I am an Igorot, a Filipino, an earthling. My ethnicity may have made me different, but so does yours and the others out there. Our disparities may be glaring at times, however, if we look through our heart, we will notice our commonality as human beings.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Batangas Coffee? How About Benguet Coffee?

Chances are, when one talks of Philippine coffee, he meant Kapeng Barako (Coffea liberica) also known as Batangas coffee. The popular Batangas coffee though are now cultivated mostly in the neighboring province of Cavite.

Unknown to many, there is another Philippine coffee cultivated in the Cordillera. Benguet coffee is a variety of one of the most widely cultivated coffee in the world, the Coffea arabica. (C. arabica is known to have richer in flavor than the other popular Coffea robusta.) Introduced in the locality more than a century ago, coffee production in the mountains had remained a backyard activity. The introduction of Starbuck and other popular cafes' in the country have changed the scenario though. Nowadays, there are renewed efforts to revive the coffee industry of the Cordillera.

Benguet coffee is now available in Baguio market. I already bought some together with Kapeng Barako so I can start educating my tongue about the different coffee tastes.

Ano sa iyo? Kapeng Barako o Benguet coffee?

Coffee Breaks...
...We have a coffee tree in the front yard of our previous house in Mankayan. I remember the sweet taste of the fresh fruit as we peel them in our mouth (nah! There are mechanical ways to peel coffee beans now). But we were not allowed to drink coffee then, my mom used to say it will make us dull.

...The first time I tasted Benguet coffee was during my father's wake. More than two decades after my last taste of fresh coffee beans! At first, I thought that the free flowing brewed coffee in the house was Kapeng Barako. It's good that I was informed before I had the chance to ask who brought the Batangas coffee.