Bag of Beans is usually the first place we drop by to whenever we visit Tagaytay. We board a bus from Manila, wait out the comfy two-hour ride, alight at the road with the restaurant’s old signboard and follow the mysterious steps that lead down to the al fresco café area.
Although known for their Alamid Coffee, which is made from the coffee seed droppings (yes as in poop) of the Alamid cat, we really haven’t tried their version of that very expensive coffee yet. What we usually come here for is their breakfast and more importantly their jungle-like garden ambience.
The place used to be small and intimate; gravel floorings outside, lots of private nooks, rough wood furniture and overgrown plants everywhere; it’s like we’ve gotten lost when in reality we’re just inside the courtyard. Inside their airy hut-like resto; not unlike your gramma’s old house, magazines, knickknacks, old furniture and whatnots abound.
It’s been more than a year since we dropped by the place and as we went down the familiar stones steps, it was apparent that changes had taken place while we were away.
The gravel floor, which I so love before, had been paved with concrete tiles; the overgrown plants, trimmed down; the nooks, cleaned out (and some of them are now paid-only area, like your order has to reach a certain amount before you can occupy it); and the place enlarged. The intimate ambience that makes us come back again and again was gone. It seemed the place’s magic got sweeped out along with the clutter and even their talking bird that imitates a cat’s meow seemed silenced by the new surroundings.
A new wing was added on the far side of the café (available only during weekends) and so was a new verandah that can be accessed on the ground level bakery. In fairness, they both looked nice, but it seemed to commercialize the place too much.
Changes had been made and I guess one cannot help but grow up. I just hope that through time, the old clutter that makes Bag of Beans so wonderful grows right back to this wonderful outdoor café that we dearly loved before.
Bag of Beans Tagaytay
115 Aguinaldo Highway, Mendez Crossing West, Tagaytay City, Cavite
(0923) 454-4797 | (0920) 954-6370 | (046) 413-4356 | (046) 413-2724
Bag of Beans, the Café | Bag of Beans, the Food | Caleruega Retreat Grounds | Caleruega Transfiguration Chapel
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