The Philippines is home to a great selection of truly incredible coffees, but it proves to be the unfortunate case that although these specialty coffees are available, their reach is still quite limited. The bulk of coffee sold coming from producing regions like Benguet tend to be roasted on the much darker side, with coffee quality being questionable on the onset. Kalsada Coffee was the first producer from my vantage point that really wanted to push for better quality Philippine coffee from farm to cup, kickstarting interest in local specialty coffee. Today, there are several roasters and producers that have made it a point to serve only the best local coffees, and here’s a highlight on some of them.
The OGs of Philippine Specialty Coffee, Kalsada has made it their mission to bring Philippine coffees back onto the global stage. Fun fact: I backed their original Kickstarter in 2015 when they were raising funds to help improve local coffee quality and yield, which in turn would result in better prices paid for coffee. Founders Carmel and Tere have been at it for the better part of 6 years working with farmers in Benguet and in different regions at times, and have recently hit a major milestone with the shipping out of their first container of coffees to the US. You can find their coffees over at their website here or visit any Habitual Coffee branch.
Mt. Apo certainly has a lot of things going for it when it comes to being a hotspot for growing coffee. Apart from good elevation and the benefit of having volcanic soil, the climate is just right for some great coffees to grow, and Cocotos Estate has been sharing these great coffees out of their farm in Mt. Apo for the last 5 years. Their Pulped Natural coffee is still one of my all-time favorites, and they’ve recently begun collaborating with other coffee producers with their Cocotos and Friends project, where they blend their coffee with the coffee of another local producer. Follow them on Instagram here to find out when their next coffee drop will be.
Yellow Turtle Coffee
Yellow Turtle Coffee as a business has only been around for about a year, but the people behind it are certainly no slouches. Co-founder Ron Yu was both founder and head roaster of Brew Atelier, and was one of the first, if not the first roaster to work with the BACOFA Cooperative. Today, these coffees from BACOFA are testaments to what working closely with a group of farmers can do to help elevate the quality of coffee, and if you want to try what the hype is all about, you can get yourself a bag (or three in my case) of their coffees here, including the award winning Marivic Dubria lot that won the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition.
connector coffee co.
When I first heard of connector coffee, they were doing a round of coffee pop-ups across several cafés. That was late last year, and now they’ve gotten busy offering a wide variety of different coffees from the world over. Their first single origin release, Kapangan from Benguet, surprises with wonderful orange notes that make it stand toe-to-toe with some much more expensive coffees. You can order yourself a bag of their Kapangan over here.