How I Made My (Easy) Cold Brew Coffee

I am an avid coffee drinker since I was in the fourth grade. But I haven’t actually cared much about my coffee until I was in college when I learned about the glorious taste of brewed coffee. LOL Kidding aside, I have been drinking coffee for as long as I can remember, and though I am not an expert, I can be very keen on how my coffee taste like.

Over the years, I have also tried different types of instant coffees as well as various blends and roasts. Although most of the time I stick with what McDonald’s or 7/11 have to offer, cause my poor ass can’t always afford coffee beans that are ground to perfection. But mainly also because my mom took my coffee maker away because she thought I have a (coffee) drinking problem on top of my actual (slight) drinking problem. LOL

I am not proud of it, but over the last five or six years, coffee wasn’t the only beverage I crave for on the daily. And although I am well past that phase of my life now, I still haven’t gotten over drinking coffee. Which brings us to the cold brew coffee I made recently.

But first, what is cold brew coffee, exactly?

It’s nothing special really. It’s just cold coffee, basically. Similar to how one would prepare a regular cup of joe, making cold brew is just the same but has a slight difference in terms of temperature and steeping time.

Cold brew is for people, who, like me, enjoy their coffee cold or over ice, and since cold brew is made from cold water, its taste is not as strong as a regular hot cup of coffee would. Even when steeped for 24 hours.

So, without further ado here is how I made my cold brew coffee as seen on my Instagram and Facebook post:

Ingredients:

  • Coarse ground coffee beans
  • Water
  • Love and tons of patience

Instructions:

1. Prepare your ingredients. Grind your coffee beans.

2. Put the coarse ground coffee beans in a container, and add half a cup of hot water. Stir. Then let it sit for about 4-5 minutes.

3. Fill the container with water, then stir it well.

4. Put the lid on and pop it in the fridge for about 12 to 24 hours.

There you have it. People usually start drinking it after 12 hours for a milder brew, but I got mine out after 24 hours which made the coffee taste a little stronger, which I love. I usually put cream or milk on my coffee, sometimes a little sugar, too. But I can drink it as it is and still enjoy it. Haha.

It’s actually so easy to do at home. This isn’t professionally made, but it’s just as delicious. It’s actually better than pouring hot coffee on ice, in my opinion. LOL

Kayo, anong bet ninyong timpla ng kape?

Why I love my HyacinthMNL handbag

If you have been following me on social media, you might have seen my post about a cute native-looking handbag. I’m a huge fan of bags and honestly, when I saw this handbag from Hyacinth Manila I thought it was cool. Cooler than the round Bali bags that I see on my feed all the time. So I decided to check it out.

Turns out, there’s more to their bags than just looking pretty and classy.

But before I get into that, here’s the bag I got from them. It was sent via-Lalamove in an eco-bag, which I really appreciate. I was a little worried that they would send me my bag wrapped in plastic, but they didn’t which is a big plus for me.

As for the inside of the bag, they gave me the option to have it lined. I thought about it and almost decided that I’d love my bag to be as it is. However, thinking of the stuff I would put inside, I might have a hard time cleaning it in the future. So, ultimately, I have decided to have the insides lined with fabric.

It looks very simple, yet I couldn’t deny that it also looks classy and pretty. Tim actually likes it and said that it looks really sturdy and of high quality to which I agreed. Oh, and the bag also came with a note from the owner, Danielle Wassmer!

When I asked about the background of her business, Danielle kindly responded to me with this:

Hey Mia, sure! Let me know if you’d specifically you’d like to know something else. Just a backgrounder, I grew up in Los Banos Laguna. People who live by the bay actually had a reoccurring problem with water lilies. Flooding is one of the major problems in our town (and the rest of the towns around the bay).

The program was actually launched by DTI and the local municipality. They gathered stay at home moms and taught them how to create bags, wallets and baskets out of these.The fishermen are actually the ones who gets the lilies from the lake. It’s then given to moms. These moms would dry it and flatten it manually. Then the strands are weaved to these bags. 

Material is actually a little but thicker than rattan but it has its own charm. And i guess also the story that goes with every bag— we both get to help these communities without sacrificing style ❤️✨

I know this isn’t the only store out there that has done it or has a similar story, but for some reason, I fell in love with their bags and their efforts to help stay-at-home moms in Laguna, and not only that, they’re helping the entire community to rid of the water lilies that used to contribute to flooding in their area.

How inspiring, right? Well, there’s more to that! I got a little more curious, so I did a quick Google search on Hyacinth Manila and found an article from the Manila Times website that was posted last week. Danielle, if you are reading this, I apologize for the mild stalking. LOL I just wanted to give this feature the justice it deserves.

Turns out that the business is inspired by Danielle’s late mom’s former project and advocacy to help stay-at-home moms in Laguna to have an extra income. Initially, Danielle planned to have a leather bag business but seeing how risky and expensive it can be, she took a friend’s advice to check out local bags being sold at a local store along the highway.

Upon seeing for herself the native bags made from water lilies (or water hyacinths) she remembered her mom, and when she met with the suppliers they realized that she was the daughter of the late “Tita Woowoo”, their nickname for Danielle’s mom. They then shared stories about how her mom helped and taught them to make the bags and established their local business.

It was a really heartwarming story that made me cry just a little. So, I guess, in some ways, my bag is not just a regular bag… it’s a way to commemorate and pay homage to Danielle’s mom, and of course, to continue supporting the local stay-at-home moms in Laguna.

When I first saw the bags on Instagram, I told myself that the owner is probably a genius. But when I spoke to her and researched her business more, I have come to admire her for continuing her mom’s advocacy to help the local community in Laguna.

Check out Hyacinth Manila on Instagram @hyacinthmnl and see for yourself how beautiful their bags are.

Art Capital Cafe, Angono

With so much going on in our lives lately, mostly with work (lol) Tim and I found ourselves rotting at home for days on end. Don’t get me wrong, we love staying indoors as much as we love going out, but it has been months since we last went to Tanay to have breakfast, and it has been weeks since we ate out — yes, our late-night McDonald’s runs are not considered as quick dates lol.

We realized that we haven’t gone too far from our house for a long time. So a few weeks ago, we decided to break out of our cocoons and headed to Angono, Rizal. Upon realizing that we haven’t gone out on a date in ages, I immediately searched for nearby cafe’s that we could check out, one of those cafes is Art Capital Cafe.

They open at 12 noon, and we got there shortly before 1 PM. It was scorching hot and we realized the real reason why we haven’t been going out as much. It was starting to feel like mid-summer already. Thank God that the cafe had strong air conditioning and their staff immediately gave us water almost as soon as we got in.

The place was pretty quiet and empty, but then again it was high noon on a Tuesday, but we loved that we had the cafe all to ourselves that day. It was a great time to admire all the paintings hanging from the walls. We loved how quaint and cozy the place was, and they even have quite a big outdoor dining area that showcases more paintings.

Their menu was pretty good as well, and in terms of price, they’re on the cheaper side, cafe-wise. Their food selection ranges from 75php to 230php at the most, and the 230php I was talking about was just their pizza. The rest are all under 190php. Their beverages start from 40php to 109php, though they did have a 315php bottle of Dragon Fruit wine. But overall, a couple could spend a minimum of 400-500php in this cafe.

In our case, however, I ordered their Macadamia Nut flavored latte (85php) and Tim had the Milo Nitro frappe (109php). We also ordered their chicken pesto pasta (135php), their potato wedges (95php), chicken fingers (135php), the clubhouse sandwich (125php), and a serving of their crispy pork belly rice meal (155). We paid for 839php in total. Okay, please don’t judge us hahaha in our defense it was a brunch for us. LOL. We literally just got out of bed, brushed our teeth, got dressed and headed out. LOL

I honestly think that the food was not bad, I liked their beverages. I thought they were exceptional for their price, especially the Macadamia Nut flavored coffee that I ordered. I was expecting something too overwhelmingly sweet but it was the opposite. It was strong, but the macadamia nut flavor was there, and the sweetness level is just right.

The food, however, was nothing too impressive but surely worth every penny. They weren’t lacking in flavor, except maybe for the potato wedges which needs a little more salt. I am a huge fan of their chicken pesto though, I thought that the flavors in that dish came together really well, it was well seasoned, and the chicken wasn’t dry as with most commercial chicken pesto pasta that I have tried. Tim loved their Milo Nitro that he finished it almost as soon as we were served our food.

Overall, Tim and I were satisfied with not only their food but also their fast and polite service. It only took them about 8 minutes, perhaps 10 minutes tops to serve all our orders and their wait staff was really attentive and accommodating. Art Capital Cafe is one of the few places that we plan to visit again in the near future.

Kayo, mahilig din ba kayo mag stay sa bahay? Or mas bet ninyo mag gala?

On a Life that Could Have Been

Lately, I have struggled so hard with some things in my married life. Mostly with my health and my journey to motherhood. I have written about this on my Facebook page and Instagram, this is just a longer version of my posts. LOL
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Okay, so some of you may not know about this but before Tim, I have been off a committed relationship for exactly four years. My last boyfriend wanted to have kids back then but I was too young, and the thought scared me. I guess one of the reasons we broke up was that I couldn’t get myself to commit to him that seriously. After that, I have lived such a different life from what I have now and I have always told people that I don’t want kids for some reason.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, okay? I love kids! I enjoy teaching them (I am a teacher by profession by the way), I love playing with them, pinching them on the cheeks, or lightly biting their cheeks, arms, and legs with my lips hahaha! I’m a sucker for kids but I never wanted to have them. I wasn’t in any place to want to have them. I loved the idea that I could play with them and just give them back to their parents the moment they start crying or when I’m tired of playing with them. Haha! Okay, that may have sounded a little selfish, right? But that was me before.

Tim changed that gradually. Not because he wanted kids and wanted me to want the same thing, but by respecting my views and decisions I eventually came around the idea of having children of my own and I embraced that. However, a few months after Tim and I got married I learned that motherhood is a journey that isn’t going to be easy for me. I have been diagnosed with a couple of things I will not elaborate on them more. I do have PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Endometriosis which makes my red days extra painful than most people. Basically, those conditions make it a little more difficult for us to have a baby. Well, for me at least.

Honestly, those diagnoses brought along a series of medications and an emotional toll on me. I became frustrated and angry at myself and there are times that everything would just become too overwhelming that I would lash out on Tim in the most terrible ways. However, he was nothing but understanding and supportive all throughout.

It became even more frustrating to me when my dad died last December. I have always pictured my dad and my mom playing with Tim and I’s baby in the distant future, even after my diagnoses, I tried so hard to keep my hopes up. After all, my dad walked me down the altar during my wedding, a huge part of me believed that he would be with us till like my unborn children are in college or something like that. So when he passed suddenly last year, I was crushed.

I was crushed but I couldn’t show it. I was crying in the bathroom the morning after he died, away from my husband’s sight. And that afternoon, when the mortician asked me to check on dad before they take him to the chapel where his wake will be held, I cried. Away from everybody because I don’t want them to see me so crushed and hurt because I have always been the strongest person in the family. Apart from that, dad isn’t my biological father. He’s my step-dad, so the anxiety kicks in and the paranoia that people might think I’m being overly dramatic or just simply trying to seek attention in public when I cry overwhelms me. I didn’t even want to give a eulogy because I didn’t want to take that out of my sisters’ spotlight. But when I finally did (cause people forced me to) I couldn’t keep it together for more than a minute so I had to cut my eulogy shorter than I planned.

Even more so when Tim and I thought that our dreams are finally coming true… the excitement and the talk of fun and exhilarating possibilities kept us on cloud nine. You know, we kinda fantasized and joked about our baby, until the sad, cold reality pulls us down to the ground and it hurts—so bad, I can never find the words to express exactly how painful it is to find out that what you wanted just slipped right through your fingers.

These things have been trying to eat me off for weeks now, and recent events about Tim and I’s journey to parenthood just added to it. I have been meaning to write about all those here weeks ago since this blog’s purpose for me is to not only share my good experiences after all. Contrary to what most of you probably think, I own this blog and I write because it helps me with my anxiety and depression and not just to gain social media followers. Trust me, I don’t usually collab with other bloggers for a giveaway nor have I been active on my old blog‘s social media pages.

I guess I was just not ready to face all these things back then that I couldn’t even write about it. I have drafted several posts but I couldn’t get myself to finish a couple of sentences. It was indeed a hard time for me, even for Tim.

But we know that this is not the end of our journey, it’s just starting and although it will be more frustrating and painful (I expect it), we’ll make sure and do our best to get through every challenge that has yet come our way. All through the glory of the Lord. 💕☀️

🌸Jeremiah 29:11🌸 — ito ung verse na patuloy kong naalala lately. Kayo, anong biggest challenge ninyo lately?

Sunflora Farm, Jala Jala

One of Tim and I’s biggest disappointments last year was not being able to visit the sunflower farm in Jala Jala after our Quezon trip. But last December, we finally had the chance to visit Sunflora Farm.

It was such a long drive. To think that we even started from Baras, Rizal, which is relatively closer to it (we live around an hour away from Baras), it was still a long drive. But as much as I would like to complain more about it, I couldn’t anymore as the scenery painted in mid-afternoon was so beautiful it made the trip worth every second.

SunFlora Farm is located in Bgy. Punta, Jala Jala, Rizal. It’s just along the highway. The entrance fee is just 20php/head, and they’re open everyday from around 8AM to 6PM.

If you’re not using a private vehicle to go to SunFlora, you may take a jeep or bus going to Tanay from Starmall Crossing in Shaw Blvd. Get off at Tanay Market, and hop on a jeep going to Punta in Jala Jala. Then ask the driver to drop you off at SunFlora Farm, it will be on your left so keep an eye out for it also.

One of my best friends, Ge brought his drone with him which explains the unusual aerial shots I’ve never had before. LOL The sunflowers were not as tall as I expected, but it must be because they have just recently replanted almost everything since after the devastating storm last July.

Tim looked happy, especially when he saw the vendors selling classic street food snacks just outside of SunFlora’s gates. Hahaha! He seemed pleased with the entire experience, like he was finally able to cross out something out of his bucket list or something similar. LOL

As you can tell, we took loads of photos including one of me and my bff, Jaycee, posing dramatically in the middle of the road. LOL We didn’t stay there for so long, in fact, we have been there less than an hour when we decided to head home as the sun was setting quickly. We did have a quick snack first, from the said vendors, took more pics and hopped back in the van.

We then decided to grab dinner at an infamous branch of a roadside canteen in Pililla, a town after Jala Jala. Then we headed back to my best friend’s house in Baras where we stayed a bit longer for some drinks which I cannot pass up on.

I love hanging out with my best friends, Jaycee and Ge and Ge’s family is my second family. I’ve known them since I was 16 and they have been nothing but loving and accepting of me. Not once did I regret going all the way to Baras to spend a little time with them, and even now that I’m married I try my best to visit every now and then.

Kayo ba, same treatment din sa family ng best friend ninyo?