Magnum Opus: Coffee and Fine Arts Gallery


Coffee in a unique place
Armed once again with my sense of adventure and an insatiable appetite, my feet have dropped me off at Magnum Opus coffee shop along Aguirre Street in BF Homes. Now I have been here before, way back in November, and like most of the places I have been to, I love it. Magnum Opus is one of the few coffee shops that have taken an interesting twist to the concept of a coffee shop. It is evident why Magnum does it differently, with its indie and artsy vibe and its interesting approach to making coffee it is one of the places to go-to if you need to unwind and relax.


Calm and homey

If Taft Avenue has its Cafe de Seoul, Paranaque has its Magnum Opus, unlike Cafe de Seoul which is just a franchise; Magnum is a homegrown and entirely independent coffee shop. A no fuss and no frills affair and a character of its own, something that most independent businesses all seem to share.

Magnum Opus is your typical independent coffee shop with its own take and brand of coffee. According to some blogs, they take coffee seriously, that you could practically elevate their coffee brewing to a religion. However, as mentioned before, I have never been a coffee person. It’s really the character of the shop that makes me want to go back to try and sample their coffee.


A different kind of coffee experience
Now even though I am not a coffee person, I still take the time to at least get my caffeine shot every once in a while. Interestingly enough, Magnum Opus has a lot of selections that go beyond your classic caramel macchiato, iced signature coffee, vanilla what-nots, infinite latte selections and mocha espresso shenanigans, which in effect really destroys the whole coffee drinking experience. Then again, coffee these days are all about trying to stay awake but all the while keeping yourself classy but looking busy at the same time. So on the fruitful day of my return to Magnum Opus, I decided to order their signature and, I guess, one of their bestsellers — The Belgian Heartbreaker.


The devilishly delicious Belgian Heartbreaker (P175)

Despite its somewhat sad and maybe despairing name, the Belgian Heartbreaker won’t break your heart but actually mend it. A beautiful and strong blend of dark or bitter coffee brewed to perfection will surely get you back on your feet. If I had tried it in its hot version, I am sure that the Belgian would undoubtedly help on those cold and lonely nights. As for Tricia she had her usual, the no frills Classic Americana coffee without any of the hullabaloo of new age brewing. While her sister Luisa, had the Hot Belgian, but like me she took it chilled. Apparently the weather in Manila makes coffee as rich as this unsuitable for the coming summer.


Apple strudel ala mode (P175)
Apart from their devilish and delicious coffee, the chocolate madness doesn’t stop there. The reason why, or actually the only reason why, I’ve asked Tricia to go back there is because of their wickedly sumptuous apple strudel. Now I haven’t really tried a lot of apple strudels, besides the ones sold in Family Mart, but the one that Magnum Opus makes is heaven. Made from filo dough, a Greek type of dough used for their famous baclavas, it’s yummy and soft and provides an extra oopmh to the strudel. Adding vanilla ice cream plus the Belgian Heartbreaker make it a perfect combination of bitter and sweet.


Capping off a good Saturday in the south of Manila


Art in your coffee shop

Coffee and dessert just make up one part of the interesting and unique coffee shop. Another star attraction in Magnum Opus is their pursuit of bringing art to the casual coffee aficionado. Paintings hang around the different walls all for sale and some interesting art pieces serve as ornaments around the store.

Paintings and coffee really make for an interesting mix, it helps keep the conversation going when all topics have been exhausted or a perfect nook for just getting through that book that you’ve been dying to finish or even just a time to ruminate over your thoughts.


Not your average shelf, spotted Milan Kundera’s Unbearable lightness


Your strange brews
The last interesting bit about Magnum Opus is its layout, the interior is typical of a coffee shop, but its the veranda that makes the coffee shop one of the best places to chill. The veranda opens up to interesting views of BF and gives you the warm but very cool air. Perfect for those who want to get some sun and read or talk outside. The two times that Tricia and I were there, we always came at a pretty good time, always cool and windy. It is very homey and comely plus the wood accented furniture makes you want to lounge around all day and worry about everything at a later hour or date.


A window to urbanity


Have a seat and feel the wind


Coffee is being served

Visiting Magnum Opus twice is always an interesting experience. The food and the coffee are done with love, care and quality. Even if the food and drinks are expensive, coming from an independent shop, you can expect quality incomparable to the commercialized coffee shops that most Manilenos flock to. But more than just being a place to get your caffeine fix, Magnum tries to reinvent the concept of a coffee shop by trying something new and supporting this country’s local art scene. I am glad that I got the chance to drop by one more time, I am sure, when my feet bring me back to BF Homes Magnum Opus would probably and most likely be the last place where I would end my day.


Have a hearty break
Magnum Opus Coffee and Fine Arts Gallery can be found at 115 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Paranaque City.
They are open daily from 10:30 am – 11:00 pm.
Visit their Facebook page here.

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