DURING the Holidays Season in 2022, I visited coffee shops in General Santos (Gensan) City and Polomolok, South Cotabato.
Soccsksargen, in general, has been seeing slow but steady growth in the coffee scene. Interestingly, the coffee shops on this list just opened around late 2020 and in 2021.
I was only able to visit a handful of coffee shops in General Santos City and Polomolok because of my limitations to get around. Also, I needed to visit the coffee shops more than once to get the feel of the place.
Unlike the “Kape Ta! Coffee Shop Guide in Davao City,” this is not yet my official guide for Polomolok and Gensan because I have to visit and experience more.
Anyway, here are some of the coffee shops and cafes in Gensan and Polomolok that I have visited.
I think Coffee Classics is among the pioneering “third wave” coffee shops in the Soccsksargen area. It is among the first in the region to offer pour-over coffee and offer innovative coffee-based drinks to its customers. They opened in 2019 but also closed the same year. They eventually reopened in 2021.
Coffee Classics is a small coffee shop with an interior exuding a young and hip vibe.
For their drinks, I would recommend the Classic Imperial. This is their milky and sweet white cold brew. It will satisfy both coffee-lovers those who are not really into coffee.
Another drink I enjoyed was the Cara Preme. This is their cold brew with caramel syrup and milk. Those who are into caramel latte or caramel macchiato will enjoy this drink.
If you are looking for a simple black coffee, go for the pour-over coffee. You can choose among the available coffee beans for your pour-over.
They also serve pasta, wraps, and some pastries for you to enjoy with your coffee. I love the Pesto Chicken Shitake Wrap. Though that could be my bias for pesto in me talking. For the pasta, I like their marinara though there were times that I find it to be heavy on the black pepper.
Coffee Classics also has decent WiFi that allows you to get some work done.
Location: Cannery Rd., Polomolok, South Cotabato (Click HERE for Google Maps link)
Business hours: 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday; 1:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Sunday
My cousin introduced me to Balai Kape. She said she likes to have coffee here.
Balai Kape is a small coffee shop outside Cannery Housing Subd. It is just a few meters ahead from the entrance of the subdivision.
The coffee shop is quaint and homey. Once you enter the coffee shop, you will find their counter area where you will be placing your order. The dining area is down a small flight of stairs.
They have a lovely garden dining area with plants surrounding the area. Their tables and chairs are mainly good for a solo diner or a pair. However, the tables and chairs are small and light enough to move around to accommodate groups.
The coffee shops serve mainly coffee and non-coffee drinks. They serve some pastries here but during my visits, they were not serving single servings. There were packed pastries instead that are good for two to four persons.
So far I have tried their Spanish Latte and Strawberry Latte.
The Spanish Latte was quite good. I like that its sweetness and milkiness do not drown out the coffee. However, once the ice begins to melt, it somehow dilutes the coffee further.
I love the Strawberry Latte. It was a delicious milky and fruity drink.
During a recent visit, they had Korean Cream Cheese Garlic Bread and Brownies.
The Korean Cream Cheese Garlic Bread was a good savory pastry. The Brownies was the recipe of the mother of a childhood friend. Those who have tried her brownies know how good it is. And this was as good as I remembered them to be.
Location: Cannery Housing Subd., Polomolok, South Cotabato (Click HERE for Google Maps link)
Tuesday to Thursday 3pm to 7pm
Friday to Sunday 3pm to 8pm
GENERAL SANTOS CITY
WORKSTATION – DRIVE THRU STREET CAFE
Workstation was one of the first coffee shops in General Santos City that caught my attention.
They started as a pop-up coffee shop and eventually put up their own shop along Yumang St., Gensan.
I love the look and feel of their small coffee shop. The white paint with wood finishings really gives a good aesthetic to a small shop despite how common it is becoming. I also think that they were able to fully maximize their small space while keeping it as spacious as they can.
The coffee shop offers coffee and non-coffee drinks and some food.
I tried their Iced Charcoal Latte. It was definitely interesting because of how black it was. This is also the first time I tried something like this. It was a pretty good drink though a bit too milky for my liking.
I also liked their Supreme Latte. It was an over-the-top latte that thas been topped with ice cream and an ice cream cone.
Workstation also offers pour-over coffee. During my visit they had coffee beans from the lot of Marites Arellano in Bansalan, Davao del Sur. The beans were roasted by the Good Cup. Her coffee beans placed second in the 2021 Philippine Coffee Quality Competition. This was a very good cup of coffee. When hot, you get notes of brown sugar and when it cools down you can get the notes of orange zest more.
For the food, I liked the French Toast and Spaghetti Meatballs. The meatballs were flavorful but the tomato sauce may need a bit more salt. The French Toast was served with a side of ice cream and caramel syrup. was also quite good. It was topped with powdered sugar, strawberry syrup, and caramel syrup.
Yumang St., General Santos City (Click HERE for Google Maps link)
7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday
10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday
THE NEIGHBORHOOD COFFEE
This is also a small coffee shop located at Ched’s Apartelle along Block 2, Falgui Subd. I love its location because of how it is tucked within the city. I find Neighborhood Coffee as a great place to spend some time alone.
For their offerings, they have coffee and non-coffee drinks and some pastries.
I tried the NBH Signature Drink in two separate visits here. It was a good drink. What I like here is their latte. I liked that it was not too milky.
I also think their coffee drinks here have improved. In my first visits, I find the coffee was too diluted resulting in me not getting that taste of coffee that I was craving. However, in my most recent visit, it seems that they made adjustments — probably the beans they are using or the recipe itself. Their coffee drink is better now.
My cousin shared with me that they offer croissants. However, I was not able to try it. Last time, I was too full to eat and in my recent visit, it was not available. Based on the photos, those croissants looked good though.
The cookie they get were really good though. I had the delicious Oreo Cookie. I l love that torched marshmallow on top of the cookie. I also like that it was chewy and not dry. I like how it paired nicely with my latte.
Ched’s Apartel, Block 2, Falgui Subd. (Click HERE for Google Maps link)
9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday to Saturday
DAYSPRING CAFE and BAKERY
The cafe opened in late February this year offering brunch meals and pastries that can be enjoyed with a good cup of coffee.
Located in what used to be a guest house of a multinational firm, the place gives off a nostalgic and old-school vibe that reminds me of. The interior of the cafe complements the mid-century architecture of the building itself.
For the first visit here, I had a Full Filipino Breakfast, which consisted of spam, sausage, bacon, egg, tomatoes, and mushroom with a side of their adobo garlic rice. This was a tasty meal that will fill you up. I ordered their pour-over coffee to go with my meal and their Lemon Olive Cake.
For their pour-over coffee, I opted for the Mt. Apo coffee beans that were roasted by them. The coffee was what I would expect from Mt. Apo — strong hints of cherries, a bit herbaceousness, heavy on the palate, but with a clean finish. Overall, a good cup of coffee.
The Lemon Olive Cake is my favorite lemon dessert. I know who makes them and that person knows how much I love their Lemon Olive Cake. It was as good as I remembered it to be.
I was also able to try their pork adobo served with their adobo garlic rice. Another good dish from Dayspring. The pork was very tender and tasty. I also like how generous they are with their serving too.
Location: Yumang St. Mabuhay, General Santos City (Click HERE for Google Maps link)
10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday