Hava Java Cafe - Simply The Best!
Restaurant Review by Ken Stewart, The Guam Food Guy
If Guam ever held an Olympics for Coffee Shops, then Hava Java Cafe would get the Gold medal. Hava Java sells Lavazza, Italy's #1 coffee, and brews their espressos properly; they offer a "Make Me A Sandwich" Menu with more quality meats, cheeses, dressings, veggies, breads than anyone else; the interior features colorful murals and an intriguing collection of art deco coffee-themed & Torani syrup posters; and they have a prime location in the center of Hagatna next to the Post Office. It's these attributes and many more which differentiate Hava Java Cafe from the rest of the coffee spots that have perked up over the past decade.
The heart and soul of Hava Java Cafe is Carol Ragan, whose passion for service excellence and quality inspires her entire team to do their best and be the best. The cozy, coffee-toned palette of the new location's interior exudes the trusting comfort of home yet creates an atmosphere that both soothes and excites. You'd be hard-pressed to find a coffee house anywhere in the world with Hava Java's eclectic collection of background music, which blends jazz-fusion-contemporary-easy listening songs into what I'd call a "thinking person's sound track." It's a place where a single customer can order a beverage, pastry, or sandwich of their choice, sit by a window and read magazines or papers from Hava Java's library, and enjoy themselves in a solitude of self-indulgence. Cool.
Hava Java's Deli-Style Sandwiches have grown in popularity over the years, and are made to order after 10 a.m. daily. These include Pastrami, Roast Beef, Turkey, and Ham (all $5.95), Chicken Salad ($5.75), Tuna Salad and B.L.T. (both $4.95), and Vegetarian ($4). The sandwiches include a side of delicious, fresh-tasting cole slaw and all-you-can-drink Iced Coffee or Iced Tea. Your bread choices are White, Whole Wheat, Rye, French Baguette or Sub Roll. You select your veggies (lettuce, tomato, red onion, alfalfa sprouts, dill pickles), and can add cheese (American, Swiss, or Provolone) for $.50 extra. Dressings vary from regular and fat-free Mayonnaise, Mustards (Dijon, American, Hot English), Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, Salt and Pepper. My all-time favorite is the Chicken Salad on a toasted baguette with Provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onion, alfalfa sprouts, dill pickles, mayo, and Dijon, with just a dash of Red Wine vinegar.
My favorite hot espresso is the Mexican Mocha, which is a bold dark mocha made with sweet Mexican cocoa and whipped cream, available in three sizes: Regular (8 oz.) $3.50, Tall (12 oz.) $4, and Grande (16 oz.) $4.50. Other popular espresso drinks include the Caffe Americano, RRRed Eye (coffee with an espresso shot for an extra caffeine kick!), Cappuccino, Caffe Latte, White Chocolate Mocha, and Caffe Mocha. (Decaf coffee and skim milk are available on request for those seeking less jump and/or calories.) Other hot beverages include six blends of Hot Java (fresh brewed gourmet coffee), Hot Java Floats (coffee with a scoop of ice Cream), Chai Tea, Hot Tea (premium grade TAZO & Davidson's Teas), Hot Chocolate, and the Sweet Steamer, a sweet-flavored hot milk with whipped cream.
Hava Java has a family of cold Espresso drinks including the Iced Americano, Iced Cappuccino, Iced Caffe Latte, Iced White Chocolate Mocha and Iced Mexican Mocha. Other cold beverages at Hava Java include Iced Java, Iced Tea (using China Mist or any of their premium teas brewed fresh over ice), Iced Italian Milk, Italian Soda (using Torani syrups), Italian Soda Float (an Italian soda topped with Vanilla ice cream), and the ever-popular Granita, which is a refreshing Italian ice slush in Fruit or Cappuccino flavors especially popular with the kids. Treat the kids to a Shirley Temple (complete with Maraschino cherry - look at the details!!), while you have an old-fashioned Soda Float or indulge in a Milk Shake - choose from Strawberry, Chocolate, Vanilla, Espresso, Mocha Oreo or Reese's Peanut Butter - sounds yummy and refreshing doesn't it?
Hava Java's staff are more like a group of family members than employees, with seasoned managers Bobbie or Eugenia mixed in with a set of dynamic, friendly, and engaging young people who always seem to be enjoying themselves, making their work a pleasure. They are mostly students with impressive academic aspirations.
Many Hava Java's customers order take-out, for either beverages and sandwiches, and you can place orders by calling 477-0600. Some of the pastries featured in the refrigerated display cases are made by Roxanne Lee at GPO's China Wok. There are also bagels, muffins, fruit tarts, carrot cake, and sweet rolls available for purchase.
Hava Java Cafe is open Monday - Saturday from 6:30 a.m.to 6:30 p.m., and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's easy to understand how one can become enamored with the Hava Java experience. Just ask all the customers who were relieved when Hava Java re-opened this May after having been closed for a few months. They didn't do without coffee, they simply endured not having Hava Java. Now, they can literally "hava java" their way at the Hava Java Cafe!