Tag Archives: coffee

For the Love of Coffee

The horrible traffic jams in the metro has unsweetened the commute for us lowly taxpayers and it takes more than sunshine-y disposition to win in this losing battle every single day. Well, traffic jam is one equalizer and seeing an annoyed guy driving a luxury car stuck beside the van I’m in made me a little thankful that I can doze off whenever I want while he sits there hopelessly fuming behind the wheel.

But I didn’t doze off. My mind wandered off to punchlines, comebacks, coffee and how relative it is to love and attraction. 😉

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I’ve always thought that waiting for my colossal cup of brew is worth the wait. I rather wait for a fresh brew than settle for what’s left on the coffee pot. Never settle. I cannot stress that enough.

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I like how being with you perks me up like a good cup of coffee in the morning.

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Oh, you like it black?  How fitting for your  personality.

Bitter and dark.

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I like my coffee hot and strong. Like you.

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This iced coffee reminds me so much of you. Cold.

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Cold nights. Hot coffee. Warm hugs.

Just perfect.

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Stale coffee is thrown away because it leaves a bad taste in the mouth;

As you should to those toxic and negative people around you.

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Enjoy the last few hours before the daily grind begins. Cheers to a new week! 🙂

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Exploring Bicol by Land: Day 1

So we arrived at the terminal before 6AM and a well-meaning cab driver offered to take us where we can take the jeep to our condotel. Of course in the process tried to sell us his tour services; but we had to decline because P3000 is just too steep.

I can’t remember the jeep we took but I think it’s Daraga-bound. The thing with Bicolanos, they are so nice! The driver even took time to check our map then told us that he’s indeed passing by that area. Even the passengers were so nice; without a trace of irritation that it took a few minutes before the jeep got moving on again.

It was a short trip from the terminal to the condotel and your landmark will be the De Vera Institute. From this landmark, Pinehurst Suites will be on your right. It’s almost unnoticeable so be on the lookout.

After taking our much needed bath, we headed out for our first real meal. At last.

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We opted for Bigg’s Diner because Small Talk Cafe was still closed then. It’s setting is like Johnny Rocket’s minus the sky-rocketing prices. Their resto at Old Albay, Legazpi City is like a 1950s American burger joint and so photo-op worthy. 🙂

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After the much needed breakfast, we walked from Bigg’s to the Cathedral of St. Gregory for our usual church-hopping. The heat was a little intense so we decided to hop off to our next destination: Cagsawa Ruins.

Tip:

From the cathedral, cross the street and ride the jeep bound for Camalig, Guinobatan or Polangui. These will all drop you off at the Cagsawa Junction. From there, you can opt to ride the trike or hike all the way up. Since the sun was fiery, trike it was. 

Cagsawa Ruins is a tourist magnet so brace yourself. Notice how Mayon Volcano managed to cover herself in the clouds. According to the locals, she is very shy and shows herself only to virgins. See Day 0 post. 'Nuff said.

Cagsawa Ruins is a tourist magnet so brace yourself. Notice how Mayon Volcano managed to cover herself in the clouds. According to the locals, she is very shy and shows herself only to virgins. Either that folklore is true or you can actually fool it with your looks. See Day 0 post. ‘Nuff said. 😀

It's the shake with a kick. Choose your flavor then Mang Cesar will add in chili essence. It's sweet then pulls a punch as it goes down your throat. Worth trying! Mang Cesar's not only a shaker, he got us a trusty trike driver to take us to our next destination.

It’s the shake with a kick. Choose your flavor then Mang Cesar will add in chili. It’s sweet then pulls a punch as it goes down your throat. Worth trying!
Mang Cesar’s not only a shaker, he got us a trusty trike driver to take us to our next destination.

So we rented the trike that Mang Cesar recommended. First stop: Daraga Church.

So we rented the trike that Mang Cesar recommended. First stop: Daraga Church.

The lime coating of the church is meant to preserve the church that has withstood destructive elements for more than 200 years.

The lime coating of the church is meant to preserve the church that has withstood destructive elements for more than 200 years. As usual, Mayon Volcano is hiding behind the clouds again.

Next stop: Lignon Hill. It's a tiring, steep climb from the base but it sure was worth it. Amazing view from the top! If Mang Ramil is right, the huge expanse of blue is Misibis Bay :)

Next stop: Lignon Hill. It’s a tiring, steep climb from the base but it sure was worth it. Amazing view from the top! If our trike driver, Mang Ramil is right, the huge expanse of blue is Misibis Bay. 🙂

After we have caught our breaths, next stop was Legazpi Port. I told you, Legazpi people are so lucky because this gorgeous gift of nature is visible almost everywhere.

After we have caught our breaths, next stop was Legazpi Port. I told you, the locals are so lucky to see this gorgeous gift of nature from almost anywhere.

By this time (around 4PM), we finally gave in to the calling of our tummies and we asked Mang Ramil to take us back to our place so we can freshen up before we have our lunch/dinner at Smalll Talk Café.

Reasonable price. Good portions. Nice ambiance.   This places gets pretty packed so try going here off peak hours.

Reasonable price. Good portions. Nice ambiance. This places gets pretty packed so try going here off peak hours.

We capped the night off at the quaint La Mia Tazza, which is right across Small Talk Cafe.

We capped the night off at the quaint La Mia Tazza along Old Albay Street, right across Small Talk Cafe. Do try their Pili Tazzino. It has generous bits of pili so it’s like coffee with a crunch!

Tips:

While it is so much cheaper to commute around Legazpi via jeep, we took Mang Cesar’s advise to hire a trike instead because we don’t have the luxury of time. And he’s right; the tourist places are set far apart and we would’ve lost precious time waiting for a ride before heading to the next.

  • Jeep fare from condo to Old Albay Street (Bigg’s): P8.00
  • Jeep fare from Old Albay to Cagsawa: P8.00
  • Trike from Cagsawa Junction to the ruins: P20 (I think)
  • Hired trike: P250 + P50 tip: P300 (100/pax)
  • Lunch/dinner/coffee: P250+

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Vietnam Diaries: Coffee Plantation, Dalat

This post is part of Vietnam Diaries: Exploring Dalat (Day 3).

A caffeine addict like me should not pass on the chance to visit this piece of heaven.

Glasshouses are part of the scenic view of the Dalat countryside.

This is the irrigation that sustains the surrounding coffee plantation.

Arabica and Robusta coffee abound this plantation.

Arabica coffee berries lying in wait for harvest time.

The traditional Vietnamese drip coffee (ca phe sua nong or hot coffee with milk). If you find it too strong, you can ask for hot water to dilute it a bit.

I can actually live in this place! 😀

I didn’t get these from the coffee plantation but I made sure I got my coffee treasure before leaving Vietnam 😀

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That Despicable Coffee Shop Culture

The coffee shop is the new place to hangout; whether with friends or family. Or the perfect place to meet  an acquaintance since it’s a fairly neutral ground.  Or the place to cure that hangover after an alcohol-infused dinner of seafood sisig (oh days of yore!). 😉

Several years ago, you can escape to a coffee shop for some needed me time; to read a book, compose a blog post, do some people-watching or just simply chat with friends.

The Highlands Coffee Shop hasn’t been discovered yet by the caffeine addicts so enjoy this place while you still can.

Now, that is just wishful thinking when you’re out looking for a table for even two people during those peak hours (and by that I mean Friday, weekend and payday nights). Wending your way through the café requires a steady heart rate and a cool head because these supposedly decent people frequenting the place have lost a fair amount of sensitivity and consideration for others on their way to the coffee shop.

It has now transformed into the new library where lone students, especially those taking up post-graduate degrees, occupy a table that’s meant to sit four people. I can understand occupying two seats, but four?! Really?!! Because the laptop, books, notebooks, pens, pencils,  highlighters, sticky notes, and of course the trusty iPod are all on blatant display for everyone to see and realize that, “You have to understand me. I’m busy studying Law and I need this whole stretch of gorgeous wooden table to my just as gorgeous, studious self.”

On those not-so-busy hours, maybe you can have that luxury but when people starts pouring in, at least have the civility to gather your stuff on one side and let the others have that nifty little space. You are all customers and you all have a right to the table. So quit hoarding  that space to yourself like you owned the place.

If you want to enjoy your coffee, this is NOT the place to go, especially on those Friday nights.

What makes the coffee shop scene odder these days is the presence of kids. I love kids but unruly kids left unfettered by their parents or guardians because they are busy chatting with their friends or reading the paper really peeves me. I’m not saying that you do not bring your kids; we bring my niblings along because they love the chocolate drinks. But is it really too much to ask to rein in your kids when they start getting restless and their antics aren’t cute anymore? Our kids know that if they start that attitude, we will leave whether they like it or not.

And when you do discipline your kids, please do not yell at them. It doesn’t make you look any good that you’re disciplining your kid; it makes you look obtuse on parenthood.

I love this cozy cafe in Saigon that we stumbled upon during our vacation in 2009.

While coffee shops  may entice customers with wi-fi access for your purchase, it does not translate to you actually living there for the day, mooching off their internet connection for as long as your shamelessness will allow. But should you ever have to do this out of sheer necessity, at least drop a nice tip in their tip jar as a token for allowing a leech like you stay at the comfiest couch in the coffee shop.

Funny that with all those observations, I still trod down to a coffee shop whenever I need to feel recharged or just enjoy some quiet time by myself. The thing is, hunt down those coffee shop branches that are not easily accessible or go there on off-peak hours so you can live on that couch and not feel guilty that you’re hogging it to yourself. 🙂

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Cheap Caffeine Fixes

I am a certified caffeine junkie and I’ve recently discovered some cheap coffee treasures at the supermarket.

Cappuccino for just P8.00 and it comes with chocolate powder too!

These other cheap coffee fixes can be had for less than P10 each and they are surprisingly good too, hot or cold. With the super hot weather now, I love it iced. So do the math, a grande iced cappuccino at coffee shops cost around P130. You can have more than 13 of these for the price of one.

Nescafe Gold retails for around P47 for a pack of 5; while Trung Nguyen G7, the famous and delicious Vietnamese coffee, retails for around P72 per box of 10. A neighborhood supermarket sells this by piece, which is a good idea for people who want to try it first. Believe me, this tastes good!

Wickedly cheap, good coffee

But being the coffee junkie that I am, I will still go to a coffee shop, do people watching, surf on my phone or my netbook or just read a good book. (^_^)

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