words and photos by THEA ANDREA C. MAGUERIANO
Coffee and flowers — an ideal interior for an unfiltered elegance of flavors and decor. La Taza is located on the busy streets of Dangwa along the road of Laon Laan, near Dos Castillas.
The café is not only located along the flower-filled streets but also in front of the flower shop that is run by the mother of La Taza’s owner, Nite Alparas.
The coffee shop’s location used to be half a flower shop and a showroom. The former was first built into a cafe and later on expanded on the showroom side.
“Showroom siya dati, bale dito sila nag didisplay,” shared Mark Letran, the Manager of La Taza.
The interior had a special touch of a mother. All the motifs, the design, and ideas solely came from the mind of Alparas’s mother and were built by the staff.
Besides being known for their coffees, some of La Taza’s bestsellers are the Banana Chocolate Shake, Salted Caramel Shake, and Nite’s Clubhouse.
Their Banana Chocolate Shake would taste familiar for gym enthusiasts for having a similar taste to a protein shake, but will still be enjoyable for non-gym goers. Although it uses bananas, the shake was still runny and was easy to sip, bringing a great amount of authentic banana flavor. The whipped cream which accompanied the drink also had generous sweetness.
The Salted Caramel Shake was salty as the name suggests, but the sweet blend of the caramel made one’s palate balanced. The caramel is distinct and its taste is not too overpowering as it matches perfectly with the salty flavor. One could take their time sipping the drink and is perfect for long study hours since it does not crave to be accompanied by food.
A perfect-for-two snack that comes with fries is the Nite’s Clubhouse. Their sandwich satisfied each craving, mixing different sandwich recipes that came in egg sandwiches, ham and cheese sandwiches, and BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato) sandwiches. Every munch on the toasty dish is a mix of savor and freshness. Plus, the bacon and fries stay crispy for hours.
La Taza boasts family recipes and food which the owner’s family grew up with.
“Bale yung pagkain dito kinalakihan na nila (…) yung rice meals, family recipe na nila,” explained Letran.
Letran also shared that La Taza is known for its specialty coffee for a special reason. Alparas’s uncle, the CEO of Coffee For Peace is also La Taza’s partner, who both serve a great cause.
Coffee For Peace supports local farmers from Davao where they harvest coffee beans. The beans are special not only since it is locally crafted, but also because it grows from high mountains, which is unusual on some local coffee beans. La Taza was also willing to show how latte art is made.
Hence, through helping the farmers, La Taza proved that they are more than just a coffee shop. Also, resembling its flower motif, La Taza flourished into a venue where they can not only share their passion for food but also support local farmers.
La Taza is located at Laon Laan, Manila, and is currently available for dine-in, take-out, and delivery via FoodPanda and LaLaFood. F