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Taza Mia: the Filipino Coffee Shop and Much More

The Taza Mia store at the northeastern corner of Plaza Mabini in Batangas City.
Food Batangas was recently invited by Ronie Dimaculangan to visit the elegant Taza Mia store at the northeastern end of Plaza Mabini in downtown Batangas City. Dimaculangan is Operations Manager of three Taza Mia franchise stores owned by Qatarex corporation, a company owned by overseas Filipinos. The other two stores are at SM City – Batangas City and at the Kasa Luntian in Tagaytay City.

Taza Mia itself was the brainchild of the mother company’s President and CEO Rodel Lacorte, who founded the company in 2011. Because Lacorte was Lipa-born and raised, and because coffee in the Philippines is almost synonymous with the great province of Batangas, Taza Mia in a sense is very much a Batangas enterprise that has started to branch out to Cavite, Laguna and other parts of the Philippines.

At the Plaza Mabini branch, which is at the northeastern end of the park and a stone’s throw from the Batangas City Hall and the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, we were impressed by the elegant yet homey ambience at par if not better than that one typically finds in the stores of the more established multi-national coffee shops.

The homey ambiance inside Taza Mia, with an excellent view of Plaza Mabini to boot.
Taza Mia, however, prides itself in being a Filipino company. While one will find pastas, cakes and pastries as is typical in western-owned coffee shops, those who wish to have full meals can avail of a variety of rice meals on offer. Of these, we were treated to the grilled barbecue ribs and the pork steak, both exquisitely flavored and meticulously plated as though in a five-star hotel. The ribs, in particular, were tender with a to-die-for flavor.

Other rice meals include bangus belly steak, fried pork chop, crispy liempo, fish fillet, breaded pork chop, fried chicken, baked salmon, beef salpicao and braised pork rib, all carefully prepared, attractively served and, most of all, reasonably priced.

The grilled ribs are to die for.
The pork steak was equally good, and both were plated as one would find in a 5-star hotel.
Those looking for something more western can order pasta, albeit Taza Mia’s Filipino-style spaghetti is anything but western. It has all the sweetness Filipinos love in their spaghetti but with a delightfully smoky flavor one will not find in spaghetti served in most fast food joints in the country. Other pasta offerings include tuna pesto linguine, carbonara, Italian-style spaghetti and bacon mushroom pasta.

The Filipino-style spaghetti has this distinct smokey flavor quite apart from that served in other fast food joints.
The bacon mushroom pasta can be both a meal or a snack.
At Taza Mia, there is something for everyone. Early risers can saunter over to any store and choose from a wide range of breakfast offerings, from the bacon, spam and corned beef of the west to the unmistakably Filipino tapa, danggit fried bangus and beef tapa.

Those having a break from school or work can choose from among the wide range of cakes, pastries and sandwiches or even the appetizers to have as snack. The plate of cheese nachos we were served as appetizer, for instance, would have made a great snack anytime, anywhere.

The appetizer we were served was good enough to have as snack any time of the day.
At Taza Mia, there is a wide range of cakes and pastries to choose from.
Taza Mia, Italian for “my cup,” is of course a coffee shop as its name implies. To wake one’s self up, end a meal or go along with a snack, one can choose from a wide array of frappes and hot beverages. Batangas barako, but naturally, occupies pride of place among the choices, although the artistic froth designs are worth mentioning.

The froth designs are pure art and worth a mention.
“Where family, friends and partners meet” is how Taza Mia thinks of itself. Indeed, Dimaculangan told Food Batangas, among its regular customers, apart from students, yuppies and government workers are families and group of friends who are pampered not just with excellent food but also the innate Filipino hospitality of its courteous and well-trained staff.

Food Batangas was treated to Filipino hospitality by Taza Mia's well-trained staff.
Store hours: Taza Mia Plaza Mabini, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; SM City Batangas City, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tagaytay, weekdays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., with breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. on weekends.

Other Taza Mia stores in Batangas: Lifestyle Strip, Sto. Tomas; Robinson’s Place, Lipa; SM City, Lipa; Total Gas Station, Diversion Road, Batangas City; De la Salle Lipa campus; Batangas City Plaza; and High 5 Square, Ayala Diversion Road, Lipa.