Cordillera Coffee

For the fiercest of coffee drinkers, every cup has a story. In their case, the story starts with a cause.

I was never really a big coffee drinker up until a year ago, when I badly wanted a Starbucks planner and got hooked on soy milk coffee (try it!). I love coffee shops per se, but I don’t really go for the coffee. My thinking would be I can make it at home, just the way I like it, without having to shell out a fortune. So I go for the company, the ambience, is some cases the free wi-fi, and mostly for the food.

Cordillera Coffee on another assignment, thinking it was just one of the run-of-the-mill coffee shops wanting a piece of the coffee culture boom. My first time at Cordillera Coffee was at the UP Vargas Museum branch, an al fresco café outside the museum. It was then where I met Grace Arboleda-Young, a Kalinga native, who introduced me to Kalinga coffee and Cordillera Coffee’s cause to help Benguet farmers.

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Onto the food. To begin with, their menu was conceptualized by the great Gene Gonzalez of Café Ysabel, who incorporated ingredients from the north for this venture. House specialties include the Cordillera Risotto (P90) made with red rice, bits of homemade longganisa, mushroom béchamel sauce and sprinkled parmesan. It is as lovely as it sounds.

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Cordillera Breakfast

My personal favorite is the Cordillera Breakfast (P90), their version of “longsilog.” Composed of homemade longganisa, scrambled eggs with house tomato sauce, and garlic red rice, this dish comes highly recommended from regulars. I am big on breakfast food and this definitely hit the spot. My only “beef” would be I wish it came in larger portions!

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Dutch Chocolate Mint
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Tableya Chocolate Cake

It’s made with local tableya chocolate and drizzled with homemade chocolate syrup. What I love about it is that its texture is deliciously moist but not too dense, almost like a rice cake, and it’s pleasantly sweet and not the type that leaves you gasping for water before you finish a slice. It’s something different and worth trying. Their Coffee Jelly (P60), served with vanilla ice cream and a touch of orange marmalade, is nicely done too.

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