Healthy Food Rediscovered: Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Tuesday, September 03, 2013 Stef dela Cruz, MD 2 Comments

I mentioned in the previous post that The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf now offers a brand new menu in their bistros (one in Shangri-La Mall, Edsa and another in Bonifacio Global City at 26th Street). I also said they offer healthy food offerings that give you the most bang for your buck.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf26th Bistro by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at Bonifacio Global City 

A few days back, I had the pleasure of attending the menu tasting of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at their 26th St. Bistro. I enjoyed five courses of healthy food, only for me to come home to a health-related problem (which you can read about in my previous Coffee Bean post).

health issuesThat’s me, typing away like the workaholic that I am,
while my boyfriend is receiving emergency medical attention.
Read the full story here.

If I was thinking of investing in healthy food while I was enjoying myself at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, then I was convinced that I really should go through with it after that health scare. It was life’s way of telling me, “Consider yourself warned.”

Of course, you don’t have to wait for a health scare before you shift to healthy habits. Start today by reading about the healthy options being offered by Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: Why Their Menu is Healthy

When I say healthy, I don’t mean calorie-phobic. A lot of people mistake healthy food for low-calorie food – but no, they’re not necessarily the same. To dispel the myths that come with the phrase “healthy food”, allow me to tell you why the five items on The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s new menu are healthy food options that are worth spending your precious peso on.

  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf offers wild mushroom soup that has three kinds of mushroom, including shiitake. I remember doing a paper on the cancer-fighting properties of shiitake mushroom when I was still in pre-med. A review of literature on shiitake and cancer done in Japan revealed the possible role of lentinan, a beta-glucan that improves the survival rate of gastric cancer patients, especially those with tumors that are no longer resectable or are already recurrent. The addition of lentinan in the diet leads to a longer life, compared to simply treating the cancer with chemotherapy.
wild mushroom soup

Wild Mushroom Soup PhP225

(Speaking of cancer, I am currently working with cancer warriors from CanShare, a cancer support group, and teaching them how to blog before the official launch of their website. Do visit CanShare’s Facebook page (and my page as well) when you have the time. Smile )

  • Salmon fishcakes are also available at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and they come with a green salad! Salmon offers heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids. My plate of greens had caramelized walnuts – also rich in plant PUFAs – and cherry tomatoes rich in beta-carotene. Can you say, “antioxidants”?

Salmon fishcakes and greensSalmon Fishcakes & Greens PhP345

  • If you have a sweet tooth, you can indulge in their apple pie a la mode. Diabetics and hyperglycemics are better off skipping this altogether, but those with normal sugar levels deserve a healthy dessert that mixes in fruits and healthy spices. Aside from the health benefits you get from apples (an apple a day… you know the rest), you also get the benefits that come with a generous dose of cinnamon. For instance, cinnamon has been shown to help patients with diabetes! The studies supporting cinnamon’s role in diabetes is promising, but better trials are called for to help prove its effectiveness once and for all.
  • When you order from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, you know your food is freshly prepared and made of topnotch ingredients. Can you guess what top percentage of the best Arabica beans they get their coffee from? Not just the top 10 percent or even the top 5. No, they get their coffee only from the top 1 percent Arabica bean sources. When it comes to coffee, tea, and food, they are picky. Shouldn’t you be, too?

Speaking of Eating Healthy…

There’s coffee that causes weight loss, but that’s not the kind of coffee being offered in any of the coffee shops in the Philippines – at least, not yet. Besides, you don’t need to drink weight loss products and supplements to lose weight.

  • The healthiest – and most lasting – solution to weight problems is making a decision to live healthy. Eat healthy food, get adequate exercise, and make healthy choices! If you need the extra push, ask your doctor about weight loss programs that also address any emotional and psychological issues, such as the lack of motivation to exercise or the seemingly insatiable craving for unhealthy food.
  • Speaking of unhealthy food, avoid fastfood as much as you can. If you have to dine outdoors, stick to restaurants that offer healthy food options, such as The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Healthy food that offers a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat makes you feel full and sated while also providing you with the nutrients you need to live an active lifestyle.
  • Eat in moderation – and in variety. The American Cancer Society suggests eating from a wide variety of beans, vegetables, nuts, fruits, and whole grain. A perfect example is the menu offered by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Each menu option offers an array of ingredients from different food groups, ensuring you get the PUFAs and micronutrients you need to stay healthy. (Oh, and a lively plate also makes you feel satisfied, curbing your cravings more effectively than, say, a boring plate of white rice and fried chicken!)

Remember: Eating from a variety of healthy choices is much better than sticking to just one food group!

The biggest hurdle to eating healthy is one’s budget. Although healthy food is expensive, a trip to the emergency room – which is where I am right now as I’m typing this blog post – costs so much more than a healthy plate of food from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Make healthy choices now. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Don’t wait to get full-blown cellulitis (like my poor boyfriend) before you start scratching out soda from your grocery list. Eat healthy food! Oh, and skip fastfood altogether and dine at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf instead. Invest in your body – it’s the only one you’ve got! Red heart

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a vegan doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She is the editor of The Manila Bulletin's Animal Scene Magazine. Get in touch if you want to invite her as a speaker!


  1. Was here Doc. Nice review of CBTL. I'd love to try their desserts, though it's not good for one's health

  2. Thank you, Donna. :) Glad you enjoyed reading this.

    When it comes to dessert - and just about any other course of the meal - we should know our limits. I myself have a sweet tooth! I can't avoid dessert altogether but I try to stick to the ones that offer something other than sugar. :)