28 June 2015

Study Spots: Book and Borders Cafe

I only have two weeks left until the first and only summer term of the law school ends. I'm actually trying to finish and do better on one of my final examinations this summer but as expected, I am failing miserably. The heat, my bed, the unlimited wifi at home is making me procrastinate more and more each day. I should have done and finished my last requirement for my accounting elective yesterday, but laziness kicked in and I ended up watching this new series I discovered instead. So today, I decided I needed to get out of the house if I intend to finish this requirement before the deadline.

I tried this new coffee shop along Tomas Morato. I've seen the shop's front a couple of weeks back prior to their soft opening last June 16. The big sign (and the name) caught my intention. Book and Borders Cafe.  I had a feeling this wasn't your usual Starbucks or Coffee Bean so I decided to check it out, I mean, do my homework, there.

Book & Borders Cafe is located along Tomas Morato in Quezon City. It is across Amber's and Family Mart and beside 7-11, and the Manang's Chicken building. It's open from 7 AM to 12 MN Sundays-Thursdays, and from 7 AM to 2 AM Fridays and Saturdays. 

The interior is brighter and more colorful than your usual coffee shop. And when I say brighter, I mean bright-colored chairs and sofa armchairs.

They also have bookshelves as walls with different books you can borrow provided you leave an ID with any of their staff. You can also borrow board games!

Their policy on borrowing books..

..And they have sockets in case you need to charge.

Speaking of communal table, they have this lone long table. It would have been better if it were wider but then again, at least they have a long table for those discussion groups or meetings you might want to have over here. Someone was occupying the table so I couldn't really get a full shot of it.

Now let's go to the most important part of any coffee shop – the coffee/beverage/food selection. Books & Borders has the usual coffee selection, pastries, and sandwiches but they also have smoothies, pasta and rice meals. They don't have tea yet since they are still finalizing the prices and selection but one of the baristas told me they would be offering tea soon. After all, they are still on their soft opening.

The soft opening menu:

I went to this coffee shop two times in a row because I wasn't able to try their food the first time I did. I tried their Long Black Coffee and Snickers cupcake the first time, and I had their Adobo Flakes and Iced Choco Fudge the second time.

Long Black

The Long Black was okay. When I say "okay" it doesn't mean that it's not bad but it's not good either. I say okay because for me, it tastes like the usual cup I get. I'm not a coffee expert so I can't really distinguish what really good coffee is from bad coffee, unless the taste is really, really disgusting. This cup was strong enough to keep me from yawning or feeling sleepy so I'd say this was okay. They also served it "the right kind of hot." Not "not hot enough" but "not super hot it will burn your tongue hot" as well.

 Snickers Cupcake

The Snickers Cupcake was so-so. It wasn't bad but it wasn't something I'd spend nearly a hundred pesos for. I couldn't tell if the cupcake was outright dry or of it was dry just because it was kept in a pastry cooler fridge (I'm sorry, I don't know what you call the container/cooler where they put the pastries and cakes in). I'd probably have this as a snack if it were cheaper, maybe if it cost P50 or less.

The real winners for me during my last two visits were the Adobo Flakes and the Iced Choco Fudge. The Adobo Flakes were crisp enough (I'm not a fan of soggy or tender adobo flakes) and it wasn't sweet! It was just right – not too sour (though I would have preferred if it were) but it wasn't sugary sweet as well. Plus, the serving was enough to satisfy both my tummy and my wallet.

Adobo Flakes

The Iced Choco Fudge was a risk but it was a risk worth taking. I haven't had my morning cup of coffee when I went here on my second visit so I was really wondering whether I should just get my usual morning cup – coffee, or if I should try something cold considering the temperature outside was getting too high. The cold beverage won and I got their Iced Choco Fudge, which I thought was too pricey until it was served to me.

Iced Choco Fudge

Is that a scoop of ice cream? NO. Their Iced Choco Fudge is made of cold milk, chocolate syrup, and.. FROZEN MILK. Yes, frozen milk. Now I understand why it was quite expensive. I actually asked the manager if it was ice cream when she brought my drink to the table but she said it wasn't. It was frozen milk. She explained that they use frozen milk instead of ice to keep the drink's pure taste, make sure it doesn't taste watery after the ice had melted.

Frozen Milk Balls as Ice

True enough, after an hour, my drink still tasted creamy. The frozen milk balls hadn't completely melted as well. Here's proof of it.

Their food selection may still be a hit or miss at this point but so far, they've got more hits than misses for me. I think that's good enough to give this shop a try. The interior looks good, wide selection of food (which includes rice meals – heaven for me!) and drinks, plus they have a good playlist. The service is also great. They make sure the customers enjoy their experience. The assistant manager actually apologized to me when my cupcake was served super late (I actually forgot I ordered the cupcake) but she kept apologizing for the inconvenience even after I informed her I forgot about it. For law students like me who need a good and quiet place to study in, which serves both food (not just pastries and cakes) and caffeinated beverages, this is definitely a good study spot. If you're just accompanying your law or med school friends, this is still the place for you. You can grab a book or board game while your friend studies.

Price: P100 to P150/person

4 out of 5 for Book & Borders (just because the coffee is a bit more expensive than your usual Starbucks)

Book & Borders Cafe
281 Tomas Morato,
Quezon City


Details courtesy of their Facebook page.

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