If there’s one thing I love more than writing, movies and TV, it’s coffee.
My love affair with coffee started when I was 15. I had to study for my final exams but I needed to stay awake. So I prepared my first cup of coffee, with sugar and milk (yuck, I know, I didn’t know better then). And I had no problems staying awake. In fact, I was still awake 6 hours after I finished studying. 😀
But that started a relationship with coffee that has been going on for 15 years already. Damn.
I’ve traveled to a lot of places and I’ve gone to a lot of cafes. Some of them were bad, some of them were really bad but a lot of them were great. And that’s what I’m featuring here, the best cafes I’ve been to.
Undoubtedly, the best coffee in San Francisco. Some would say Blue Bottle is the best but their coffee is too dark and too acidic for me. Ritual Roasters has the perfect medium roast that I like, coupled with a kick afterwards. Some people don’t like it and maybe it’s an acquired taste. Or maybe people just don’t know what to look for.
I also love that they have their roaster inside the cafe, which might change soon when they open their roastery in SOMA. It smells doubly good. I went with a friend of mine and I couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying because I was captivated by the smells of the freshly roasted beans. Nothing could be better than that!
1026 Valencia St. San Francisco, CA
This was a recent find. I met a friend for coffee and wanted to try something new in the middle of the city, since we lived in opposite sides. I found this cafe and really glad we tried it. The decor was so cute and colorful. They used non-matching furniture, including an old Pac-Man game and theater seats. It’s small and quaint and feels every bit a neighborhood cafe.
And the coffee is good. It’s not bitter, not sour, not burnt. It represented the atmosphere of the cafe, very cozy and comfortable. It’s a perfect place to go to catch up with old and new friends.
1777 Steiner St. San Francisco, CA
Bag of Beans
Tagaytay’s former best-kept secret. It’s located a couple miles away from the main commercial centers of Tagaytay City. They don’t offer a lot of coffee drinks, just the usual stuff, but their specialties are their pies. They offer a lot of pies but the best one has got to be the chicken and mushroom pie.
Bag of Beans started out as a small cafe but has since expanded to include two garden seating areas and a conference room. It’s even expanded to another location in Manila. Next time you’re in Tagaytay, this place should definitely be on your to-visit list.
115 Aguinaldo Highway, Mendez Crossing West, Tagaytay City, Philippines
I discovered Philz a couple of months after I arrived in San Francisco. I was looking for good coffee near my place and widened the search a bit. I was glad I did because the search pointed me to Philz’ direction. I went for the first time and was confused. Too many to choose from! They had light, medium and dark roast and so many coffee blend choices. I was in heaven! And the baristas know their stuff so if you don’t, no worries. They’ll gladly help you!
201 Berry St. San Francisco, CA and other locations on 24th St. in the Mission and along Van Ness Ave.
I chanced upon this place while walking around North Beach, looking for a cafe. The happy hour sign caught my attention but tried the coffee instead. Yum. The place isn’t for everyone, however. The place is big but it has a small dining area where tables and chairs are positioned almost next to each other. But the good thing about it is it never gets too crowded. Great place to meet friends or to spend some time alone.
901 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA
What list would be complete without my favorite cafe? The coffee place where I learned everything coffee? Of course, my most favorite cafe is our own, Mocha Blends in Broadcast City. Man, I miss our coffee so much. It’s the right amount of strong and full-bodied flavor with the kick I like and nothing of that burnt and bitter flavor other coffee drinks have. I love it so much and can’t wait to go back home and have lots of it!
Bank of Commerce Bldg, Capitol Hills Drive, Bgy. Old Balara, Quezon City, Philippines
What’s your favorite cafe? Care to give us a tour of it?