Caffera as in Cafe and Camera combined…=)

Caffera as in Cafe and Camera combined…

My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.” ~Steve McCurry~ (An American photographer).

There is this new place Jen is telling me about, a themed coffee shop owned by a Photography enthusiast like her. It’s name is “Caffera”.

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Second floor of Dona Zenona Suite..
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This you will see upon entry… It is actually already stimulating..
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A vintage signage is displayed too..

And she has been persuading me to see it for the longest time. I am half-hearted to go because it entails more than 3 hours travel from our place. We are in San Pedro, Laguna and the shop is in Maginhawa street, Quezon City. Eventually I gave in due to her beguiling tricks.

And without her knowledge, I am also eyeing to see in person the string of coffee shops, pizzerias, burger stands, name it that were so famous in Maginhawa street paralleled with those you will find in Aguirre Avenue in Sucat, Paranaque and Kapitolyo street in Mandaluyong and the one in Tomas Morato. Most bloggers term them as Foodie’s Mecca.

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Such a unique idea..

And so during the holidays, we opted to plot not just Caffera but some more interesting spots Maginhawa street can offer.

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Now, we’re wondering if we can have this card even if we’re not a resident of QC..

True enough, the place will be loved by anyone who have been fascinated with photography and all the materials needed in pursuing this passion is displayed in all corners. All the accessories, even those that we have might have missed is there. If there is one adjective for this place, it is “inspiring”.

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Touches of Christmas decors were neatly placed around the cafe..
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Right in front of the counter which entice guests like a food porn..
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Lots of vintage cameras you’ll see..

Please take a look:

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Notice the roll of film utilized as label? =)
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I have exceeded my expectations – I wondered if they have cakes in camera shapes..
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The glass window is written with calligraphy..
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A unique way to paint a wall..
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Jen is filled with awe..
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Several models of vintage cameras..
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Collection of emptied rolls of film, a light, camera, action display, vintage cameras..
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An old movie camera.. Most displays are DIYs! =)
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Even the menu is photography inspired: It says FRAPPerture, ISO Amaro, Mugshot coffee, etc.
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Delighted guests can’t help but express their appreciation..
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Even the quotes are all about Photography…=)
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This is my favorite part of the place..
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There’s our coffee drinks. In mugs that were made of camera lens. #amazing
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Don’t you agree?
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Brought me back during college days when we took up a few units of Photography class..
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I can’t help it, I took a photo of their mirror inside the rest room…
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Vases out of lens..

If you want locally-produced coffee beans, brewed with love and passion for photography, sweet yet not too strong iced coffee, then Caffera is the perfect place for you. The ambiance suits both millennials and the not too millennials as well. =)

Being here, you will sense the owner’s passion through the consistency of themed displays painstakingly created so as to come up with such an “inspiring” place.

Caffera Cafe is located at:

Unit 204, Second Floor, Dona Zenona Suites, 54 Maginhawa Corner Mahusay Street, UP Village, Diliman, Quezon City.

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STEAM YARD Coffee and Community..

STEAM YARD Coffee and Community..

“Good coffee is a pleasure, while good friends are a treasure!”

My encounter with this coffee shop cum retail/ concept store is by accident while I was waiting for a document in the Municipal hall of Muntinlupa City. The shop’s location is just a stone throw away situated alongside other known establishments. It was raining at that time and I had to look for a dry place to stay.

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Steam yard..
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Front yard of steam yard..
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Entryway..

The calligraphy in front of them lured me to go inside and was instantly amazed by it.

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Fusion of rustic and industrial..
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I see these only on the pages of a magazine..
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Such a looker..

There are more inside, a coffee shop that serves blueberry cheesecake and a dozen of on-line brands lined-up with their beckoning displays.

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Wide choices..
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Though they do not have whip cream..=(
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From first visit, I think I’ve bought a dozen already of various items from food to non-food..

Their items are those of millennials, however, the interiors is an amalgam of industrial and rustic motif. They also infused touches of Harry potter facets. You won’t fail to notice that the crowd they attract are students and young executives and those that are young at heart which includes me.

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Cosmetics!
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Cool shirts to choose from..
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I want this! =)

It was also very obvious that the owners (who are millennials too) are one of those manning the shop, in both areas (coffee shop and retail shop). You will notice it from their zesty appeal. Their above-board earnestness to provide good service to each guest that comes in is very evident.

The rest of the team are well-trained too. The Security officer flashes a bright smile to all those who enter the shop. Indeed, the atmosphere is very positive. There is a force that surrounds it like Harry’s magic and believe me, no one went out empty-handed. Or so I think only for those that I’ve seen.

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She said she will come back too.. Like I said when it was my first time to visit..

Initially, I ordered for a drink, my usual iced cafe latte, a few items I bought out of impulse. And a promise that I will bring my friends there.

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My cafe latte..

Before I leave, they called my attention and handed me with a card that came with a stamp and upon completing the rest of it (total of 10) will equate for a free drink. Not bad for a Marketing strategy, especially when they are just a few months old.

Despite of showing enthusiasm for icons that isn’t Filipino (I’m referring to Harry potter), the coffee they’re brewing is brewed locally.

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All about coffee and more..

There are packed gourmets which ratifies local producers. And honestly, they are packed well with attractive rustic labels.

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Personal consumption or gifts…
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Emmafied…=)
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They have the usual and they have syrups too..
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They have soaps, lotions, balms that are organic..

During my second visit. I purchased more items, for myself, for my soul daughter, for a colleague and tried their meals with cakes over coffee.

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We’re starving..

Jen okayed the place however she is a bit disappointed since their coffee didn’t have provision for those who wanted theirs with swirls of cream.

When we informed them that it might help if they provide it, they expressed their gratitude for the suggestion and assured us that it is under-study.

On my third visit with another millennial, I brought my son’s bff who is almost like a daughter to me, took her a few tops, and we had pasta and cakes over coffee. She is more excited than I due to the fact that she is also a Harry Potter enthusiast.

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We’re done with our orders when we thought of pasta.. Recommendation: more gravy for the steak sandwich..
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Typical marinara.. Recommendation: More sauce for this serving or less pasta..

Maybe we will visit every so often since we liked the idea of shopping and dining in one single place. Another important factor that I considered is that their items are of limited production so there’ll be no worries to see yourself wearing the same dress that the girl you passed by is wearing.

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Cha and moi..

The price, both for food and merchandise is competitive too.

Cafe ALEZON – Keeping on the quest for the best

Cafe Alezon – Keeping on the quest for the best…

“A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe.”
~Thomas Keller~

<And I think, that place, wherever it is, must possess a soul too>.

For the foodies in us, it is more often that we tend to compare one preparation from another. The way it is presented. Its’ taste. And of course its’ impact on our budget.

In our search for a nachos salad that will excite us in a different way as we’ve tried more than a dozen. We ended up in this secluded Mediterranean themed restaurant in BF Paranaque. It still is a part of the Food Mecca which BF Paranaque is known for. It has been part of my bucket list for places loved by foodies. It is located at the farther part of BF Homes which connects to the other side of Las Pinas.

I actually wonder who started the progression of numerous queue of restaurants where guests couldn’t figure out who has the edge over the other. And they have it all. Pastry shops, American, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Coffee shops, name it. Believe me I couldn’t count them no more.

Honestly Cafe Alezon is enticing, not only because of that huge mural of one of my favorite artist from Mexico – Frida Kahlo. Which for me took center stage. While I am not the first one to blog about Cafe Alezon. Thanks to these bloggers who lead me to discover one such quaint place that offers delicious cuisine.

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There she is.

Most of those I’ve read were from artists (and foodies) like me. And it’s a colleague from Machuca tiles who encouraged me to visit and personally check their tiles at Cafe Alezon. So the reason why I need to go out of my way to go farther beyond Aguirre street is not only to satiate my tummy but to appreciate the decorative tiles (and the interiors itself, as a whole) which is all over the place and you can spot them even on their tables. If I didn’t mention in the past, I have once fallen in love with anything that’s black and white too. Floorings included. =)

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Those tiles are mesmerizing..

I must say that it was kinda tiring to reach the place by commuting. It’s just worth it when we arrived and the neon signage of all their best sellers welcomed us.

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Their facade is a head-turner..
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Interesting! =)

While waiting for our food, we were thrilled to take some photos to our hearts’ content. I must admit that I am so enthralled in seeing in actual this place that is loved by so many. Originally, my friend is  most proud to boast the one that they installed at Antonio’s in Tagaytay and I’ve been keeping it in my list for years now. Though, for now, Cafe Alezon is the one near at hand.

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Festive colors.. and intricacy..
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This door leads to the bigger dining area..
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Dining table with the Machuka tiles…=)
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And you will be welcomed by that smile upon entry..
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I had to capture the books so you’ll see how big these cups are like..
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Vintage stuff..
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Magical stuff..

So what we’ve had is of course their Nachos Y Salsa.

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Delicious!

The attendant offered this sauce to us and I forgot to ask if its strong and it was.

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Philippine-made..

Then, we also tried the Cookie shot. It is something worth a second or even a third try. And it is new to me.

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I guess I can consume three (or more) of this..

The Turon are with sweetened lanca which served as our dessert though this is something we can always prepare at home. It is nothing extra-ordinary like the one I’ve tried at Kanin club.

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A staple dessert in the Philippines..

For our drinks, we tried their brewed and Turkish coffee, another take of the third wave coffee beans.

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(–,)

The ambiance of the place has its’ old feel and gives the impression of the owner to be a lover of art, probably a coffee lover too and a frequent traveler. It is prevalent in the stuff displayed in all four corners. It looked like a mini art museum to me. =)

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Interiors are well-thought of.

Upon interviewing their attendants which courtesy and geniality aren’t canned. There are weekends where there are Art shows by a conclave of local Artists which draw more crowds.

When we came, there are 3 tables occupied inside and 1 outside. After staying for almost an hour, they are still there maybe due to the “homey” feel of the place and during that hour, guests come and go and when we’re about to leave, there’s already couple who are about to occupy the table that we’ve had.

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I definitely had a great time..
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Spell h-a-p-p-y! =)
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And happy tummy! =)

I actually wont mind if Jen will ask me to go back. Not just because of their love for art but because of the other items in their menu that sounds and looks interesting to me too. I am looking forward to try their pizza and paella.

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Didn’t hurt our pockets at all. =)

Envisioning this pursuit befittingly makes me a foodie… I don’t mind. =)

TAZA MIA – Another local entry for coffee lovers…

Taza Mia – Another local entry for coffee lovers…

Just last week, we just had nachos with artisanal coffee at Taza Mia which is located at SM Sta. Rosa, Laguna. This is my __th coffee for the week on top of my usual intakes at home. Which is kind of crazy to think about.

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Storefront… those lights I so like! =)

Though, having tried this with a long time friend cum foodie buddy (travel buddy too), is a time well spent away from the stress of life. Besides, she likes what I like and wherever I drag her, she is so willing to go and even if it’s not more of her, she is always willing to give it a try. To be adventurous is cool.

While we were checking their menu, it is on an easel at their storefront, what I tried to find first is if they have nachos. And they have it so off we go to this 2 seater sofa and wood-finish laminated table and placed our order immediately.

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Nachos? Check!
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Choices!
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I like their logo..=)

It’d be always this usual combination. Our choice of coffee, nachos and blueberry cheesecake. According to the attendant, they run out of the cake and so we just had nachos. I had their roasted caramel iced coffee and Jen grab a fresh brewed in butterscotch variant.

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Best choice! =)

We liked it that the salsa is served separately with the nacho chips. It’s tidier to consume and not like those that salsa were already there as toppings. It usually consume too much tissues.

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Very tidy!

Now comes the verdict on the coffee. I really like what I had. Jen liked her choice too.

I also discover in amazement that beans of Taza Mia is sourced-out locally, specifically from Lipa, Batangas. And with their ambiance, the great taste of their coffee, I think they would succeed in being a local chain of cafes in the country.

Looking around, the shop was well thought-of. From the interiors, their menu, their furniture, the tableware are personalized/ logoed, they have paper mats and tissues with their logos on it, and of course, one of the most important criteria in judging a restaurant, is the stance of their staff.

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Done professionally..
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Cool..
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They have merchandise too..

Long way to go Taza Mia! Another Pinoy pride! =)

ps

They’re planning to put up new branches in the northern part of the country, they have almost 10 in the southern part and counting! =)