Philippine Coffee Kiosks Series: Java Lava Review

There are now THREE coffee kiosks in my favorite mall (SM Marilao) which is great, because it means more business options for coffee lovers! Now that this new franchise option has been around for a couple of weeks, it’s high time for a Java Lava review!

Java Lava logo

Actually, one may argue that it’s probably too early for a Java Lava review, as I’ve only tried one flavor. However, I’ve been busy and I haven’t actually been dropping by my favorite mall as often as I should. I thought I’d blog about it anyway, as it’s a new franchise that other coffee lovers in the area may want to try.

According to the Franchise Guide website, Java Lava is “a Bulacan-based family business commenced and ran by spouses named Dinver R. Aguilar & Hannah Louise F. Aguilar.” So it makes sense that it would put up a stall in SM Marilao, a favorite hangout place in this province.

It’s also a fairly young franchise, having only been set up in 2015. The Franchise Guide website says there’s only 10 branches of it so far, so if you’re an entrepreneur looking for a fresh new label, there should be plenty of room for it to grow and expand.

The shop’s tagline is “It’s Frappin’ Amazing!” which hits the right note with me. It’s fun and inviting and it makes me smile.

Java Lava SM Marilao storefront

Overall the shop espouses a lively and colorful theme – and so does its official Facebook page – which I find is refreshingly different for a coffee shop. Coffee shops mostly go for a restful, sophisticated look, right? However, you may not need to have such a formal appeal for a kiosk. The dominant yellow and orange (and, of course, the requisite coffee-ish brown) colors evoke thoughts of a carefree summer.

When sampling coffee at a new shop, I usually try the signature blends first. That’s why I got the JaMocha (small – P55).

Java Lava JaMocha

The presentation is very pretty! However, the “small” size leaves a coffee lover wanting more. As we say in the vernacular, “bitin.”

I’ve hinted in an earlier post about Foss Coffee that I have issues with coffee – blended coffee, in particular – being offered in smaller portions, but I do appreciate that sometimes, people simply want to pay less. I also like that the smallest size of a Java Lava drink costs only P55, the same price as a Foss Coffee Grande-size drink was when it started (Foss has since raised its price to P59).

But to be perfectly honest, the JaMocha I got seemed a bit watery. If the smallest size already tastes a bit bland, I must say I don’t hold much hope for the larger sizes.

Java Lava menu

However, I won’t pass judgment on just one flavor – maybe I was just craving for a stronger coffee taste on that day. I haven’t tried the other blends, either, so maybe the Cappuccino or Coffee Almond flavors would be more to my liking?

It’s a good sugar fix for the price, nonetheless, and there are 3 sizes to choose from. The larger sizes would surely be more thirst-quenching and overall less “bitin.”

Feel free to share your own Java Lava review in the comments! I’d love to know which flavor you think I should try next.