However, the thought of negotiating our way through the traffic-ridden streets of Lipa didn't sit so well with me. Good thing My Bibe read that there's a branch just right outside the city, at a Shell gasoline station along the Star Tollway. Perfect!
Different coffee variants for sale at the coffee shop.
Interiors and ambiance
As with most coffee shops, Cafe de Lipa went for that familiar warm feel, this even if you see yellow and red paint inside. At least in this particular branch, shelves line up a portion of the glass windows where everything from coffee to bottled pickled goodies is on display and for sale. And then there's the familiar mishmash of couch-style and regular seating options.
The cafe interiors.
It's not just coffee; there's also tablea (native chocolate), nuts, and pickled goods.
These are tablea. I just love the "packaging" of this one. Sadly, when we tried the chocolate at home to make some champorado (chocolate porridge), it fell short.
A slew of pickled goods.
Coffee and food
First and foremost, the coffee's good (a cup of Barako Joe at Php70). We also brought home a bag of their Barako blend and it was perfect. I mean, I loved it. The food, on the other hand, was a hit-and-miss in my opinion. Their pastry bars (at Php55 apiece), particularly Barako brownie, tablea brownie, and dulce de leche, were really good, so good that I realized I haven't taken any photo of them at all. All three had just the right amount of sweetness to them that goes well with coffee.
I also tried two of their bread options (Php55 apiece): the sweet cheesy bun and asado-filled pandesal. With its filling having a paste-like consistency, I liked the sweet cheesy bun better. However, I was disappointed with the really pretty-looking mango sans rival (Php110), which was just too dry and lacked flavor. I hope they can improve on it, though.
Asado-filled pandesal and sweet cheesy bun (dusted with confectioner's sugar).
Paste-like consistency of the sweet cheese filling.
I normally like asado but not so much this one.
Do not be deceived by its pretty looks. This mango sans rival is not worth a try at all.
Because we were so enamored with its packaging, we also brought home a bunch of their tablea. Unfortunately, I feel that there's just too much sugar in each tablea ball and that it doesn't quite hit it right with the chocolate flavor. We've been adding more balls to our champorado yet it still wasn't "chocolate-y" enough.
But do bring home some coffee. You won't regret it.
The staff were nice but they're not as snappy even if there were about four or five of them. For such a small branch, I think they're overstaffed. But no big deal.
I'm not sure if I'll be expecting the same level of service from other branches but Cafe de Lipa offers a nice stop for great coffee, with which you won't be disappointed. Also sample their different pastry bars but maybe stay away from the cakes and bread options just to be safe. Overall, it's still a place worth stoping over for.