Sagada Coffee and Food at Satinka Naturals

Every now and then I’m struck with the desire to make a page highlighting where you can get Sagada coffee in Manila. Sagada coffee is one of our country’s brightest culinary jewels, having recently won a medal at the International Contest of Coffees Roasted in the Countries of Origin, organized by the Paris-based Valorization of Agricultural Products (AVPA). And every time I see a shop that offers Sagada coffee within Manila, I feel the need to blog about it. So here I am, blogging about the Sagada coffee that I got at Satinka Naturals.

satinka naturals outside shot

The Sagada coffee isn’t the only thing worthy of note at this establishment, but it was certainly what got me to visit. I heard from Lar of Philippine Travel Photos that Satinka Naturals in Makati was offering Sagada coffee, and I just HAD to drop by.

satinka naturals logo

Satinka Naturals an all-organic, non-GMO, non-MSG restaurant. True to the name, they sell organic wellness products at their Apothecary section on the first floor. They also have a lineup of the local coffees on their menu!

satinka naturals local coffees offered

The labels read, from left to right: Ifugao, Arabica Hazelnut, Arabica, [No label – why is that jar turned around, I wonder?], Sagada, Mountain Tea, Kalinga, Benguet.

satinka naturals second floor view 7

The second floor is reserved for eating. The view is quite lovely, for a cafe situated in the middle of a busy financial district.

satinka naturals second floor view 1

satinka naturals second floor view 2

satinka naturals second floor view 3

satinka naturals second floor view 4

satinka naturals second floor view 5

satinka naturals second floor view 6

The interior decor is home-y and comfortable, and if you get there early and happen to be one of the first people there, you can bask in the restful atmosphere of the place, while enjoying your coffee.

And what good coffee it is! It tastes exactly like the Sagada coffee I had during my last visit to the place. Excellent brew.

I didn’t have much time to interview the staff, but I learned that the chef/proprietor is herself a native of Sagada, and she wants to bring Sagada food with a modern twist to a broader audience.

satinka naturals outdoor menu

An overview of their offerings can be found on a chalkboard menu outside the shop itself. And for music buffs: the restaurant sometimes hosts musical acts!

satinka naturals outdoor menu

This was the dish I got: Bacon Carbonara (P198). It’s REALLY good.

satinka naturals cooler and chicken pasta

We didn’t go at the same time, but Lar kindly contributed photos. This was the Lemon Cucumber Cooler (P95) and one of their bestsellers, the Chicken Cream Cheese Pasta (P229). There’s also a bonus shot of the tip of someone’s shoe 😀

satinka naturals baked chicken adobo

This is their Baked Chicken Adobo (P258). Flavorful and filling!

satinka naturals yoghurt with seasonal fruit

Lar got the Yoghurt with Seasonal Fruit (P138), pictured above. One of the things I really, really miss from Sagada is the yoghurt. The last time I was there, I learned that the national government (through the DOST) helped Sagada locals develop cottage industries that would help drive tourists to their region. Local food entrepreneurs developed yoghurt, and so Sagada yoghurt can be found in many of the eating establishments there.

I have very pleasant memories of Sagada yoghurt – specifically honey yoghurt – so I just had to try the one that Satinka Naturals offered.

satinka naturals honey yoghurt

The Yoghurt with Natural Honey (P110) is thick and gritty – the texture is exactly as I remember Sagada yoghurt to be. But somehow, the flavor seemed to lack a little of the “bite” or sourness that I was missing. I wonder if the edge was dulled a bit by the sort of honey used, or if there was something different about the yoghurt preparation. Still, it was good yoghurt, and I ate it all up!

If you’re in Makati and looking for affordable Pinoy (specifically, Sagada) fare, you need not look further than this cafe.

Satinka Naturals
Open every day, (11 AM to 10 PM Mon-Sat – 9 AM to 7 PM on Sundays)
1137 Kamagong St.
corner Chino Roces Ave.
Makati City
Tel: 0917 420 2279


One other cafe I encountered in Makati that’s serving Sagada coffee – as well as other Northern coffees – is Art Circle Cafe. Read my review of it here.

Mr. Park’s Bread and Cake Corp. at 4718 Eduque St., Poblacion also sells Sagada coffee beans from Bana’s Coffee in packs, but I have yet to try them out.

Have you tried the Sagada coffee at Satinka Naturals? How about the other local coffees on their menu? Let me know what you think!

Relax and Give Back at The Giving Cafe

For my National Coffee Day post, I’d like to talk about The Giving Cafe, a newly-opened social enterprise in Mandaluyong city.

the giving cafe storefront

The Giving Cafe is located right beside the warehouse of coffee retailer Henry & Sons, which also owns the cafe. Food Trip PH gives a good summary of H&S’ offerings:

Henry & Sons offers 360-degree coffee solutions tailor-fitted to every challenging demand. From premium coffee roasting, coffee machines and supplies, training and support services, even your own bespoke blend. Every single thing you need to get immersed into the world of coffee and make it your own personal business. Vikings Luxury Buffet actually buys coffee from Henry & Sons.

Henry & Sons has been around for a long time, but The Giving Cafe was only opened last July. Here’s how Rappler describes the cafe’s mission and vision:

The Giving Cafe (TGC) was actually created to raise funds for the Foundation for Sustainable Coffee Excellence (FSCE), which has been supporting a farming community in La Trinidad, Benguet for years, giving the farmers and their families access to basic necessities such as potable water, medicines, and education.

The Giving Cafe serves its own brew in-house, but you can also take home some beans for charity in the form of Bloom Coffee – a commercial blend which is also available in select Rustan’s and Robinson’s grocery stores nationwide, and through the Henry and Sons mobile app [iTunes] | [Android via Google Play].

Bloom Coffee comes in different canisters, and the canister that you get determines the cause to which your purchase will go. We were told by the people manning TGC that all canisters hold the SAME blend. So it’s really just up to you to select the charity you want to support.

the giving cafe menu from zomato

(above photo is from

Check out the chart above for descriptions of the causes that Bloom Coffee supports. By the way, if you’re a stickler for roasting dates, you can check the roasting date at the bottom of the canister.

My frequent traveling partner, Lar of Philippine Travel Photos, took several lovely photos of the Giving Cafe during our first visit there. Browse through the photos below!

the giving cafe sumatra mandheling

They offer 3 kinds of single-origin coffee daily. You can pick one, or get a sampler of all three. You can specify the brewing method, too!

I picked the Sumatra Mandheling, a personal favorite. And it certainly did not disappoint!

the giving cafe taiwanese fried chicken

I read on that the Taiwanese fried chicken is one of their bestsellers, so just had to try it for myself. Extremely satisfying flavor and crunchiness!

the giving cafe beef pares

Lar got the beef pares, another bestseller. Very flavorful and filling.

Along with the meal, Lar got the decaf americano. Yes, you can request for decaf! We were curious about their fancy “quake” drinks, too, because the day was hot out, but the interior of the cafe was nice and cool, so hot drinks with our meals seemed more reasonable.

the giving cafe rosemary bacon popcorn

Another bestseller: the rosemary bacon popcorn. The serving is huge and I mean HUGE. But well worth it, and excellent paired with coffee!

the giving cafe coffee menu

The large menu behind the counter.

the giving cafe counter

The counter. There are chocolates and coffee on display.

the giving cafe indoor mural

An indoor mural. The text reads: “We achieve more when we chase the dream instead of the competition. – Simon Sinek”

the giving cafe outdoor seats 1

There are outdoor seats at the back of the cafe.

the giving cafe outdoor seats 2

They’re nice and shaded, but on a hot day, the indoor seats are more comfy.

the giving cafe diedrich roaster

A large Diedrich brand coffee roaster located in the shop.

the giving cafe window seat

A lovely window seat. On the shelves are books, board games and decor enjoyed by the owners of the cafe growing up.

the giving cafe lego ship

A nifty Lego ship on top of an antique cupboard. There are a few eye-catching Lego arrangements serving as decor.

the giving cafe rope masters

No photo of it here, but the ceiling decor is made almost entirely of rope. Such a lovely and classy look!

the giving cafe auro chocolate bars

Auro artisan chocolates from Davao are spotlighted in this cafe. You can buy dark or milk chocolate bars with nibs, or without nibs (I recommend the ones with nibs, the texture is exquisite).

the giving cafe auro white chocolate coins

Chocolate coins, may be great for cooking or baking!

The Giving Cafe is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM (it’s closed on Mondays), making it the perfect place for an early breakfast or late dinner! It’s located at the following address:

1550 Sheridan St corner Pines St
Mandaluyong City

As of time of writing, their official website doesn’t seem to be up yet, but their Facebook account is here:

Henry & Sons, the corporate entity behind The Giving Cafe, also has a Facebook account:

Have you been to The Giving Cafe? How did you find their offerings? Leave a comment below!

My First Taste of Kalinga Coffee in Buscalan

People have been singing praises of Kalinga coffee for a long time, but I experienced it for myself the first time only a few weeks ago.

Actually, I think I’ve tried Kalinga coffee before, back when I was café-hopping with friends as a coffee noob. I must admit, I became a coffee aficionado (or “coffee snob,” as some of my friends would say) late in life – meaning, I was already trying different kinds of coffee back in the day, but not understanding the subtle nuances that distinguish one kind of coffee from another, until only recently.

Professionally packaged Kalinga coffee from the Butbut village gift shop

Right now I just have to rave about my first taste of a special brew from the Butbut village in Buscalan. Please note: all photos here were taken by LAR of Philippine Travel Photos, posted here with the photographer’s permission.

Welcome to Buscalan

People usually go to the Butbut village in Buscalan to get a tattoo from the legendary Apo Whang-Od, which I did!

Apo Whang Od at 98 years old

But there are so many other reasons for a traveler to book a homestay in the Butbut village. For one thing, it’s a truly restful place. The people are kind and generous, everything feels fresh, and the view is just spectacular.

Beautiful view of rice terraces from the Butbut village

When there, one thing you definitely must not skip is the coffee.

Buscalan homestay veranda
^ This veranda was where we had our first taste of Buscalan coffee! It was in the cute pink thermos at the back.

After a refreshing sleep, we woke up to a thermos of brewed Kalinga coffee. We were told it comes free with every morning of homestay. The smell was abolutely divine! The coffee was “cooked” with brown sugar, so there was an extra, subtle sugar kick along with the caffeine.

You’ll know it was boiled and not “brewed” in the conventional sense because there’s a thick, dark syrup at the bottom of your cup as you finish drinking.

cups of Buscalan brew Kalinga coffee

We asked around, and learned about the proper way of brewing Buscalan coffee:


2 tablespoons of ground Kalinga coffee beans
4 tablespoons of brown sugar
4 cups of water


Boil everything in a saucepan for 10 minutes…

…and you’re done!

I loved the drink we had so much, I just had to buy some ground coffee for myself. And when I prepared it at home, it tasted every bit as good as it did when I first had it in Buscalan!

Roasted and ground coffee was sold at a sari-sari store near our homestay for only P100 a plastic bag (roughly 250-300 grams per bag). You could also buy the professionally packed “Buscalan brew” in the very first picture on this post from the gift shop on your way out of the Butbut village. I failed to ask how much the gift shop coffee was, but no doubt it’s more expensive than the grounds that can be bought from the sari-sari store. Still, with professional packaging, you worry less about moisture and spillage!

I think Kalinga coffee prepared the Buscalan way could be well on par with Vietnamese coffee, which I tried (and loved!) during a brief visit to Ho Chi Minh. The brown sugar beautifully complements the dark, full flavor of the coffee, which is already delicious on its own.

The most recent news that I could find about the Kalinga coffee industry is that five Kalinga cooperatives received help from the World Bank to develop their products. This is great! I can’t wait for Kalinga coffee to be a big deal all over the country and the world.

And did you know that picking and sorting coffee beans in Kalinga is a task that is traditionally assigned only to women? There’s a lot we have yet to know about this coffee!

I want to try other kinds of Kalinga coffee in the future, but the Buscalan brew will always have a special place in my heart. It’s not a flavor easily forgotten.

If you’re thinking of going to Buscalan, feel free to write LAR at Philippine Travel Photos. She’s always happy to give FREE advice to travelers who want to experience the natural beauty of the Philippine islands!

Do you have a special experience with Kalinga coffee? Have you tried Buscalan coffee, as well? Do share your stories!