From outside, the place looked so hip and inviting, yet it was surprisingly peaceful inside. 

In case you can't get a menu, just read from their glass windows, black boards around
the counter, and on the table top standees.

From their facebook page: 
Kuppa (pronounced, cup-pa) started from a family that knows coffee. It took 50 years to make their first cup of coffee, starting with their grandfather after the first World War, who passed the roasting trade down to their father, who passed it on to his children.

Kuppa Coffee first opened its doors to the public in Bacolod on January 2006 by Eugene and Karen Lo-Tsai. The first coffee shop was built on the same lot where the Lo family started roasting coffee in the 1950s. Kuppa was the first coffee shop to introduce in-house coffee roasting in the Philippines, to ensure superior tasting coffee. 

Their menu covers items from breakfast through happy hour, to dinner, and of course, desserts. Having already missed lunch and barely survived about 5 hours total in the car, I had to have something to make me feel better. I narrowed my choices down to sandwich or pasta. Pasta or sandwich? 

Don't ask me what it was because I can't remember exactly. It was a four-cheese penne dish.
Ask me how it was. That I can tell you.

Pasta won. Delish! Then I had to give the place the test. Coffee!

Since the entire place began with a love for coffee, Kuppa, of course, has a list of coffee variants, blends, and twists. I chose to try their basic brew - their house blend. What kind of coffee's in it? The server said it was their secret. So I waited, intrigued, till it was served.  It came in a coffee press.

Color looked wonderful. Smelled heavenly. Yup, those are a couple of coffee grounds that escaped the coffee press' filter, but it didn't matter because it was a perfect panacea for my frayed nerves from my long and slow crawl through that day's traffic.

With a packet of cream I usually take my basic brew with - just perfect. You can tell by the color. No grey tint and not still mud brown. Strange as it may sound, that's one almost-sure indicator of a great cup of coffee for me.

I was so happy with my time spent there catching up with my good friend who knew the perfect way to perk up my mood, and I was delightfully full. I didn't have any room for dessert, but walking out, the pretty strawberry muffins got my attention, so I just needed to take a couple home. (They were heavenly!)
"Kuppa serves coffee as it should be: sweet, smooth and complex. The cupping of each blend and single origin coffee is done on a daily basis to ensure the quality and the freshness of the coffee are maintained.  Kuppa strives to have each visit a fresh new discovery."

If that's a promise, and with my first experience there as basis, I'm definitely going back.

07 November 2012

Americano at Chez Karine

It's probably been there for some months now, but I only had the pleasure of enjoying a cup of their wonderful coffee recently. A few steps away from sweet tooth-fave Cupcakes by Sonja, it was a delightful surprise that stirred my coffee desire, if I may call it that.

I came from a heavy lunch with the hubby, and even with just under 2 hours to spare (which I decided on spending in FullyBooked and/or Muji in the next mall complex), I needed a cup of coffee to break me out of lunch heaven. Their very charming, simple (meaning not rustic/shabby-chic cliche cafe) but inviting store facade called out to me, and I couldn't resist a few minutes (or more) inside the promise of a cool, airy, bright place to have my afternoon's dose. So in I went.
The seating area outside? That's the majority of it.
Inside, one would have to battle with a huge group to get any one of the 6 bar stools by the "bar". 

Upon entering, I got a whiff of javaroma, then the temptation from a whole glass display case of pastries to the right, but what got me and what could probably get you, should you be wary from hours of shopping or drowsy from a long, heavy meal - is a huge board with their Coffee list. A welcome sight.

Priced just right, I think.
Running through the list, I chose an Americano, which I loved. Coming from an espresso machine, it was hot enough, had enough froth, and after a sip, didn't disappoint. I believe that once a coffee place's basic coffee is good, there will always be another time to have a dressed-up one. So the rest of the coffees on their list, plus some pastries, of course, if I deserve it, will have its time. Can't wait :)

Post-sip verdict: Very Good Coffee!
Gotta try the Royal Puddings or Panna Cottas next visit.  Soon.

02 November 2012

A dose of coffeenspiration, please!

It's been some time since my last post, but definitely not very long since my last coffee. I've been uninspired for some reason or another. For my other blog, it's simply because I've been very busy and lost my discipline to put in a paragraph or two every so often. For this coffee blog, upon reflection, I have several excuses:

  1. I've had mostly starbucks coffee. Nothing new, so I felt, what's there to share?
  2. I've lost the motivation to share.
  3. I felt a bit of a complex as a coffee lover. Who am I to say I love coffee when I was reduced to gulping down several cups of 3-in-1 instant coffees at home? How can I say I love coffee when I have the one and only drip coffeemaker left for my grains? How can I explore the wonders of coffee at home when I choose to buy a pair of shoes over a new coffeemaker?
  4. It got easier to share via twitter, FB, pinterest, etc.

Ok, that should explain my absence from javajiving.

From this point on, 3-in-1 or brewed, homemade espresso or coffee-out, I will share in any way I can, and I will begin with pics I've saved in my computer folders (in no particular order) over the past several months of my bloglessness.

Swensen's, a fave sundae, fried chicken, & steak go-to in Singaporeis now in Eastwood City Mall. They serve good coffee:)  
Happy to be java jiving again :)