In South Korea, some places that gained fame from being a set of a TV series or a movie become tourist attractions, as in the case of that beautiful house in the cute romantic comedy, Full House.
In the Philippines, well… not so much. But I could now understand the fascination that Koreans hold toward the locations that were set for the background of their favorite dramas.
You see, I happened to have watched recently the movie that created the most favored reviews in the last Metro Manila Film Festival, English Only, Please. In the movie, the main characters frequent this coffee shop called, Cool Beans. I learned that the café wasn’t merely a work of fiction but a real establishment, which can be found along Maginhawa street in Quezon City.
In my recent get-together with my writer friends, we went to the coffee shop where Tere translated Julian’s hate letter to Filipino. And as luck would have it, all seats were taken except the exact spot that Jennelyn Mercado and Derek Ramsey occupied on the film. As if on cue, the scenes that took place in the coffee shop immediately played in my head.
The café seemed to have stepped out of my dreams because it’s the exact coffee shop-library concept that has been brewing in my head for a long time now. It has two of my favorite elements: coffee and books.
Cool Beans is relatively small, by the entrance, there’s a newspaper rack by the entrance that holds all-you-can-read National Geographic magazines. A big book shelves takes up the right wall. Several tables and chairs occupy the left part of the cafe while the bar is on the farthest side of the room. The books and magazines can be read for free.
It’s the kind of place that coffee and books lovers like me would consider a paradise. When I saw their collection of books, I couldn’t help but be impressed. There are graphic novels, Neil Gaiman’s, philosophy titles, and coffee table books. It’s the place I’d most likely frequent if only I live somewhere near the area.
They make decent coffee concoctions and they offer Cordillera coffee. Food selection is minimal, but I saw some pasta and rice meal on the menu. They have a few pastries too and despite not being a fan of chocolate cake, I found myself in love with their Choco Lava Cake (PHP 60).
I’d advise against ordering Caramel Latte (PHP 130) frost blend because out of all our orders it was the sole disappointment. If you want to order from their selection of frost blends try Oreos and Cream (PHP 130) or Chestnut-Vanilla (PHP 130). For hot coffee I’d suggest you try the Sagada Roast (PHP 80), it’s their best seller for a reason.
Believe me, “Ako pa ba?”
Cool Beans Library Cafe
67 Maginhawa St.
Facebook: Cool Beans Ph