Philippine Coffee featured in Specialty Coffee Expo in Boston

At the Philippine Coffee Booth Specialty Coffee Expo in Boston, (from left) Puentespina Farms’ Charito Puentespina, Agriculture Attaché Josyline Javelosa, Davao del Sur coffee farmer Marivic Dubria, Department of Trade and Industry-CAR Director and National Coffee Industry Coordinator Myrna Pablo, and Gilda Palima of the Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance Philippines. (Washington PE photo)

Washington, D.C. — The winning 12 Arabica and 12 Robusta coffee selection in the 2019 Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC) were featured and cupped during the Specialty Coffee Expo on April 12-14, 2019 at the Boston Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Philippine booth in the Expo and the Philippine Cupping Event on April 12, 2019 in Boston generated interest in Philippine Arabica and Fine Robusta coffee. The participating coffee cuppers and enthusiasts were excited to learn that Philippines is producing such quality coffee.

An annual event on its third year in 2019, the PCQC seeks to heighten the consciousness of Filipino farmers on coffee quality and increase their competitiveness in the local and global market.

In the PCQC held in Manila last March, the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) evaluated participating coffee entries aligned with globally accepted grading and profiling protocols and standards. This event is a collaboration between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Barista and Coffee Academy of Asia (BCAA) and  the Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance’s (ACDI VOCA) PhilCafe Project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In the cupping event in Boston, San Francisco-based CQI Instructor and 2019 PCQC Head Judge Trish Rothgeb introduced the winning coffee selection to have new flavors with fruit notes that are tropical, sweet, fragrant and exciting.

The Philippine Arabica and Fine Robusta Cupping Session on April 12 at the Special Coffee Expo in Boston. (Washington PE photo)

CQI Senior Advisor and Author of the Coffee Cuppers Handbook Ted Lingle said the PCQC judges did a good job in scoring the coffee. The winning coffee lot  for the Arabica category is from the farm of Ms. Marivic Dubria of Balutakay Coffee Farmers Association (BACOFA) from Davao del Sur, with notes of hibiscus, pineapple,lemon, green apple, thyme and basil. For the Robusta category, the top winner is from Bukidnon’s  Millennium Multi-purpose Cooperative farmer Ms. Lorna Libante, with notes of raisins, mixed berries, toffee, grapefruit, fig and orange.

PhilCafe Project Chief of Party TJ Ryan announced during the cupping event the first Philippine Auction showcasing some of the best, up and coming coffee in the nation where 24 lots, consisting of the 12 Arabica and Robusta coffee winners took place on April 30, 2019.  Mr. Ryan invited coffee enthusiasts to participate in the auction in appreciation and support for the farmers all around the Philippines in their continuing quest to better production quality to take to the global stage.

DTI Cordillera Administrative Region Director Myrna Pablo, the National Industry Cluster Coordinator on Coffee, was optimistic that soon the Philippines will be a new specialty coffee origin to look forward to. She notes the importance of a coordinated approach among various stakeholders in developing the Philippine specialty coffee industry.

Marivic Dubria, farmer of the top winning Arabica Philippine coffee, was thrilled when visitors of the Philippine booth enjoyed her coffee. She looks forward to helping her fellow farmers produce more quality coffee as specialty coffee can command higher prices.

Charito Puentespina of Puentespina Farms, makers of the international award winning Malagos Single-Origin Chocolates, also came to Boston to support the  Philippine  booth hosted by ACDI VOCA’s PhilCafe’s project , while featuring their chocolates. Puentespina Farms have also began planting coffee seeing the vast potential of  specialty coffee locally and abroad.

Philippine Embassy in Washington’s Agriculture Attaché to the U.S. Dr. Josyline Javelosa attended the Specialty Coffee Expo as well and appreciated the USDA-supported PhilCafe project as it works with the Philippine government and various dedicated private stakeholders in the value chain towards garnering recognition for Philippine specialty coffee in both the local and international market through quality and marketing improvements. Dr. Javelosa sees the Philippine specialty coffee sector as a promising investment opportunity with its bright market prospects.

The Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap of 2017-2022 was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 7, 2017  to boost the country’s domestic coffee output in the next five years  and to develop a coffee industry that is cost-competitive, aligned with global quality standards, reliable and environment-friendly, providing sustainable benefits to farmers, processors, traders, and exporters.

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