Weekend + @MUNI_PH Meetup this Wednesday!!!

My weekends are better spent on coffee, meetings over coffee, and... you guessed right -- more coffee!

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If you’ve been playing SimCity BuildIt, you’ll get me on this. Who has Dr. Vu’s Lab already?IMG_6936

Luna Specialty Coffee is a lil hole smack right in NAC Tower along 32nd street in The Fort. I know you guys call it BGC nowadays but I’m really not feeling calling it that. So I’ll stick to Fort. There aren’t that much options in the menu, but it works. I love that the cold brew comes in a bottle (that might as well look like cough syrup. Cue: Young The Giant.) The Corned Beef Tapa was just alright too! I’d love it to be hash-y than tapa-y, but hey I just woke up at 2pm and I need nourishment. IMG_6934IMG_6935IMG_6937 IMG_6939I’ve been doing some freelance work with MUNI and we have a lot of great events coming up for ‘ya! I’ve pitched a few of my favorite things – and one is below – and another one is above! Sooooo excited to work with them and bring you meaningful events to connect with like-minded people. /plug —

QUICK PLUG! This Wednesday, we’re having three nomads tell their stories of travel and truth – Hannah Reyes of www.hannah.ph and Nat Geo Creatives, April Cuenca of  FlipTrip.ph, and Guido Sarreal of Kawil Tours. Hope you can drop by and hang with us as we talk about our favorite hobby, that is in this blog, T R A V E L I N G! Register here – I think there are still Eager Beaver tickets available (PhP 150), PhP 200 for walk-ins.

/endplug

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We have time to spare after our catch up, so the MUNI team headed towards the Satchmi Vinyl Day festivities at the BGC amphiteather – and boy was it fun! Got to hear Jensen and Tandem before heading on to our agenda for the night.

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But quick falafel run is always good, okIMG_6949

Our venue partner for the Travel and Truth meetup on Wednesday is Z Hostel at Don Pedro street in Makati! If you’ve been following my blog since I started traveling, you’d know I have a soft spot for hostels – and for cozy, good vibes-inducing ones at that. Right from the doorstep, Z will put an end to your hostility towards the common hostel, because it gives you good vibes. The roofdeck will be our rendezvous, and I am so ready to hear our nomad guests to tell their stories. Will I see you there?  IMG_6950IMG_6951Pun or not pun intended idk idk idkIMG_6956IMG_6957

Unwinding after a long day at Today x Future is always a good idea. It’s one of those places that I can call home and just go to and not feel alone. A lot has changed since I met Future but it still is that place where I go to randomly meet friends without ever texting or calling or vibering or tweeting anyone. Sucha good feels kinda place <3
IMG_6959It pains me to go home when I’ve gots lotsa things still to do but it’s all in a day’s work.

 

Weekends (and hangovers) aka life according to the phone, pt. 3

Izz a bit late but what the hell - this is covering end of Feb to March

IMG_6303First order of things tho – selfie!

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Last month, my best friend Hanna and I celebrated our birthdays! Cheers to 26 and 24 — with a big ass beer and more spirits…Hanna3Hanna4Hanna5Hanna6Like this tall shots of Patron XO!

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What’s a decent hangover without pancit canton? Tell me?! And of course, I just had to have time with the fambam as well – though it’s really getting hard to have all of us in one table these days, this’ll do for now. I hope I can rile them up for a summer getaway or something. IMG_6304IMG_6315Mendokoro Ramenba 1Mendokoro Ramenba 2

But even without hangover, I’ll choose noodles anytime any day anywhere. I finally went to Mendokoro Ramenba in Salcedo Village. I’ve been tweeting and telling you guys that I’ve heard so much good about this place – and yes those are all true! No frills ramen with a small menu of less than 10 items and just one of the most glorious broth I have souped up. Gad, even in the middle of this hotness aka the devil’s asshole, I would go up there to soup up. 
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And for those busy days (yes, even the weekends are busy ok), I go to local coffee shops like Local Edition to work on stuff. March has been incredibly busy with both meeting potential collaborators and meeting friends. Local Ed’s cold brew is just right to wire me up and put me in the mood to work plus Perea is a quiet haven – aka without the mall crowd – to hole up and focus on things.

Sundays at Local Edition 2

I just looooove how last month turned out and it’s just the first quarter.Sundays at Local Edition

2015, c’mon show me what you’ve got!

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Stop. And just stop. 

March 15, 2015 12:30PM

BATANES, PHILIPPINES — I’m now here at Phil’s Brew, Batanes’ first neighborhood cafe, and I’m finding it hard to finish any writing.

The birds are chirping, kids frolicking, the smell of home-brewed coffee, Ang Bandang Shirley appending the serenity; all beautifully distracting me from everything I’ve set myself to do today.

I came here to decompress anyway. The past few days in this island, albeit still not unplugged, has been nothing short of amazing. Even after seeing everything that has to be seen, this island — this little speck of land on the northernmost border of the Philippines still hasn’t ceased to astound every inch of my being.

Today, I tell myself, I am lucky to be here.

Being utterly present in the moment is something hard for me to do, but today, it seems that my hands are not willing to do anything. I am forced to bask in the quietness of my tiny space, this corner I holed up, along with the cacophony of the buzzing community on Sunday’s best. The wind is in my face, a typhoon is coming, and I’m halfway my cuppa. I could use this kind of peace in the city.

It’s more than the gifts of nature, or the cool breeze, or the honesty culture the island is known for. The invading peace that slowly creeps up to your system, forcing me to halt, that’s what is. Ah, when was the last time I stopped? To stay still, to appreciate, to feel the energy flow… and just flow in and out of my body like a steady stream of spring water. I in the middle of it all, just in a complete stop.

This place made me stop. Not to think, not to ruminate, not to analyze, but only to stop. I thought I came here to escape; I thought that’s what I need. But all I have done so far is to stop.

And it feels good.

My cup of exquisitely prepared local brew has just reached it’s bottom and I think a refill is in order. I’m gonna stay here for a while.

#Bangcock Day 4: Quick coffee at Ceresia… and going back home

I will never let myself not try Bangkok’s local coffee shops so on our last day — I went out a couple of stations away from Baiyoke for an early breakfast and set off to find at least one specialty coffee shop.

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A couple of blocks away from BTS Phrom Phong is a quiet neighborhood where Ceresia Coffee Roasters is nestled in, along 33/1 Sukhumvit Road. You would need to go to the alley to see it. If you go here before 10am, it will most probably be the only cafe open in the area.

IMG_6066They do the roasting in-house!

IMG_6067IMG_6068An exquisitely prepared flat white with latte art to boot!

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It’s almost Christmas when we went to Bangkok, so there were Christmas packages on display as well. Nevertheless, I liked the minimalist aesthetic the store has. It might feel a bit stiff, but the owners, who also prepares your coffee, are so friendly. I’m so bad with names but the store is owned by a Peruvian lady and a Thai guy. I enjoyed talking to them about how they’re sourcing their coffee — pretty awesome stuff! I also found a magazine (not in the photos) featuring Chiang Mai Design Week and how the emerging Thai city has a very laid back yet still very urban culture – and I am excited to go one day! Plus there are interesting cafes to try as well… Bangkok, I love you, but I hafta see Chiang Mai!

IMG_6074IMG_6075IMG_6076And I saw another quaint coffee shop around the corner

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Took the train and had to drop postcards at the post office… I think it was in Ratchathewi. Then I saw a hawker place – where I ate Pad Thai of course! One last hurrah. I’d miss this city of sumptuous street food and beautiful finds.

IMG_6079IMG_6081Then it’s off to the airport and it’s good bye once more. 

Ceresia Coffee Roasters
41 Praphai Phak Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea
Watthana, Bangkok (Near BTS Phrom Phong)
+66 86 843 8235
Open 8am – 6pm

Hong Kong Hustle: Coffee Shop Hopping at Jervois Street

I didn’t get to have all the coffee that I want back in Hong Kong but I took note of the interesting cafes that I saw while strolling around the area. Hopefully, they’ll be of help for you as well! 

Most of these are found at Hong Kong Island – in Sheung Wan, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay. Hopefully, this list will grow – because I’ll definitely go back soon! Maybe a lesson or two from the Coffee Academics… and an overcaffeinated vacation…

Ah! One can dream…


 

IMG_5513The Coffee Academics 
38 Yiu Wa St, Causeway Bay
+852 2156 0313
10am – 11pm

IMG_558818 Grams Specialty Coffee
77 Wing Lok St, Sheung Wan
8am – 7am (I’m not sure if this is serious tho lol)

IMG_5590VEYGO Coffee
Kai Fung Mansion, 2-24 Jervois St
Sheung Wan
+852 2205 1011
9am – 10pm

IMG_5591Catfe
85 Jervois St, Sheung Wan
+852 3590 2686

IMG_5592Fetch Coffee
109 Jervois St, Sheung Wan

IMG_5595Backerei Cafe
G/F Western Market, Sheung Wan

IMG_5602Agnes B. Cafe L.P.G.
17-19 Yun Ping Rd, Causeway Bay

IMG_5675Rabbithole Coffee and Roaster
3 Landale St, Wan Chai
+852 2528 0039
7:30am – 8pm

IMG_5692Barista Jam
126-128 Jervois St, Sheung Wan
+852 2854 2211

IMG_5694Cupping Room
LG/F 299 Queen’s Road Central
Sheung Wan
+852 2799 3398

IMG_5695Corner Kitchen Cafe
226 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan
+852 2547 8008

IMG_5697Caffe Habitu
Hung Hom, near HK Polytechnic Uni

 

Weekend Diary: Veg, BSO, and Reads

20140707-205054-75054936.jpgI like chill weekends when no one is rushed and you can just take a walk… and the weather, good; meeting up a friend; having coffee; and driving around town.

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20140707-205057-75057352.jpgThe perfect trifecta of my breakfast is coffee, orange juice, and… no not veggies, but — CHEESE! BLEU CHEESE! SACREBLEUUU!

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20140707-205058-75058159.jpgEver since I joined the vegetarian program in the office, I now find ways to eat (and enjoy!) more veggies and incorporate it to my diet. It goes like this – since most of the time I eat in the office, I eat more vegetables… but I didn’t give up meat — like WHY WOULD I OKAY

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20140707-205100-75060570.jpgI convinced Ella to go to the Travel Expo. The mission: find the cheapest flight to the northest of all the north islands in the Philippines.

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20140707-205226-75146036.jpgSay hi to Ms. Val who found me a week worth of vacation!!! ON MY BIRTHDAY! It’s still next year, but what the hell. I am excited!

20140707-205227-75147747.jpgJust because

20140707-205229-75149329.jpgThe embassy of Japan had a live traditional painting x guitar session at the Travel Expo

20140707-205233-75153036.jpgAnd Cai is back home and got me a copy of Monocle’s design issue

20140707-205230-75150153.jpgAnd more magazines — this time from the Travel Expo

20140707-205232-75152067.jpgWalking around town and running errands made me deserve a good glass of iced Sagadan coffee at Cool Beans in Maginhawa. Check out their traditionally weaved table runner!

20140707-205230-75150985.jpgAnd a piping hot bowl of shoyu ramen from Shinjuku at Little Tokyo after watching Eiga Sai. A day of watching Japanese films only made me wanna shove my face to this bowl

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And yes, because I’m mature like dut.

All photos taken using iPhone 5

 

Starbucks Reserve

I guess when I started working the night shift, my coffee habits really shifted. I drank my usual Iced Americano at night like a milk night cap, and lost of juices (and sometimes alcohol) in the morning. But I couldn’t pass the opportunity when Starbucks Reserve opened in the neighborhood.

20140514-094014.jpg The signature “Reserve” signage by the door gives it away

The third wave movement must have caught up with the big coffee chain, and I am glad! Contrary to others who would scoff at this latest addition to the already awesome caffeine fix Starbucks gives, I am actually glad that I have more options in the metro. Again, just couldn’t pass up.

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So off I went with my friend Nica to check what’s in store. I found two familiar blends – Sumatran Blue Batak (which I previously raved about in Kuppa) and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. About time to try something new again, I thought. So what else is in the Reserve menu? Nica had the Mexican Finca Nuevo and I with a big mug of Zambian Peaberry from the Terranova Estate. Oddly enough, my African coffee tastes a lot like the Asian Batak. Hmmm, untrained tongue, more coffee. I thought.

20140514-094028.jpg I love that they are adapting to changes! They did a really nice pour over.

It’s the morning and I should be working on getting sleep, but what the heck. I sipped through my mug and felt the brown liquid down my throat and enliven my nerves. Alas, I was alive. I knew I would’t be getting my sleep any sooner.

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Starbucks Reserve at Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City

Zapped

It never hurts to have rebates whenever you go buy something. Loyalty cards are a hit because you can really save up when you start racking up points and start feeling the perks of your purchase. So when ZAP came into mind, I thought of them like Timezone. You buy credits, use them, and earn tickets. Same logic!

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Team Zap invited me and a couple more people to join the Zap Crawl in Greenhills. Now I don’t go that much here, and it was a pretty quiet Saturday for me, so I decided to go and have fun! I haven’t been aware that they had this same gig over at Fort. So here goes.

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After the trip to The Wine Depot, we headed over to Department of Coffee. It’s this little third wave coffee shop in Wilson street. I’ve been meaning to go there and try it out and finally I was able to go there! Not too shabby, I think. I just hope they offer more than espresso. But nonetheless, that cup of espresso is exquisite.

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20140429-014115.jpg Department of Coffee’s menu

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Dinner time came, and we were treated to Asian Fusion Cuisine at Torch. While I am not a fan of fusion, what I am of is a really good slab of meat. I’ll cut to the chase, the steak here is the bomb, and I cannot wait to go back and have more of that succulent steak!

20140429-014144.jpg Again, I am not a fan of fusion but burger and mac and cheese just sounded like my childhood on steroids. SO YES TO THIS DISH!

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Team ZapWe ended up watching the latest 300 movie at the Promenade Cinema.

Yeah, more meat! 

Find out more about Zap Partners and register here TODAY!

Photos taken from my iPhone 5

Coffee Wishlist!

Coffee cups

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PatriciaCups

ceramic-mason-jar-mugs-4Especially this one please! I usually shun people who give mugs as gifts BUT in this case, I really need lots of GOOD mugs. Read: good = creative, beautiful, something that will make me shit rainbows in the morning.

custom-cups

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Local coffee beans

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Kape-Maria3Kape Maria is part of my Christmas Gift ideas list last year as well! Quick Brew is exclusively available in Heima! If you know other local brands though, link me up!

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(or International coffee beans!)

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Blue-Bottle-CoffeeOne can’t have too much coffee. 

(or cold brew/make me a 12h cold brew)

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French presses

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e9ddd36d1fceb6b2f9e30f80877827acCutesy patootsie terrarium in a coffee press I found somewhere in Pinterest!

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Screen-Shot-2013-11-21-at-11.57.41-AMAgain, can’t have too much coffee.

(actually, there’s a lot of choices) Different strokes for different folks… or moods.

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Shot glasses

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‘Cause sometimes a shot is all you need!

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Vacuum mason jars

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BOOKS ABOUT COFFEE!

God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee by Michaele Weissman

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Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee by James Freeman

blue-bottle-bookJeez, or bring me to the US of A for Blue Bottle!

A-Z Coffee by Lars K. Huse & Harald Johnsen Vøyle

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Whew! I haven’t done a wishlist in a long time! So hey, you know it’s my birthday month *big grin*

P.S. More to come this coming days! HAHA I miss doing this, y’know?

Stories of coffee

It’s been crazy for me – coffee and I. I will already apologise because I sound like a junkie of sorts. But I just can’t help it. It’s like I haven’t known what coffee tastes like and my taste buds are sooooooo asking for more. My heart can’t keep up, and I don’t want to go back being a sleepless zombie again. So I turn to Youtube —

Thrash Lab did a good job with this documentary about specialty coffee shops in the US! Watching feels like smelling and tasting and being in the coffee shop. Or I was just craving for a cuppa, idk really. But I enjoyed knowing more about these shops who takes the next step of knowing their coffee – from seed to cup. Such geekery watching them play with their toys (oh that Hario V60!) Thrash Lab has a lot of good videos to watch… I could easily use up an hour just watching. They’d probably coffee-d up to come up with these!

Satisfy your cravings of maximum coffee geekery and watch how making coffee can easily turn into Dexter’s Lab! Zagat‘s feature on Seattle’s Caffe Vita and the coffee siphon is absolutely amazing! I’ve seen this done once in Craft Katipunan here in Manila. Reminds me of the chem lab in high school without the nasty odors!

Watching how people follow their passion inspires me so much! Their enthusiasm is contagious. You can see sparkle in their eyes when they talk about the one thing they love to do. When they stand and decide that doing anything else is futile – you just feel it flowing from them. Nick Clark from New Zealand in his Tedx talk is absolutely charming. Don’t you just love him and his accent?

In the same vein, Asher Yaron, in his pursuit of the perfect cup, is very inspiring. I admire his vigilance against stale, old, and dead coffee – because coffee is meant to be alive! I am now understanding why coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world – because it brings the best in us; from drinking it just because to finding the perfect cup.

And don’t you just love mythbusters?

Here’s to enjoying a cuppa!

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