Dec. 18, 2013
Coffee Review: Himalayan Java Coffee
Location: Cebu City, Cebu (province), Philippines
Free Coffee at Banilad Town Center (BTC)
While at the Banilad Town Center for YogaHub's Christmas Party, good buddy and yoga teacher, Jeanne and I stumbled upon a kiosk with yoga apparel and Arabica Nepali coffee - Himalayan Java. We got into a friendly chat with Ella, the proprietress - even offered us free coffee. Christmas happened early for me when Ella gave me a full pack of Himalayan Java beans. Whoa! How cool is that?
After stopping by Seattle's Best to have it ground, finally, I could savour the brew. With Jeanne to join me for breakfast (I'm crashing at her yoga studio, Dragonfly Yoga Studio), we were having our usual Theosophical morning debate (is it possible to achieve enlightenment without a guru?) but this time, with an arabica coffee dimension.
I used to be called Mr. Cappuccino by New York friends (Queens) when I would host coffee parties where I play barrista, using exotic coffee blends to whip-up little-known coffee recipes by coffee luminaries where brewing methods ranged from French Press, Drip and Espresso machine. I miss those caffeine heady days.
At 1500 MASL (meters above sea level), mountain grown coffee like that of Sagada can put you on Nirvanic heights. How much more with Nepal's elevation (Mt. Everest is in Nepal!)? Himalayan Java's aroma is subtle with an almost patrician demeanor - imagine a well-heeled lady's fragrance where you get a whiff and you're lured to follow it, instead of taking cover. Texture? I think this is where it shines the most. Think Sade's rendition of "No Ordinary Love" - velvety smooth, you almost feel like resting your back on a soft spongy coral as it undulates with the current. Acidity is noticeable but not overwhelming - a good quality, almost reminiscent of Kenya AA. Overall, I would rank this coffee in the upper-tier of coffeedom. Thinking of a gift to someone who already has everything? This one will make you look good. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!
Thank you very much Ella!
In Cebu, you can purchase Himalayan Java from:
- if you're buying a coffee grinder, choose the burr-type instead of the blade type. The burr-type grinds coffee to a more consistent grade (a little pricey but worth it)
- coffee goes stale fast. Store it in the freezer.
- don't use boiling water to brew coffee. Wait a minute for the boiled water to cool a bit before pouring into the coffee grounds. Boiling water releases the bitter alkaloides in coffee.
- have your coffee beans ground according to your brewing device. French Press, coarse. Drip coffee maker, fine. Espresso, very fine. Ibrik (Turkish way of brewing), pulverized
- use cream (the one for making fruit salad) for coffee instead of milk or Coffeemate for superior taste and texture
- ground coffee absorbs external odors - keep it insulated
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Cebu City, Philippines
Tops - hilltop offering panoramic view of the city
Taoist Temple - temple on a hillslope in Lahug with panoramic view of the city
- Hostel Seven Cebu - newly opened, resto/bar, central location, solo/group travellers
Juana Osmeña Street, Cebu City
- S Hotel & Residences - new hotel, luxury rooms, central location
827 M. Velez corner Andres Abellana St.
resto / cafe / bar
- Fujinoya - new and refreshing twists to Western style desserts using Japanese techniques
Wilson St., Lahug, Cebu City - tel. 888.6075
- Bad Boys Wingz - Buffalo Wings, unique versions of sauces! Great service, accommodating staff, bad boys vibe
Kasambagan, Cebu City | (032) 415 4811
- Love Yoga World - yoga studio
11/fl, Skyrise 2 Tower, IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City
- Yoga Now - first Yoga and Wellness studio in Mactan offering daily Yoga Classes
at The Yacht Club Mactan
- Cebu Mountain Bike Adventure - MTB tours, bike sales and repairs. Bed and Breakfast + Resto Cafe + wifi
1298-b V.Rama Ave, Guadalupe, Cebu City | 0942.959.7451
- Camotes Islands - caves, beaches
- Cebu City - rich in culture and history, 2nd largest city in the Philippines
- Moalboal - amazing coral reef system, sardine bowl, deep drop-off for freediving
- Oslob - Butanding (whale shark) watching
- Bantayan Island - long stretch of fine white sand beach, Virgin Island for snorkeling
- Malapascua Island - divers' paradise for seeing the rare Thresher Shark
- Cantabaco Cave - Toledo
- Barile Waterfalls - Barile
- Whale Shark Tour - Oslob
- Carcar - chicharon and lechon in public market
Dec. 18, 2013
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