What are the Different Coffee Beans in the Philippines?

What are the different coffee beans in the Philippines?

The Philippines, renowned for its lush landscapes and rich agricultural heritage, is a tropical paradise and a noteworthy player in coffee production. With its unique geographical features and diverse climate, the Philippines cultivates a range of coffee bean varieties with distinct flavors and characteristics.

From the bold and robust Liberica to the smooth and delicate Arabica, the archipelago is home to a captivating assortment of coffee beans. This article will dive deep into the enchanting world of Philippine coffee, shedding light on the different coffee bean varieties that contribute to the nation's vibrant and burgeoning coffee culture.

Arabica Coffee Beans

Arabica Coffee Beans

Arabica coffee beans are regarded as the epitome of specialty coffee, cherished for their delicate flavors, captivating aromas, and refined characteristics. Originating from the highland regions of Ethiopia, Arabica coffee has traversed the globe, gaining popularity among coffee enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.

This section delves into Arabica coffee beans, exploring their origins, cultivation, unique attributes, and distinct role in the global coffee industry. Join us on a flavorful journey as we unravel the elegance and allure of Arabica coffee.

Origins and History

Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) traces its roots back to the ancient coffee forests of Ethiopia, where the plant was first discovered. Legends speak of Kaldi, an Ethiopian goat herder, who noticed his goats becoming energized after consuming the bright red berries from a particular shrub.

This discovery led to realizing coffee's stimulating properties and began a global culture of coffee. From Ethiopia, Arabica coffee spread to the Arabian Peninsula. This place is where the beans earned the name and gained popularity during the Islamic Golden Age. Arab traders played a significant role in its dissemination, leading to its cultivation in various regions worldwide.

Flavor Profile and Characteristics

Renowned for its nuanced and complex flavors, Arabica coffee is often described as smooth, mild, and highly aromatic. The beans exhibit various flavors, influenced by growing altitude, soil composition, climate, and processing methods.

Arabica coffee's taste profile can encompass fruitiness, floral tones, hints of chocolate, caramel, nuts, and even subtle acidity. These flavors create a harmonious and well-balanced cup, making Arabica the preferred choice for specialty coffee enthusiasts seeking a refined drinking experience.

Cultivation and Growing Regions

Arabica coffee thrives in high-altitude regions with a moderate climate. This is why the Cordillera mountain range in northern Luzon, the highlands of Mindanao, and the province of Batangas are ideal growing areas for this type of coffee beans.

These regions provide the perfect conditions for Arabica plants to develop slowly, resulting in denser beans and enhancing flavor complexity. Cultivating Arabica coffee requires meticulous care, including shade management, proper pruning, and protection against pests and diseases.

Sustainable and Organic Arabica

With increasing awareness of sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, the demand for organic Arabica coffee has surged. Philippine coffee farmers have embraced sustainable cultivation methods, employing organic fertilizers, natural pest control measures, and shade-grown techniques.

This approach benefits the environment and contributes to the coffee's distinct taste. By prioritizing organic practices, farmers promote biodiversity, protect the soil, and produce coffee free from harmful chemicals, delivering a truly authentic and eco-conscious experience.

Specialty Arabica Varietals

Within the Arabica species are numerous varietals, each exhibiting its unique characteristics. Bourbon, Typica, and Caturra are well-known varietals contributing to Arabica coffee's diverse flavor.

Bourbon, for instance, is often associated with sweetness, while Typica showcases delicate acidity and complexity. By exploring these different varietals, coffee enthusiasts can uncover a world of flavors and embark on a delightful sensory journey.

Importance in the Specialty Coffee Industry

Arabica coffee is prominent in the specialty coffee industry, representing the pinnacle of quality and taste. Arabica's nuanced flavors and delicate nature make it a favorite among specialty coffee roasters and baristas dedicated to extracting each bean's full potential.

Robusta Coffee Beans

Robusta Coffee Beans

While Arabica coffee often takes the spotlight in discussions of specialty coffee, its lesser-known counterpart, Robusta coffee, quietly plays a crucial role in the global coffee industry. Robusta beans, scientifically known as Coffea canephora, possess distinct characteristics that make them valuable to coffee production.

This section will explore the world of Robusta coffee beans, their origins, unique attributes, cultivation methods, and their significant contributions to the diverse and dynamic coffee landscape.

Origins and History

Robusta coffee originated in the central and western regions of sub-Saharan Africa. It was first discovered and classified as a distinct coffee species in the late 19th century.

"Robusta" refers to the plant's robust nature, as it is more immune to pests and diseases than its delicate Arabica counterpart. The resilience of Robusta coffee has made it a vigorous cultivar worldwide.

Flavor Profile and Characteristics

Robusta coffee is celebrated for its robust and bold flavor profile. The beans often exhibit a stronger and more bitter taste than Arabica, with higher caffeine content.

Robusta coffee boasts earthy and nutty undertones, often accompanied by chocolate and dark caramel hints. Its unique characteristics make it well-suited for specific brewing methods and as an ingredient in coffee blends, adding body, depth, and a desirable caffeine kick.

Cultivation and Growing Regions

Robusta coffee thrives in lower altitudes and warmer climates compared to Arabica. Africa, Southeast Asia, and Brazil are the most common places where Robusta is grown. Philippine plantations of Robusta can be found in warmer provinces like Cavite, Batangas, and Mindanao.

The cultivation process often involves direct sun exposure, contributing to the bean's robustness. Robusta plants require less care and are more disease-resistant, making them an attractive choice for coffee farmers in regions with challenging growing conditions.

Versatility and Economic Importance

Robusta coffee beans have gained recognition for their versatility in different coffee applications. They are frequently used in espresso blends, instant coffee production, and as a component in commercial coffee products.

Due to their higher caffeine content and ability to create a fuller crema, Robusta beans contribute to the characteristic strength and body of espresso. Additionally, Robusta's affordability and consistent availability make it essential to meet global coffee demand.

Role in Coffee Blends

Robusta coffee beans play a vital role in creating well-balanced coffee blends. When carefully blended with Arabica, Robusta imparts the necessary strength and crema stability while enhancing the overall complexity of the combination.

Combining coffee species' unique flavors and characteristics allows roasters to create flavor profiles catering to various preferences and tastes.

Emerging Quality and Specialty Robusta

Recently, interest has been growing in cultivating and showcasing specialty-grade Robusta coffee. Some coffee farmers and enthusiasts are pushing the boundaries of Robusta's potential by implementing improved cultivation techniques, selective harvesting, and meticulous processing methods.

This focused approach aims to elevate the quality of Robusta beans, highlighting unique flavor profiles and challenging preconceived notions about the coffee's capabilities.

Robusta coffee beans, often overshadowed by their more illustrious counterpart, Arabica, deserve recognition for their strength, versatility, and significant role in the global coffee industry. With their bold flavors, higher caffeine content, and resilience in challenging growing conditions, Robusta beans provide an essential ingredient for blending, instant coffee production, and meeting the demands of coffee enthusiasts worldwide.

Excelsa Coffee Beans

Excelsa Coffee Beans

Excelsa is a distinct and enigmatic variety among the diverse coffee beans worldwide. While often grouped with the broader category of Liberica coffee, Excelsa's unique flavors and characteristics set it apart.

This section will tackle the hidden treasures of Excelsa coffee beans. From its origins and cultivation to its elusive taste profile, we delve into the captivating world of Excelsa and shed light on this lesser-known gem within the coffee industry.

Origins and Background

Excelsa coffee, or Coffea liberica var. dewevrei, is a rare coffee variety that shares botanical ties with Liberica coffee.

Originating from the forests of Southeast Asia, Excelsa was first classified as a distinct variant in the 20th century. While it shares some similarities with Liberica, Excelsa's unique flavor profile makes it a separate entity within the coffee world.

Flavor Profile and Characteristics

Excelsa Coffee is renowned for its intriguing and complex flavors. It exhibits a rich and tart taste, often described as having a unique combination of dark fruit notes, hints of sour cherry, and a distinct aroma reminiscent of roasted fruits.

Excelsa's flavor profile is known for its captivating acidity, differentiating it from other coffee varieties. Its bold and distinctive characteristics make it an intriguing choice for those seeking a unique and adventurous coffee experience.

Cultivation and Growing Regions

Excelsa coffee is primarily grown in select regions of Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Malaysia, and some parts of Indonesia. The coffee plants thrive in tropical climates with ample rainfall and well-drained soil.

Excelsa trees tend to be taller than other coffee species, often reaching heights of 10 to 15 meters. The beans are typically harvested by hand, ensuring the careful selection of ripe cherries for optimal flavor development.

Rarity and Availability

Excelsa coffee beans are considered rare in the global coffee market. Their scarcity and limited cultivation contribute to their exclusive status.

Excelsa is often overshadowed by the more prevalent Arabica and Robusta beans, leading to limited availability in local and international markets. However, its unique flavor profile and growing appreciation for specialty and exotic coffees have led to a renewed interest in Excelsa among coffee enthusiasts and roasters.

Versatility and Blend Potential

Excelsa coffee offers an intriguing opportunity for coffee enthusiasts and roasters to explore its blend versatility. Due to its distinctive flavor profile, Excelsa is often used in specialty coffee blends to add complexity and enhance overall taste experiences.

Blending Excelsa with other coffee varieties, such as Arabica or even Robusta, can create unique flavor combinations that awaken the palate and make a truly memorable cup of coffee.

Emerging Appreciation and Specialty Excelsa

Specialty coffee producers and enthusiasts have begun to explore the potential of Excelsa as a standalone varietal, showcasing its distinctive flavors through meticulous cultivation and processing methods.

This emerging focus on specialty Excelsa aims to highlight its rarity, complexity, and the skill of the farmers who nurture and harvest these exceptional beans.

Liberica Coffee Beans

Liberica Coffee Beans

In the vast and diverse world of coffee, a rare gem known as Liberica coffee exists. Often overshadowed by its more famous counterparts, Arabica and Robusta, Liberica offers a unique and unparalleled flavor experience.

This section will explore the captivating world of Liberica coffee beans. From its origins and cultivation to its bold taste profile and cultural significance, we delve into the remarkable qualities that make Liberica a genuinely exceptional and enigmatic coffee variety.

Origins and Historical Significance

Liberica coffee, scientifically known as Coffea liberica, traces its roots to the forests of West Africa. It gained prominence during the 19th century as coffee cultivation spread across the globe.

Historically, Liberica played a significant role in the global coffee industry, particularly during disease outbreaks that affected other coffee species. Today, it remains a treasured specialty coffee known for its distinctive characteristics.

Cultivation and Growing Regions

Liberica coffee thrives in regions with warm climates and rich, well-drained soil. The Philippines has been acknowledged as one of the primary growing regions for Liberica, particularly in the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, and other parts of the country.

It is also cultivated in select regions of Malaysia, Indonesia, and some African countries. Liberica trees are notably more prominent than other coffee species, with robust trunks and broad leaves that provide shade for the cherries to mature. Due to its size and unique growth patterns, Liberica requires special care and attention during cultivation.

Rarity and Limited Availability

Liberica coffee beans are considered rare in the global coffee market. The cultivation of Liberica has decreased over the years, primarily due to challenges related to disease susceptibility, lower yields, and a shift towards more commercially viable varieties.

As a result, Liberica beans are less widely available than Arabica and Robusta. However, their scarcity has created a niche market for specialty Liberica coffees, attracting coffee enthusiasts and connoisseurs seeking a unique and unparalleled tasting experience.

Cultural Significance and Heritage

Liberica coffee holds cultural significance in regions where it is cultivated. In the Philippines, for example, Liberica coffee, commonly known as "Barako," has a rich heritage deeply ingrained in the local coffee culture.

It has become a symbol of Philippine coffee heritage, celebrated for its boldness and association with the country's history. The cultivation and appreciation of Liberica coffee represent a connection to tradition and a testament to the dedication of local farmers who preserve its legacy.

Exploring Liberica's Potential

Specialty coffee enthusiasts and roasters have started to showcase Liberica as a standalone varietal, highlighting its unique flavors and characteristics.

This renewed focus aims to revive appreciation for Liberica's distinctiveness, nurture sustainable cultivation practices, and create a platform for small-scale producers to thrive.


The Philippines is a treasure trove of diverse coffee beans with unique characteristics and flavors. From the delicate and nuanced profiles of Arabica beans to the bold and robust Robusta flavors and Liberica and Excelsa's distinctiveness, the coffee beans of the Philippines offer a rich tapestry of taste experiences.

The country's favorable climate, fertile soils, and dedicated farmers contribute to cultivating high-quality coffee beans that have gained recognition locally and internationally.

Whether you prefer the floral and fruity notes of Arabica, the strength, and versatility of Robusta, the enigmatic flavors of Liberica, or the intriguing taste of Excelsa, the coffee beans of the Philippines cater to a wide range of preferences, ensuring that every sip is a delightful journey of discovery. So, embrace the diversity and indulge in these different coffee beans' exquisite flavors.