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.
Check out my first visit of The Coffee Library here.
|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|
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."
|Full house every weekend|
|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.
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."
The Coffee Library
Official Facebook fan page of The Coffee Library
Address: Rex Hall, Upper Bonifacio St., Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines 2600
Check out this other restaurant that I visited for my Baguio Unwind Series:
Masa Mexitalian Grub
More Photos Below:
|Vietnamese Egg Coffee|