Monthly Archives: November 2018
In the Philippines, coffee is the most consumed beverage after water. A 2015 study by research firm Kantar Worldpanel found that coffee is a staple drink for Filipinos, who have shifted from being moderate to heavy coffee drinkers. This probably isn’t a surprise for those in metro Manila and other urbanised areas, which are chock-full of coffee houses ranging from big chains to boutique cafes. But the country’s coffee culture has surprisingly old roots, and some aspects of it – including the elusive and endangered form of Liberia, kapeng barako – are not well known.
Kapeng Barako: OriginsA coffee varietal that belongs to the species Coffea liberica, kapeng barako is grown in the Philippines, predominantly in the provinces of Batangas and Cavite. The term barako refers to Philippine liberica. The liberica is one of four identified species of coffee, along with robusta, excelsa and arabica. Of these, liberica has the biggest cherries and therefore, produces bigger beans.