Coffee Shop Sessions 2: El Union Coffee
Before my last semester started, we had the chance to go on a mini road trip to La Union– one of my fave have-to-get-away-from-it-all chill place.
You might have heard of this quaint coffee shop from bloggers and writers like Abbey Sy, Mikka Wee, cool kids Samantha Lee, En and An Gonzaga, (so this is becoming a list of my favorite people lol) or may have scrolled through cannot-not-like photos of it on Instagram. Despite slowly coming on the main stream, it still stays genuine and lives up to the hype. Well, at least for me. And also, I’m lucky that all my visits here happen to be when the place is almost empty– an introvert’s simple happiness.
El Union Coffee is located in Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union; just amidst all the hotels / hostels along the surf area in Urbiztondo beach.
When I first went here in 2014, it was my go-to in and from Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel. Now they’re set up in a larger area as a cafe along the highway. El Union is actually one of the reasons I like coming back to LU, aside from the beach that is, which by this time is already a given. It’s just one of those places you leave a piece of yourself behind, maybe a memory or a story, and you want to come back and let that time sink in again. (Side story: LU is my personal unwind space. I went here once and all I did was the usual. I didn’t swim. All I had was my regular school backpack and additional clothes. It was like I just went somewhere to sleep without worries. Far from the city.) So this round, my LU trip group was my family– a thing I wasn’t expecting. It was a normal for me to go here with friends (and I could even go alone), and I never expected them to say yes to come with me to LU. Check my La Union photo diary here.
After checking in at San Juan Surf Resort and dropping our baggages, my brother and I left our parents in the room to rest, and walked down the road to get my much needed caffeine fix after driving for 4+ hours.
Click below for their menu and a glimpse of my happy place.
For someone who’s a sucker for aesthetic, interiors and exteriors of this place will feed your fancy craving. It also helps that time is rather on a low-key here maybe because of simple living, and the sound and smell of the sea being unmissable. Basta, yung feeling ko pag nasa LU ako is parang nasa bahay ng lola ko. Gets? Sobrang home-y and simple na parang it’s a routine na di ka ever magsasawa.
We got ourselves a glass of iced dirty white (Php140) each, and a skillet of indoor smores (Php260). Prices are on the high side but I guess all cafes are ranged the same. Worth it though. In Flotsam and Jetsam, I used to get their mocha, both hot and iced, which is just as good. Grilled cheese too! Coffee here is less sweet than your usual coffee shop; a huge plus for me who likes her coffee to taste like coffee. My brother would rather have ice cream tasting coffee though. But he loves the smores (not diabetes friendly lol).
They make your drink and food just after you order them. So you’ll have to wait, but with waves crashing in the background, you won’t even know you’re waiting.
Coming here with my brother, there was less talking than my visits before; just every now and then about video games and school and the smores and more video games, and me asking him to be my photographer later on. Haha. It was just nice to go back before we have to deal with school again.
I think 50% of the pleasure there is in drinking coffee is the experience you have while having the cup in your hand (or table)– be it drawing, painting, reading a book, conversations, making your midterm presentation, or finally giving yourself the time to just sit and breathe, maybe watch the other people around you come and go. And you may not even like coffee, but everyone likes the company that comes along with it.
El Union Coffee is open, I think from 8 or 9am-3pm, then 6pm onwards. They’re close on Tuesdays. You could check them out at their Facebook and Instagram pages.