What's Brewing: Bag of Beans in Tagaytay

A trip to Tagaytay is not complete without sampling the smorgasbord of restaurants it has to offer. Over time, the city has grown past the picnic groves and transformed into a bustling food hub -- with its proximity to Manila, your cravings for a hearty bowl of bulalo or a lavish meal at Antonio’s can be easily satiated by an hour-long drive. You often hear people talk about breakfasts in Tagaytay, and for good reason. I myself have been a partaker of many a bulalo session, aimed at remedying drunken nights.

From rustic settings like Marcia Adams to down-to-earth spots like the Mahogany Market, Tagaytay definitely has something for you. All you have to do is hit the Google search button, and there you have it, instant confusion galore! To spare myself of the agony of choosing a restaurant in my recent trip there, I decided to stick to one of the most popular choices: the much-raved-about Bag of Beans. Yes, that café that every friend of yours who just came to Tagaytay is Instagramming about.

We visited the Bag of Beans branch near the Rotonda, not the original one which was supposedly more beautiful: complete with gardens, gazebos and stuff. But I wouldn’t complain about this one—especially after seeing the astonishing view of the Taal Lake from the alfresco dining area at the back of the restaurant. The place was—as expected—quite packed when we arrived, but luckily one outdoor table got emptied as we got inside—it was meant to be! There’s something about dining with a view that magnetizes me. The absence of concrete walls, kitchen equipment, chandeliers, or air-conditioning is something I find truly comforting.

inside Bag of Beans
The scenic view from the alfresco/terrace area
As the name suggests, Bag of Beans specializes in coffee, proudly locally-made, but they serve grilled items and pasta dishes as well—along with a line of specialty pies and breads. A fan or black unsweetened coffee, I ordered the Kapeng Barako.

Kapeng Barako: P95 (regular), P120 (bottomless)
It came out freshly brewed and smelling heavenly—the way every cup of coffee should smell, so different from the ones whipped up and made into frappe. It was bold and smooth, with a pleasant aftertaste, and would pair nicely with a really sugary dessert.

And I did so, with Bag of Beans’ Apple Pie. I skipped the ice cream so I could totally indulge in the pie’s sweetness. The crust was firm and crisp, but not flaky; the filling delightfully warm and sweet, bursting with flavors of apple and cinnamon. Eating it felt just like lounging around at home.

Apple Pie ala Mode, P155
The Black Forest Frappe was surprisingly delicious. Not too saccharine as I feared it would be, but a perfect balance of chocolate, cherries and coffee. It was a bit too tame for me though; I prefer a stronger blend.

Black Forest Frappe, P145
People come to Bag of Beans for the Shepherd’s Pie, and now I know why. I knew, from the moment I sliced into its mashed potato crust, revealing creamy, saucy beef. This savory creation is a true comfort food, something I could eat repeatedly in a day. Pair it with a Caramel Macchiato for something strong and sweet.

Shepherd's Pie: P130 (single), P530 (whole)
Caramel Macchiato, P115
Their “Famous Pancakes” were a major disappointment though. What I had in mind were fluffy pancakes, laden with a rich berry sauce, or perhaps a simple maple syrup, or even just some butter. What we were given were dry, airy, crumbly buttermilk pancakes that flaked out with a slice of the fork. It tasted very bland—I can whip up something better by shopping from the grocery. Even Jollibee’s pancakes would humiliate Bag of Beans’.

Buttermilk Pancakes, P175
With my unlimited barako, we got to stay for quite long—in fact, none of us wanted to go home just yet. The atmosphere was just so perfect—the soothing, slightly chilly air, the woods and the greens, the scent of coffee wafting to our noses. Bag of Beans is a place where you can visit with a really good friend, a perfect spot to catch up, away from vehicular noise, and into some peace and quiet, some instrumental music and good chatter for company.

Enjoying my brew with my good friends Kat and EJ

Maybe you’re afraid of hype, of whatever has become too mainstream or popular, but for me, Bag of Beans certainly did not disappoint. I do have some regrets, like the pancakes and not ordering the much-recommended blueberry cheesecake, but when I recall the overall dining experience, I am itching to head over to Tagaytay once again. Maybe I would come back soon and try their mains, and the blasted cheesecake. Who knows? Maybe even for a breakfast date?

Loved the Barako Coffee so much that I took home a bag and brewed myself a few cups at home

Bag of Beans
Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay Rotonda, Tagaytay City, Cavite
(046) 413-0992
Main Branch Details: click here
Facebook: Bag of Beans
Budget: around PhP300 for a coffee and snack; PhP500 for lunch or dinner

Have you tried Bag of Beans? What was your experience? Tell us about it in the comments section below. You can log in using your Facebook account!

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