Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016
Hot Chocolate
Cheese Burger

My recent revisit of Baguio City allowed me to absorb its quiddity on a laid-back schedule. Unlike previous vacations, I didn't rush. I didn't dash through souvenir shops like I normally do. Rain might have interrupted my chances at a stroll of Camp John Hay but it was alright. I was blissfully on reset mode. Having a whiff of the pine tree-filled scenery in my scruffy clothes at my booked guestroom at Baguio GM Apartel was a throwback to my childhood summers in the city. Most of all, I had the chance to linger the whole afternoon at my new favorite coffee shop in the area -- The Coffee Library (TCL)! It's where everything on the menu seems to be thoughtfully prepared and has the adventurous taste buds of caffeine aficionados always delicately considered.

Operated by Baguio-native and professor Stephen Zarate, The Coffee Library is less than a year old only and yet it has captured the attention, time, and money of many residents and tourists in the city when it comes to interesting brew options and reliable snacks that complement them. His brother, Ken, also happens to be the store's chef, making the whole operation an endearing family thing.

Check out my first visit of The Coffee Library here.

Kapangan Coffee

Vietnamese Egg Coffee

Tasting Kapangan Coffee

Since I had more time to spend at the cafe on this revisit, I got to sample more treats. I started my afternoon snack with a cup of TCL's Kapangan Coffee, Benguet's version of the Barako Coffee. Because I missed out on having one the last time I visited the city due to shortage in supply, I made sure I sampled it first. It's a must to try it in two ways -- with milk and without milk -- just so you can tell how similar it tastes to the Batangas brew. Served in a press pot that lets you wait for it to brew after four minutes, the Kapangan Coffee is basically the same type of coffee that's distributed in other parts of Benguet and Mountain Province. What's so special about it is that the beans that are brewed as Kapangan are grown in the rugged slopes of the town with the same name. It's something worth ordering that's harvested just less than a couple of hours away from the city.

Read books while you have a cuppa
Appetizing Buffalo Wings and Mozzarella Sticks

For my next session, I proceed to tickle my palate with appetizers of Buffalo Wings and Mozzarella Sticks. I'm not a big fan of the latter because anything breaded instantly makes me stuffed and this version by TCL is real hefty on the tummy if not shared with a friend. For anyone ordering this Italian favorite at the cafe, make sure to taste it with marinara sauce so you won't easily grow tired of it. As for the Buffalo Wings, it's an appetizer that I highly recommend for being tasty to the bones even without the delicious blue cheese dip. It may not be the type that's served swimming in sauce, but it's glossy all over. Its meat tastes tender and it's crispy on the outside. This 8-piece appetizer has that appealing blend of mesquite flavor and sweetness, plus it's good for sharing with friends.

"As for the Buffalo Wings, it's an appetizer that I highly recommend for being tasty to the bones even without the delicious blue cheese dip."

Mozzarella Sticks
Full house every weekend
Buffalo Wings
Chef Ken Zarate

Traditional Hot Chocolate and Unique Egg Coffee

I also had a couple of memorable drinks other than the Kapangan Coffee. TCL's Hot Chocolate tasted like home, reminding me of the tablea drink that my mom used to prepare every Christmas when I was a kid. It's something that any tourist in Baguio City needs to have especially on a late night visit and a great alternative to Choco-late De Batirol's own version. The cafe's take on the Vietnamese Egg Coffee was also remarkable for simply being different because it's not something that anybody can order in the city except at TCL. It's unique for being neither hot nor cold when served which is a good complement to the chewy Mozzarella Sticks. It's full-on creamy for tasting like liquid tiramisu. To properly appreciate it, slowly stir the froth of whipped egg until the coffee below is fully mixed into it along with the aromatic cinnamon, blending sweet and bitter flavors in one cup.

Kapangan Coffee
Smoldering Cheese Burger

To end my afternoon snack, I sampled TCL's Cheese Burger which is a favorite among returning guests according to Stephen. Seeing this American treat served in hefty layers of caramelized onion, beef patty, cheese and more, I couldn't help but be intimidated at its gourmet appearance especially since I slightly abhor having my burger consumed per layer instead of the traditional way of holding the whole thing in one hand and tearing into it all in one bite. With much hesitation, I did just the opposite of how I would eat it and worked my way through it quite slowly. Fortunately, the patty tasted just right enough to make it a smoldering treat and a savory contrast to the egg coffee that I just had before it.

"The cafe's take on the Vietnamese Egg Coffee was also remarkable for simply being different because it's not something that anybody can order in the city except at TCL."

Should you be in Baguio City soon and you're in Session Road or at the cathedral, walk a little further to where Rex Bookstore is and you'll find The Coffee Library for an essential stopover of world drinks and snacks. You'll be surprised to see new flavors from different parts of the globe as Stephen is inventive when it comes to keeping the cafe's menu updated.

The Coffee Library

Official Facebook fan page of The Coffee Library

Address: Rex Hall, Upper Bonifacio St., Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines 2600
Phone: 0917-503-7962

Check out this other restaurant that I visited for my Baguio Unwind Series:
Masa Mexitalian Grub

More Photos Below:

Cheese Burger
Vietnamese Egg Coffee
Kapangan Coffee


  1. Two servings* of Pho Bo, a cheeseburger, apple pie, Turkish coffee, vietnamese coffee, free-wifi, clean restroom and one-level upgrade in Pokemon Go (they have 3 pokestops) all these for only Php 700 ?!!! You must be kidding LOL


    *im not alone

    Exactly as described in their menu: tasty, juicy and satisfying Cheese Burger.

    This is not a paid advertisement.

    No exaggeration, but this Pho Bo reminds me of Hanoi... this is what real Pho should taste like...and its only Php150!!!

    Note: this is just half serving because I thought I won't be able to finish a bowl.

    That was yesterday.

    We are having breakfast there today


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