Café Yagam is the main reason why I picked to stay at TALA Guest House right next door for our Valentine’s weekend get-away. Café Yagam is a cozy, rustic, homey café perfect for those cold, foggy, dreary days in Baguio. The last time I was here I didn’t even know about the café until I rode up alone to its gate ready to check-in TALA next door (only to find out no one was around to let me in) on my motorcycle dripping wet from the rainy ride up the mountain. I found solace in Yagam’s attractively unusual Igorot native inspired café as I dried off in the warm embrace of burning wood in their stone fireplace. Although this time, summer is just around the corner, Baguio weather was dry and slightly cool, and I now have Raina to share Yagam’s chill ambience.
Café Yagam’s interior is decorated with low wood tables and chairs, local books, Igorot instruments, crafts, and traditional clothing. The fresh smell of brewed coffee, dim lighting, and random alternative music lured us in to this charming old house turned into a café. Speaking of which, the house was actually home to an old Igorot (a relative of current owner Poleen Carla Rosito-Dulnuan) who had a daughter named Yagam.
Tired from our long bus ride and walk uphill amidst Baguio’s traffic jammed streets (due to 3 events that weekend: Chinese New Year, Valentine’s, and the Panagbenga Festival), Raina and I were so ready to dine comfortably. Blessed to have walked in to Café Yagam empty, we pretty much had the café all to ourselves!
For dinner that evening, we proceeded to order one of the Cordilleran favorites: Pinuneg (PHP 200) is a grilled pork blood sausage dish with green chili pepper, leafy greens, mixed sauteed vegetables paired with healthy black rice. It’s exotic flavor is rich, herby, and fresh. A must have for anyone who’s adventurous.
To retain authenticity, we were served their own house blend local Bugnay Wild Cherry Juice (PHP 85). It was bright, tart, and had a sweet flavor reminiscent of blackcurrants and mulberries.
We couldn’t get enough of Cafe Yagam so we went right back for breakfast the morning after: their iconic Yagam’s Breakfast (PHP 240) is an original recipe smoked pork sausage mixed with special herbs and spices, and paired with black rice and egg. I never knew a traditional Filipino sausage, egg, and rice combo could be so healthy!
And of course, to help us digest our meal, we ordered fresh Lemon Grass Tea (PHP 100) of which came with honey and was served in a little tea pot–cute!
Last but not least, we just had to pair our breakfast with their farm to cup, locally grown, hand-picked, freshly-roasted and brewed, French Press Coffee (PHP 80). Curious as to where the magically delicious coffee comes from, I asked their current manager Raymart Sibayan Gamboa where Café Yagam sources its coffee beans. According to Raymart, the beans come from the Cordillera Green Network, an environmental non-profit organization that introduced coffee as profitable crop in the Cordillera community (Kibungan, Coros, Kabayan, Tublay, Kapangan, Benguet, and Kadaclan) as part of their Agro-Forestry advocacy. The roasted and ground coffee beans are packed and sold locally and some are exported abroad. The revenues help maintain their other projects like green scholarship and environmental education.
Friday to Sunday: 7 AM to 9 PM
Monday to Thursday: 10 AM to 9 PM
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/cafeyagam/