Books & Brew with a special dropping in between…
Hopped my way towards this new coffee shop at Tionko last night, and was hopping excitedly with a promise to taste this “Kape Balos” that Kangaroo Coffee Company is now offering, is making my left eye twitch… Kape Balos or Kape Alamid, as it is more widely known, is something I’ve heard of a few years ago but I never really had the chance to taste it.
When I reached the place, it was buzzing…so many people. It’s my first time at the Kangaroo hole and I heard it’s new, but I never expected it to be very busy.
The ambiance was nice…the people friendly (don’t ask the guard though, he will just answer you with a one word: ha?) ^.^
The best thing about this place is that it offers books for you to read.
Heartbroken? read the inspirational books, tired and depressed? grab the self-help books. They tend to keep the reading light but something that will make the customers feel good.
Books and coffee shops have long been partners but this is the first coffee shop that I’ve seen here in Davao that offers books. Reminds me of Border, a bookstore in Singapore, cool place,…and they won’t bother you if you read and read…problem is, it is so big you wouldn’t know where to start…
Anyways, this is a cool concept, it brings not only coffee lovers together but intellectuals as well… So the place becomes alive with discussions and stuff, this type of setting will sooner or later gather an interesting pool of people with various talents, opinions, and perspective…
Soon people will come to this place not because of the coffee but because this place has become a part of them in terms of their learning process with coffee drinkers as their peers and the couches and tables as their collective space. The place, if properly managed and allocates time to providing a venue for intellectual growth will flourish not as a business establishment but as a second home with with friends as clients.
service with a smile
Hehehe! Not that I have a very interesting social life but if ever I am to have a life, I’d rather socialize with people I’m comfortable with in a place I find cozy…And it’s always the people the creates the atmosphere…So when I drink my fair share of coffee, cafe latte in particular — well more of milk with a little coffee — and someone says something funny, that forces me to laugh unexpectedly making the liquid to come out of my nose — I’d rather have it trickle down in front of people who will laugh with me … Fortunately (or unfortunately, whichever is apt) I don’t belong to the group of coffee drinkers who periodically experience spasm and epileptic attacks if their daily dose of coffee was not met...
Wait, Why was I in Kangaroo in the first place?
OH, KAPE BALOS — Civet coffee, Kape Alamid — o
Oh, did I mentioned that i hopped in a few minutes late?(what’s new huh?)…when i reached our table i saw Blogie and Kuya Migs, Bob Martin and his adorable wife Feyma. The KULIT Tandem – Chattee and her shaolin monk who clicks on his cam as if there is no tomorrow– arrived a few minutes later.
photography by Chattee
THE COFFEE. Kape Balos is Kangaroos’ edge against other coffeeshops. Believe me, this coffee is one heck of a coffee. It is interesting and I don’t only mean the flavor…but let me start with that….
The FLAVOR: I find Kape Balos strong for my taste, but then again I’m the One-cup-of milk-with-coffee-please-girl, you know… I’m proud to say that I didn’t faint and even had more than one cup — but generally speaking, it was not strong , The strength is dependent on the saturation, i think (correct me if i’m wron
g)... You can, I think, request for stronger brews to give your palate the flavor it is looking for.
I’ve noticed that almost all coffee lovers are also weirdos who like stronger brews aside from them being aroma freaks…I know someone who brews his coffee so strong that the mere sniff of it makes me faint… It is so saturated that if you serve it in a wake, it would push the dead to get out of the coffin, drag its carcass around, just so he/she could slap you (wala nay mu-abuloy kung makuyapan pud ang nibisita tungod sa kape hahah!)..
Going back, the beans was roasted well,thus, no burnt or bitter aftertaste, and the taste becomes better after every sip. Interestingly, the taste doesn’t change — you know how the taste of coffee changes when you drink it first and then you eat something, and then you take a sip again? In this case, the food enhances the taste of the coffee without altering it… Expect it to be musty and with rich jungle undertones).
Kuya Migs noted how it goes well with the (Chamomile?) tea.
As for the aroma…it is chocolatey ( i love chocolates kaya 2 thumbs up sa aking ang kapeng ito!), elegantly bold but not heavy handed, kinda nutty (i think)… It was served without sugar and cream, you can put some if you like, but try drinking it first without the sweeteners, you’d be surprised.
Anyways, Kape Balos is not suited to be served everyday. The dead will die again if you do so… why? it’s so freakin expensive you’d have a stroke.
Estimated to be commercially priced around P10,000 (yes, ten thousand pesos) for half a kilo (yes, you read it right, tunga ra sa kilo), when I heard of it last 2003, it was priced around $600 per pound.
Kape Balos or Kape Alamid as it is widely known is actually the most expensive coffee in the world. Kangaroo offers a it for Php300 a cup — expensive? not really, in other places, people are actually paying $50 a cup.
If you find the price interesting, wait till I tell you how it’s made…hehehe!
In case the word Balos or Alamid is a word not part of your vocabulary, let me then happily inform you that those are words pertaining not to the finest arabica ( Liberica or Exelsa) coffee beans that this expensive coffee is made of.
Balos or Alamid is the proper name of a wild feline, nocturnal by nature and is an expert in sniffing the ripest and sweetest coffee cheries to glutton over.
No, the alamid or musang is not being used to find the best coffee cherries the way a hound dog is slaved over to locate a prey…One harvests the coffee by picking the droppings of the creature…You can read the last line again, I wouldn’t mind ;D
Indigenous Tribesmen from the mountains of Matutum gather the Civet’s droppings early in the morning, most likely before the sun would rise… they’d clean it, then roast it, and then make coffee out of it…mmmm…yummy. hehe! ;D
Why the heck would people pay so much money for coffee harvested from a wild cat’s droppings?
Aside from the fact that humans are actually gross, this process of the coffee cherries — being eaten, then digested, and then finally excreted, is a process that prepares the beans for it to taste the way it does– exuding an almost musical, fruity aroma – dark and sweet, — strong, chocolatey, and just perfect even without sugar and cream.
High levels of proteins is the reason why coffee beans become bitter upon roasting, but the Civet, upon digestion breaks the protein down giving the Kape Balos it’s superior taste. That’s why I wasn’t really surprised when Mr. Mark Seng, part owner of the establishment, noted that the best coffee is the type that you can drink and savor without the artificial sweeteners.
You would notice also that the liquid looks reddish rather than brown (reminds me of mangosteen tea, actually). The color is due to the the biochemicals present upon digestion — a factor why a change of color takes place.
This natural process makes the procurement of these types of beans scarce but the demand for this coffee is high, thus, the reason for such high price… Did you say high demand?! yes, I did – there’s a lot of crazy people in the world you know…and this is some weird craze…
Heck, I’d try it just so I could say I tried a coffee that once passed through some creature’s ass
IT being actually edible and the fact that it is the best tasting coffee in the whole world is a sure sign that there is some higher power watching over freaks like me who is willing to do crazy stuff just because….
but sadly these animals can only collectively poo 250 kilos of coffee beans worldwide per annum… You cannot do anything till the animal does its thing… the phrase “patience is a virtue” is an apt mantra for this.
Seriously, there is a sanitation process involved but extensively cleaning the beans with simple running water is enough to dislodge bacteria… Also
Kangaroo being a legit establishment, will not offer you a ticket to the bathroom — but this makes you wonder, before the sophisticated sanitation process, before the wonders of technology in terms of brewing, who first thought of trying the droppings as a possible source coffee? ( I don’t want to imagine — but THANK YOU for people like that…)
So did I scare you or what? Here’s a suggestion of what you could do… gather your friends and head collectively to Kangaroo (it’s in front Sunburst, at Tionko Street) order one cup and take turns sipping it and watch eachother in amazement the way Spongbob and Patrick would in a similar situation…you are not allowed to laugh like spongebob though…but yes oggle and let your eyes glimmer until you all turn yellow.
Oh, here’s another, make it an initiation rite. When I was still in high school branding according to one’s group is one of the most important thing to achieve a certain social status… I’m sure in many levels and ages, such is still existing in various forms (anyways, let me stop myself before I delve into the mysteries of peer and labeling)….
where was I? oh – the initiation…HE WHO DRINKS THE Balos COFFEE IS A TRUE MAN… with a tagline, it is one thing to be called an ass, but it is another to drink from one…true men do the latter... o di bah! bongga!
- For the Social Climbers, order a mug and keep the receipt for future show off…
- For Intelligence Officers, this cup of coffee can actually be an effective psycho warfare technique… (umamin ka na o oorder ako at ikaw ang pagbabayarin ko!)
- For the ones who slave over article writings and deadline chasers – the strength of the price and the coffee is enough to keep you guys awake.
- For the insomiac, celebrate some of your sleepless nights with class and style…drink it with your pinkie up ;)
- For the bookworms and the nerds, invite your rich friends and let them order Kape Balos while you tag along and read for free…
- For the humanitarian and the socially aware, ordering a cup is actually helping the indigenous tribes who gather these beans in their livelihood, these beans produces an income that promotes welfare and pushes civic development amongst the community, it is also raising an awareness to protect the Civet or Alamid, and is helping in protecting them and their habitats.
Whatever reasons you may have, or whatever reasons you may not have, do find time — hop your way at this interesting establishment… and try the darn coffee, will you? because the Civets are not gonna stay here forever. You might find enough curiousity to try it one day only to find that the coffee is not available anymore because the creatures involved are already extinct…that would be a shame.
If you tried it, and you find it not suitable to your taste…fine…order something else (wala may pugsanay bleah!)…
the PAPA KANGAROO
If you see a lanky guy
with chinky eyes & wears glasses
He is the part-owner Mr. Mark Seng…
He is mainly in-charge of the discounts mwehehe!
so be nice to himPIG OUT!