Friday, July 5, 2013

Magnum Opus: Where Fine Coffees are Great Works

   Just last night, I said to myself, "I had to stop and smell the coffee!"  How long has it been since I last blogged about a coffee shop.   You know what I mean, not those places that serve bittersweet concoctions of imperialism.  Places like every coffeephiles would love to hang out at.  Where the pure joy of sniffing the invigorating and sensual aroma of some of the best coffee brews around the world  is not an addiction but a relishing of the soul.
   Finally, I got the coffee break I have long desired.
   Sure, "backlogs" is a passe in my world or let's reword it as procrastination, or is it?
   But not a care for now, for I am just as giddy as my husband to share an experience we both have loved.   It's been days that I happen to be seeing posts from FB friends about some new coffee shops or blends that had not been explored by many.   

   I was at the Advo Cafe just last week and I am adamant of telling the story behind that coffee shop yet.   I guess I needed to try more of their coffee choices.   But do check us once in awhile, I might blog about their advocacy though, yep, you heard it right.  Advo is short of advocacy.

   So let me begin with a late trip to the foodie capital of the South-Aguirre St, at B.F. Homes Paranaque.
   Bhogs and I left the kids furtively an hour after dinner to locate Magnum Opus Fine Coffee Gallery.  Coffee for us is like brandy, and instead of sneaking out to bars, we try and look for a cozy, away from the crowd non-commercialized  coffeehouses.

  Just like this saying...
    "Coffee falls into the stomach … ideas begin to move, things remembered arrive at full gallop … the shafts of wit start up like sharp-shooters, similies arise, the paper is covered with ink …" (by Honoré de Balzac)
  Coffee for many had served as an elixir, to kick start a good write up or a challenging project.   That's how I see also why coffee break is a must.
   For me, conversations are more appealing when there is coffee involved.  Depressing stories turn out to be positive somehow.   I'm not sure if the aroma of the coffee does the thing, but what I'm sure of, is the seeming comfort of drinking a good cup of hot coffee, fresh from the grind, just clouds away the troubles.

   And finding Magnum Opus Fine Coffee Gallery just elevated our inkling to distinctive coffee even more.
   The name suggests greatness, don't you think?  It actually is Latin for "great work."   I actually first saw it in Paulo Coelho's novel, The Alchemist.  Just as Paulo Coelho described it in novel, each one of us has a great work to accomplish in this lifetime.  That is why it did give a ring to my ear and just made me want to see what they are offering.
   So, let me just go on with what we had that evening.
   My long overdue dessert,  Belgian Heartbreaker.  The crowd-pleaser of Magnum Opus did apparently won me over.  A sweetheart in it's own right is a glass of smooth combined elements that is sweet, pleasantly-bitterish, tad milky and chocolatey.  First sip and I was instantaneously brought to drinkers paradiso.  It's Jonathan's version of cafe mocha only way better with Belgian chocolate mixed in it.  The consistency is like that of my lola's good ol' "tsokolate" from pure cacao beans.  But what made this more of a coffee concoction than a caffeine-spiked hot chocolate, is the double ristretto pulled into it.  
   "Duh! Ristretto?"  
   Ristretto is a shot of espresso, wherein the coffee beans are ground finer than usual but quiker.  With less water involved in the pull,  the resultant shot is bolder, fuller, with more body and less bitterness.
    Just look at this cup of cheerfulness.  This is my buddy's Cappuccino.  With the ratio of 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, 1/3 foamed milk, and an ample part of coffee-making passion.  

   Also, I had to tell you how the barista slash owner of the joint explained to us some nitty-gritty of the preparation.  Jonathan speaks boldly of the Single Origin Ethiopian Sidamo, with its fruity complexity, and aroma that was just exhilarating.

   That's what I call a whole latte love, get it?

   Normally the shot of espresso is doubled (in Italy, like what my father would love having , they call it doppio) on their menu, but since it was late already I opted for them to lessen the shot.  Surprisingly, the coffee (taste-segregating the milk) is delicate with hints of toffee or butterscotch candy.  I had one sip of it from his cup, and I remembered biting a chocolate my aunt would bring us from Saudi Arabia, the taste resembled an orangy-chocolate hint on the side of a full-bodied premium coffee flavor.  Maybe that would suggest the flavor of an Ethiopian coffee.

   At first you would really get intimidated, as if you never chanced on pure coffee education.  So coming here is like being on a laboratory and gallery (of different coffees from different corners of the world) at the same time.

   The menu is very straight-forward, your choice of coffee and something scrumptious to pair it with.  You can have a cookie or two, an open faced sandwich or the Monte Cristo.  It's a French toast amped with Farmers Ham, Cheddar Barre, powdered sugar and topped with Cherry Jam.  I love the cross taste of the mild ham and cheese with the tart and sweet jam.  Something I never tried at home, which I will from now on.
   Just as we are about to end a night of pure coffee pleasure, Jonathan Choi invited us to have a taste test of another distinct coffee type, the exotic Sumatra coffee.  
   Sir was so gracious enough to let us observe how it was usually prepared.  You say it's just coffee, well, let me tell you, it's rather complex than that.  There is the issue of fresh grinding, temp control, good drip coffee materials, and timing.
Seems like a booze from a bar?  Nope, it's a shot of pour-over Sumatra coffee.
   Want something familiar but deliciously complex? The Sumatra coffee  is a full-bodied coffee with notes of blackberry, citrus, and a syrupy licorice sweet finish.  

   If you think we were just impressed, wait till we get back and tell you more of their concoctions.   They open up at 10:30 am  and conclude a work day at 11:00 pm.

Magnum Opus Coffee Gallery

Address:  115 Aguirre Avenue BF Homes, Parañaque
Contact Numbers:  0939 920 0701


  1. I am a coffee lover and I think this shop won my heart in an instant! Will try to visit this shop if we happen to swingby the place. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I never thought that preparing coffee could be so complex like this. I'm here now in BF Homes Paranaque and I would love to drop by here anytime soon :) Thanks for sharing :)

  3. I love to smell coffee's aroma. It is so smelly. But the problem is I never drink coffee for 33 years now. I have to follow my faith vow.

  4. I love coffee and the aroma itself calms me down. It made me relax if I have time but nowadays, I have no time to even sip a coffee as I'm afraid to sleep very late.

    The Monte Cristo looks delicious with that syrup in the french bread. :D

  5. The name sounds scary, sounds like a name of a cult, but when I started reading and browsing on the pictures, the ambiance seems friendly and I can smell the aroma of the coffee from here. Very interesting place indeed.

  6. I'm quite familiar with the name of this coffee shop. Presentation and flavor seem promising. I would love to visit this when I'm in the area.

  7. Sipping a Magnum Opus coffee is a great way to heat you up on a cold rainy day. =)

  8. I've read The Alchemist, but I don;t remember Magnun Well if it means Great Work, I'll be expecting much from this coffee shop ;)

  9. I am a coffee addict and this place is a must for me. Though I am living far away hope they could branch out here in Davao City.

  10. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this,like you wrote the book in it or something. best espresso machine under 200

  11. I really enjoyed your article, if you wish feel free to check my post about @: Best Coffee Maker For Americano! Thanks for sharing


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