Hi guys! Ken here. I haven’t actually been able to post anything here recently, mainly due to work and other commitments. Such is life, after all. But anyway, it’s good to be back! And since I have a backlog again, I’ll hopefully be able to give out a continuous stream of posts for the next few weeks. Enjoy! 🙂
[April 23, 2016]
I started the day by riding the train directly to my first stop. It’s my first time adventuring in the city of Pasig, so I was of course relatively excited. Knowing beforehand that it would take me a few more jeeps to actually get to Pasig, I made a point to first visit TIPSY BEANS around the Ortigas area (Pasig City is right next to Ortigas, btw). To my misfortune, I ended up arriving too early so the place wasn’t open yet! And worse, they just happened to be renovating the place just for today!
50 Domingo M. Guevarra Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City
After chatting with the owner (who is actually quite the amiable fellow), he told me that they do have other branches somewhere at Pearl Drive, near Robinson’s Galleria. Deciding that the destination was out of my scope, I decided to visit another day and go to my next destination.
By the time I walked back to EDSA the malls were already open, and I just remembered something: there’s a coffee shop in Shangri-La that I haven’t visited yet! I remember because it was right next to the central atrium, which hosted this year’s Starbucks Coffee Appreciation Festival a few weeks back. I proceeded to enter the mall, and there it was, just opened.
2/F Main Wing,
Shangri-La Plaza Mall, EDSA
Located in the middle of Shangri-La Mall, Intelligentsia serves specialty coffee, and has origins from Chicago. With an open counter and a full view of the machines and brewers on display, people can sit right next to Duck and Buvette and enjoy delicious coffee, food, or both!
They also sell special specialty coffee. I made that redundant because a 340-gram bag of roasted coffee beans is quite expensive. 1,250 Php. The barista in change told me that their beans do tend to be this pricey because the beans themselves are of a very special blend. Whilst considering my financial goals, I went on ahead, sat myself on a table, and ordered something from the menu.
I was inclined to try some cold-brewed coffee after that long walk under the scorching summer sun. Incidentally, they were using Anjilanaka beans from Bolivia, which a kind of bean that I’ve never heard nor tried before. Thankfully, Intelligentsia’s website has some info on their coffee beans here as well as their prices (http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com/product/coffee/anjilanaka-bolivia). Isn’t that convenient? 🙂
I was given a choice of using water or soda water in my coffee. I’ve already tried cold brew before, though I’m not really fond of soda water myself. But then again, it /was/ a new experience (what with the coffee beans and all), so I took a leap into the abyss and tried the soda water-based variant. Here goes nothing!
And here it was, served on a tall(er than I expected) glass and bubbling CO2 between the ice. If this doesn’t invite thirst, I don’t know what will.
As I (kinda-sorta) expected, I ended up not liking the soda water very well. BUT the coffee was delicious! It was very tangy, and taking into account with the soda water you’ll get a refreshing, albeit slightly strong, coffee drink. Perfect for those who need a thirst-quenching pick-me-up. 😀
And here’s my verdict!
Intelligentsia’s Cold Brew (using Anjilanaka, Bolivia Beans).
Acidity: High! Very tangy.
Body: Medium. Tends to stick around in your mouth after a while.
Flavor: Strong. Very strong! The soda water makes itself known, all right.
Price: 180 pesos. A bit pricey, but worth it.
Rating: 3.0/5.0! I’m not a fan of soda water, but I like their brew. You should go for their regular, water-based version instead. :))
Thanking the awesome baristas of Intelligentsia for the experience, I leave Shangri-la and ride a jeep to Pasig City!
Going down into the streets of Pasig and checking my map, I decided to have my lunch at the nearest #BaristAdventuring target: United Coffee!
16 United St., Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Walking around the streets and consulting my Waze/GMaps, I was able to get in front of the building (there was a sign there, thankfully), but I wasn’t sure where to enter.
(Protip: When doing your own adventure, I suggest that you use Waze, Google Maps, and Google Search together when you’re not sure where to go/if you’re at your destination. GMaps tends to be inaccurate sometimes, and it almost led me to a non-existent destination several kilometers away at one point. But I digress.)
Entering the right-side door, I went inside a longganisa-based restaurant and exited through their side door. It was then I realized why the entrance looked that way: the whole building is a food complex! I bet this place gets really lively during the night. Curiously enough, United Coffee is on the second floor. Now to find the stairs…
Finding the stairs and going up the second floor (which also hosts a bunch of eateries), I finally found United. Going in and ordering a cup of cappuccino and a plate of pasta, I went ahead and took photos of the (admittedly charming) place.
Aside from the coffee and meals, United also hosts a scrumptious selection of cakes and cookies. I wasn’t able to try it for myself, but they /do/ look like they’re worth it. 🙂
After getting my fill of picture-taking, it’s now time to get my fill for lunch! My order has come! A plate of pasta and a cup of cappuccino. Good presentation, and I’m almost regretting drinking that cute latte art. :3
Here we go!
United Coffee’s Cappuccino
Aroma: It’s cappuccino, so not much to say here. :)))
Flavor: A bit milkier than usual, but still passable.
Price: 130 pesos.
Cuteness Factor: 5/5 :3
Rating: 4.0/5. This kind of cappuccino is good for those who want to start drinking coffee, but can’t handle the bitter taste yet. Awesome! 🙂
Finishing up my lunch, charging my phone (I use my phone camera, so I drain my battery more often than most), and resting up a bit, I headed to my third and final destination: Epic Coffee Roastery!
Epic Coffee Roastery/Epic Cafe
7th East Building, 102 East Capitol Drive Corner Santa Rosa Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Located just a short walk (1-2 mins) from United Coffee, Epic’s places is smaller, albeit a bit more homey. The interior’s furnished with wood and red bricks, so it kinda reminds me of a cottage out in the woods. Plus, there’s even a bike mounted on the wall. This cafe would be great in the middle of a park. 🙂
EPIC boasts a wide range of coffee offerings, from classic pourovers, to lattes and frappes. They also have all-day breakfast meals and ice cream!
After placing my order, the barista was kind enough to give me a chat and let me watch him do his magic. Apparently, they also sell various coffee equipment, from coffee beans, to Hario Syphon Brewers to espresso tampers.
And like most coffee shops, they also offer cakes and pastries. And even better-at affordable prices! A slab of chocolate fudge walnut brownie for Php 85? Count me in!
Once my order was ready, I went back to my seat and enjoyed my cup. I went for their specialty, their Epic Blend. Here’s how it went:
Epic Cafe’s Epic Blend (With Jakarta Arabica beans and some Robusta)
Acidity: Low, almost nonexistent
Body: High, and deep. Darkly roasted, for sure.
Flavor: Bitter, like dark choco.
Price: Php 110/130.
Rating: 4.2/5. An epic blend, indeed. I’d recommend this to those who want to try their coffee black. 🙂
I wasn’t able to explore ALL of Pasig City, since there’s simply too many. But worry not, for I’ll just visit the other half next time!
And that’s it! But before I wrap this up, let me end with a profound quote I encountered in one of mankind’s most culturally significant places of pondering: The Toilet. :)))
Happy Hunting! 😀