Java Jive Cafe Welcomes You Home

Java Jive. How can I forget a song that gravely challenged my vocal versatility? I remember, roughly seven years ago, our choral group would spend late night practices just to perfect this piece. Trying to hit those low keys late at night almost consumed me, but it was also in those moments that I was able to harness my ability to sing a few notches lower than what my alto voice could reach. I’ve learned to love it eventually, and even until today, I still enjoy listening to it.
A few months back, I spotted a signage that says “JavaJive” along Quirino street. It was still all covered and under construction. I pass by that street around once or twice a week, and whenever I see the signage, I couldn’t help but sing the Java Jive song inside my head. The name tickled my curiosity, so I made a mental note to schedule a trip to this cafe as soon as it opens. Thankfully, I had the privilege of being invited to an afternoon of food tasting a week after their grand opening.

JavaJive (Coffee-Tea-Soda-Music) is a music-inspired, Filipino-themed café located at the heart of the metro. It’s a 24/7 coffee shop that offers live entertainment over coffee, tea, and soda. It also offers Davao-produced sweet and savory dishes, including desserts infused with the locals’ well-loved Durian. I believe JavaJive is the first of its kind in Davao. The moment I saw their tag line, I knew right then that my theory was right. The phrase “I love the Java Jive and it loves me” is actually a portion of the lyrics of a 1940’s Inkspots song entitled “The Java Jive”; the same song that automatically plays inside my head whenever I see their signage.

The place was rather intimate, but very cozy. I love the ambiance and the energy of the staff as they greet you “Welcome Home!” when you enter the vicinity. One interesting detail that caught my attention is the intricate piano keys mounted up above their ceiling. I find it really cool and it obviously reminded me of my boyfriend, Yuan. He’s the kind of guy who eats piano for breakfast. Yep, he’s got a huge appetite for music.JavaJive’s interior was designed by Arch. Harold Delima & Arch. Donna Golingay, two of Davao’s young professionals. They created the unique music-themed café ceiling design: piano keys starting from broken piano keys and ending in a full scale. The broken piano keys is said to represent loud music, while the full scale represent soft and soothing music such as jazz and acoustic.

Photo Courtesy of Red Pin and Java Jive

Following the direction of the full scale piano will lead you to the café’s entertainment stage, where local bands perform during Wednesdays, Fridays, and Weekends. On casual days, it is converted into a regular seating area to accommodate more customers. JavaJive aims to give their customers a home away from home sanctuary by providing a cozy environment and comfortable seating options that could accommodate larger groups.

Photo Courtesy of Red Pin and Java Jive

JavaJive’s Brand Ambassadress is no other than Davao’s very own, Juris Fernandez; One of the country’s leading recording artists and dubbed as The Soothing Voice of Asia. As an OPM artist and a true-blue Davaoeña, Juris embodies the café’s spirit of promoting the best of Davao and the best of Filipino music.

JavaJive Menu

JavaJive Beverages shall be served either HOT, ICED or JAZZ-Blended (Ice Blended) in To-
Go Paper and Biodegradable Plastic Cups:- Solo (3 fl.oz / 89ml)
– Duet (6 fl.oz / 178ml)
– Piano (“tall” – 12 fl.oz / 350ml)
– Mezzo (“grande” – 16fl.oz / 470ml)
– Forte (“venti” – 20fl.oz / 590ml)

The JavaJive Beverage Menu is categorized into three (3) groups: Coffee For The Stars,
Forteassimo, and Soda Jive. (Gotta love the musical creativity of the names)

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

I was able to sample some of the best offerings in the house, which included the Blue Note Raspberry Soda, Choco-Peppermint Symphony Milk Tea, Salted Caramel Chill, and the Brewed Davao Civet Coffee. I must say, the Civet Coffee gives off a strong punch; no wonder it’s considered as one of the most expensive coffee in the world. My personal favorite is the Choco-Peppermint Symphony Milk Tea. I love that it’s not too sweet and that all the flavors (chocolate, peppermint, and tea) perfectly jives with each other, thus creating a symphony of flavor.

For desserts, we sampled the Chocolava A La Mode, Native Durian Sweet Crust, and Tuna Melt Savory Crust. Being the sugar foodie that I am, I’d be honest to say that I could not pinpoint which of these is my favorite, simply because all three of them satisfied my palate very well. That’s me saying that these sweet pastries are tasteful and positively delicious. I can’t wait to try the other desserts on the menu.

Chocolava A La Mode
Native Durian Sweet Crust
This Red Velvet Cupcake is named after Juris, hence, Juris Red Velvet Cupcake
The Creative Minds behind JavaJive:  Pin-Pin Francia, Red Agreda, and AJ

I absolutely love the cozy and warm ambiance of the café, not to mention the musical vibe that fills the atmosphere on top of the music-inspired interior. I also like the fact that they have so much to offer on their menu, including non-cafe beverages. Not everybody who comes to a coffee shop drinks coffee. Ironic as it may sound, but yes, count me in.  The strong wi-fi internet connection and the fact that it is open 24/7 is obviously a plus points for me. I can see myself hanging around this place to work, read a book, or catch up with some friends. Its location is very accessible, too, as it is situated right at the heart of the metro. The best part is, they only use purely pinoy raw ingredients and biodegradable materials. This is truly something that every Filipino could be proud of.

Photo courtesy of Natalie
Photo Courtesy of Natalie

JavaJive is located at 1.18 Centron Bldg., Quirino Avenue, Davao City (Right across BBQ Boss). For more information, visit:

Caffé Firenzo: Red Velvet Cupcake

I’m the kind of person who values spending time alone as it allows me to think, ponder, or simply enjoy some peace and quiet. Sometimes, I’d go to cinemas alone and watch those movies that I can’t watch with my boyfriend (yep, you know it). Or sometimes, I’d go to a coffee shop and spend an afternoon devouring some sweets while reading a good book.
I visited Caffé Firenzo a couple of months ago (let’s not talk about backlogs, okay?) and tried their red velvet cupcake.

This is technically my very first red velvet cupcake indulgence, so I can’t really say whether or not it’s the best I’ve tried. Anyway, what I can say is that, it’s not bad for a cupcake. For one, I absolutely love the cream cheese; it’s the right mix of sweet and tangy. Although, I would’ve wanted it to be more creamy than solid. Nonetheless, being a huge fan of cheesecakes, I do enjoy anything with cream cheese.
I appreciate that the cake is pretty dense, although I find it ironic that it’s rather dry. I mean, most cakes that are dense and fully packed are usually moist. Also, it has quite a bitter after taste. Not sure if it’s normal for red velvet cupcakes though. But in all fairness, I do love the fact that this cupcake isn’t too sweet. Plus, that heart on top is just too pretty to resist. I already forgot how much this is, but if my memory serves me right, it  costs less than 50php.
A few of my favorite things
How about you? What’s your take on Red Velvet Cupcakes?