If you are a coffee lover like me, traveling outside of the main urban areas of the Philippines often means being deprived of real coffee for a while, because Nescafe and 3-in-1 (instant coffee with powered milk and sugar) is all that is available in most rural parts of the Philippines.

If you are traveling by road back to Manila from the Bicol region, then you've most likely experienced the anticipation of a real coffee as you get closer to San Pablo City where there is a Starbucks out the front of the SM mall on the Pan-Philippine Highway.

But if you are not a Starbucks fan, there is an alternative that I discovered yesterday on the way back from Quezon province. It's called Espresso de Kaldi and the coffee is as good as, if not better, than Starbucks. It's on the right hand side of the Pan-Philippine Highway about a kilometre before the SM mall, just after the Petron gas station.

San Pablo coffee shop.jpg

My only disappointment was that they do not serve coffee in mugs, only paper cups - which is not good for the environment. But given that 95% of Starbucks coffee in the Philippines is served in paper cups, I can't penalise them for that.

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