Jeffer's Odyssey

La Trinidad Eats: Kafe Gipas

Wow. It’s been quite a while since my last post. November was pretty packed, you see. First, there was the Bontoc-Sagada trip, followed by an annual convention at PICC, with days of work in between. And, afterwards, “mouse finger” happened. Seriously, though, I’d pick sore muscles and even aching legs over the pain on my right index finger ANY DANG DAY. Still recovering today, actually. Acupressure ball’s been my best bud lately. But enough of that, and let’s talk food!

Kafe Gipas was an accidental find. If you remember, in previous posts, I talked about The Loft RestoBar (read my review on that). While waiting for our order, we checked out the view around us, since it’s basically at the top of the building.

And there, right across the street, we saw the signs indicating “Cafe Gipas”. It took another couple of weeks before I got the chance to check it out with my Mom and cousin, and that visit is the subject of this blog post.

When I first saw it, the first assumption in my head was that they’d specialize in using the gipah, which is an herb that has become widely cultivated in its native place of Kabayan, Benguet, and become popularly used as an herbal tea. Haha. Perhaps it’s because they sounded the same?

But no, apparently, Kafe Gipas specializes on Thai teas and other Asian brews.

The Location

If you knew where The Loft is, then you’d have no trouble finding Kafe Gipas. As I mentioned earlier, it is just right across the street, so if you’re coming from Baguio, you could just get off across the street from The Loft, and you’d be on Kafe Gipas’ doorstep.

And it is a doorstep, because you’d have to walk up a couple of flights of steps to get to the second floor, where the cafe is located.

There are no large signs that would light up to point you to the place, so don’t go there looking for a sign as obvious as that of The Loft’s. Instead, there’s a simple sign on the second floor facade of the building, and a simple handwritten sign by the door.

The Interior

If you’re expecting something snazzy and posh, with marble tops and gleaming tiles, then you’d be in for a surprise.

The place is very simple. Those used to classy coffee shops would be surprised; those who prefer those types of cafe atmosphere would probably even be disappointed.

But that is the charm of Kafe Gipas, imo.

When I entered the coffeeshop, the place was empty, save for a couple of other customers. But this was in the early afternoon of a hot Sunday, when people would prefer to go somewhere with air-conditioning or having cold drinks instead of sipping hot tea or coffee.

The first thing you’d notice, however: man, that’s a whole lot of GREEN! Check out the walls, y’all.

It’s not the widest of spaces, but I think it is more spacious than most coffeeshops I’ve visited in the past. I can definitely picture large groups converging here for a drink and a bite, since there is a room at the other end with low tables and pillows for seats, so you could comfortably sit down on the floor to have your meal.

The tables and chairs were simple, the decor mostly handcrafted and using what looked like recycled materials. In fact, to most untrained eye, they’d look like those junk they’d most likely trash. But here, they made great use of it.

I especially liked the hanging bottles with marbles seemingly melted into them.

And check out the writings on the walls, guys. It was quite a treat going over them and reading the doodles. Some were cute, others cheesy, some facts, others seemingly made up. But who cares, right? If it adds to the aesthetic of the place.

And it did.

Speaking of facts, I don’t know if what’s written on here are verified.

I love water. I drink quite a lot of it on a daily basis. And I love tea… but my limit is one huge cup/mug.

But 6 cups of tea? Sure, that’d save my heart… but what about my bladder?

Most importantly, what about my patience? Especially when it’s bound to wear thin from making constant trips to restroom?

And look at this drawn-on clock~ It’s like saying it’s “tea o’clock”, “coffee o’clock”, and even “cupcake o’clock”. I wonder what’ll become of me if I stick to this clockwork daily “diet”.

The Offerings & Prices

This place, just like the other cafe’s in La Trinidad, particularly those around this area, are very budget-friendly! I was definitely not at all surprised when I saw what looked like students file in when we were there.

Here is a shot of their menu. Click on the thumbnail to view larger image.

When we went there, I was actually more thirsty than hungry, so I just settled for one of their lighter fares, which is a salad.

But that’s debatable, since I went for one of their heavier salads, haha!

This is their Salad a la Mexicana, which has nachos in it. I was surprised at how generous the serving is, considering it cost only Php89.00.

And I know this might not matter much to many, but I appreciate how they were generous with the dressing, and even gave extra! It sure saved me the trouble of calling their attention to ask for more.

This is their Carbonara, which is the same price. I liked how it wasn’t oily, although it looked kinda watery. I only got a taste of it, and I thought it was all right.

But I’d have to put it out there that I am not into carbonara, and it’s probably the last pasta dish I’d pick.

I was bowled over by some of the serving dishes they used.

We ordered two types of teas, with each order consisting of 200ml tea in a pot. We ordered two types: their Blue Pea Tea (Php59.00) and their Matcha Tea, which I ordered with milk (Php68.00).

Because I can never pass up the chance to try any place’s matcha.

Incidentally, a pot is enough for 3 persons. Well, unless you’re really thirsty, then you’d probably want the whole pot to yourself.

Check out the pot! I had to analyze it for a bit, wondering which one is the spout and which one is the handle. XDDD

This is their Matcha Tea. Gawd, I love that shade of green!

You have the option to have your teas with milk, by the way. I like green tea or matcha on its own, but I also like to have some milk with it.

And this is their Blue Pea Tea. Without milk.

Of course, as the name indicates, it is blue. For a while I was worried it would stain my teeth. Fortunately, that is not the case.

I liked how it tasted. Kinda reminded me of the Ternate flower I munched on while in Iloilo. But then again, I like teas in general.

I’d love to go back to sample their other offerings. If time becomes more merciful this coming weeks, then I’d definitely do it.

This was several weeks ago, and I am curious how the place has evolved or changed. I bet it’s become more interesting. Can’t wait to see it again!

And I’m leaving Kafe Gipas’ “calling card” here, just in case.

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