Going to a cafe in this time and age goes beyond coffee appreciation. Students favor it over libraries for reviewing or doing their homework, friends and families go there to eat and hang out, professionals especially freelancers stay there for hours to get some online work done. Thus, the coffee culture in the Philippines has seen continuous growth in recent years with big and small players alike sprouting like mushrooms, all vying for consumers’ attention.
And as a coffee person, this gives me great joy. To discover the nook and cranny of a cafe, to sit on a chair cross-legged, to sample the delectable food, and to smell and sip the freshly brewed coffee, I live for these. My latest coffee adventure took me to Kapitolyo where I have visited some of the most aesthetically pleasing cafes to date. Out of all of them, one stood out, thus I am giving the spotlight to what I believe is the best cafe in Kapitolyo, Arts and Beans.
Arts and Beans is tucked away in a residential area along Francisco street. It is new, they just opened two months ago. As the name implies, it is both a cafe and an art gallery. There are a few paintings on display — personal collections of the owner — one need only to approach the staff if interested to make a purchase.
The interior design perfectly combines the old and the new, the walls painted in gray, black, and white, the floor is unfinished concrete. Some old objects are on display, such as a rotary dial telephone, antique flat iron, vintage camera, radio stereo, and a pedal sewing machine turned into a table; the latter had me feeling nostalgic as we used to own one when I was a kid.
On the menu, they offer hot and cold beverages, all-day breakfast, cakes and pastries, and sandwiches. They also sell locally sourced premium blends, the same ones that they use for their coffee.
The cafe was manned by two baristas when I came in, both are accommodating. The location is quiet and peaceful. I went there on a Saturday, there were only a few customers around.
Food and coffee
Arts and Beans gained favorable reviews when it comes to their coffee, which didn’t come undeservedly. Indeed, their coffee is among the best that I’ve had, with a silky texture and rich flavor. The cortado (₱90) is heavy and a little bit on the bitter side, while the flat white (₱125) is lighter but not overly sweet.
For food, I had a grilled cheese sandwich, which by the way I personally requested as this is not included in their menu. What they offer really is ham & cheese sandwich (₱100), but since I don’t eat pork, I asked if they could take it out and just use cheese. The baristas were happy to oblige. It was a good sandwich, I liked that the bread was toasted just right and because I begged off the ham, they were generous with the cheese.
Next is their pasta of the day, carbonara (₱160), a delectable serving of super creamy pasta with two pieces of garlic bread. I noticed that instead of bacon, the barista put in shredded chicken meat. I didn’t even have to remind him that I don’t eat pork and replaced the meat with something that I could eat. It amazed me at how attentive and considerate the staff is.
As if this cafe is not amazing enough, they have electric outlets and WiFi, hallelujah! I’m telling you this is special as I have already made rounds in Kapitolyo and only one had decent WiFi, the rest either had no Internet connection or only offer it for like an hour. Because of this, I was able to extend my stay at Arts and Beans and actually got some writing done. A feat for my already month-long writing drought.
Living in Pasig has been quite a challenge for me with all the inconveniences it brings, including finding a place to spend my lazy weekends with. In the last few months, I had been frequenting Kapitolyo in search of a cafe that would help me get back on writing mood. And now I think my search has finally come to an end. Arts and Beans ticks all the requirements that I want in a cafe; quiet, delicious coffee and food, and conducive to writing.
Arts and Beans
#6 San Francisco Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig
Open daily 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. except Sunday