I have a friend who’s known as the “Sound Check Guy”. He’s musically inclined and decided to live in La Union for good, finding he felt more at home there. He worked as a barista for a small coffee shop for a while and that’s where I first heard about El Union Coffee. This small cafe ran by Kiddo and Sly sources locally grown coffee beans from around La Union. Their signature blend became a hit among the locals and tourists alike. The cafe quickly outgrew its original site and had to move to a new location along the MacArthur National Highway.
It’s been more than three years since J.Co Donuts and Coffee came to the Philippine shores. I still remember the unbelievable long queue on the very few branches they had. We can’t blame those people as happyfoodies too raved about their not-too-sweet but delicious donuts. Lately, J.Co has a more relaxed atmosphere with more manageable lines that doesn’t seem to be in a state of panic to take home boxes. People can enjoy coffee, frappes and their donuts in an unhurried pace and actually share some quality chats with friends. Happyfoodies was just glad to find a window-side table with comfy chairs and get to try what’s new to add to their old-time favorites.
I’m glad an old favorite cafe returned. Coffee 8065, a cafe owned by the same people behind 8065 Bagnet re-opened early this year in a new location within San Antonio Village in Makati. Moving from their former home, on the 2nd floor of an old building along Estrella corner Pasong Tamo, their new home is more accessible being on the streetside. A bambike (bamboo bike) holds their signature sign parked just in front of their entrance. From outside, it looks like one of the houses in the neighborhood; inside is the familiar cozy ambiance with a very homey vibe.
The shop looks rather nondescript from the outside save for a simple, elegant signage that announces “Satinka Naturals” and a blackboard that says, “A piece of the mountains in the city”. Well, the second one got our attention. As is common with some other establishments, the promise can be just that – a promise premised on purely commercial purposes, just enough to pull in a customer for the first time but not for a return visit. Happily, Satinka Naturals’ advertising sign is not mere rhetoric. In fact, the more often we visit, the more delighted we are in discovering, not just healthful foods, but also nuggets of health wisdom from its owners, Satinka and Shaller, who both hail from Kalinga.
It’s not your usual toast. Cafe Shibuya has signature high toast that are 2 1/2 inches thick, topped with a single ice cream scoop or two and sprinkled with powder, fruits or chocolates depending on your desired flavors. Just looking at the variety of offerings from the menu, it’s challenging to make a choice as most look delectable. Choosing drinks was quite easy as I love coffee and matcha and they have a blend of both.