Did you know that coffee remains as the crown drink of the Filipinos? After all, according to recent studies, 93% of the population buy coffee mixes at least once per week. Most of the buyers come from urban-based homes like Metro Manila, catering to an older, more mature demographic.
The most typical reason behind the popularity of coffee is its energy-boosting effects. Most Filipinos see it as an instant pick-me-up when they’re feeling under the weather. Among its various products, the 3-in-1 mixes drive the sales growth.
So, are you ready to learn more about Filipino coffee culture? If so, read on and find out more today.
History of the Philippine Coffee
The Philippines produced coffee since the middle of the 18th century. The nation rose as one of the top coffee producers in the world after coffee rust plagued Brazil, as well as parts of Africa and Java, in the 1880s. It’s unfortunate that this also reached the Philippines, which left a permanent scar on the industry.
The worst part is that the production level the Philippines once enjoyed never recovered even today. But in 1960, the current administration introduced a government act that disallowed the importation of coffee. With this, the Philippines made coffee for both exportation and domestic consumption until the International Coffee Agreement collapsed in 1989.
The newer trade regimes later removed quotas for importation. Now, the Philippines relies on coffee imported from neighboring countries like Indonesia and Vietnam. The reason is that these countries can sell their coffee products at a lower price compared to local coffee makers.
Current Situation of the Coffee Industry in the Philippines
The country has more than 7,000 islands with varying microclimates and weather conditions. That’s what makes the Philippines a good place to grow a larger variety of coffee. It also gives a lot of opportunities for local farmers to make specialty coffee.
The main problem is that a lot of strong typhoons pass by the archipelago. This includes a lot of areas where farmers grow traditionally, like Calabarzon and the Cordillera Administrative Region. Alongside less favorable global economics, producing coffee within the country isn’t as ideal as it was before.
Statistics don’t lie since the most recent figures released by the Philippine Statistics Authority said that local coffee production sees a 3.5% reduction per year. It’s a continuous trend for the past decade, which meant that local producers can’t meet the domestic consumption demand.
Obstacles for the Philippine Coffee Industry
With the struggle of local coffee producers, trends emerged to make things more difficult for them. These obstacles are preventing the coffee industry from experiencing further growth in the country. The good news is that the trend is starting to change.
Imported Coffee Reliance
The above mentioned factors explain why lots of specialty coffee come from imported beans. The good news is that it’s expected for it to change soon since local beans are making their way to a wider audience. It’s a difficult path since there are a lot of obstacles when growing and processing coffee in the country, but the industry experiences development all the same.
Inferior Local Coffee Quality
A lot of experts agree that a lot of local coffee producers sell coffee at a higher price compared to other global competitors. These regions experienced a lot of growth due to foreign investments. As a result, they’re more efficient in making coffee with higher quality.
The problem lies with a lot of mass coffee producers in the country. Most of them focus more on pumping out as many products as possible without regard to quality. This results in a lot of defective coffee with low traceability.
Reasons to Support Filipino Coffee Products
The good news is that the Filipino coffee industry is evolving. A lot of experts sampled good local bean products, but the main issue is maintaining consistency. The highest quality of cups come from well-sorted beans originating from Bukidnon, and Bean To Mug is one of them.
So, what are the benefits of supporting Filipino coffee products? Here are some that you should look into:
1. The Industry Employs People from the Local Community
Bean To Mug, as well as other organic coffee producers, get their beans from local small-scale farmers. It’s protected under the Fair Trade policy, which gives a better price for their produce. With a constant source of better income, these farmers feel empowered since they’re treated as equals.
2. The Industry Cares About the Community’s Well-being and Its Future
Small-scale farmers own and operate their local coffee plantations, often in remote areas. It’s often a family business, unlike big establishments run by stockholders and boards. This means more accountability, which translates to the level of care and quality they give for their raw coffee materials.
With Bean To Mug, we seek to reward these hardworking people. We care about the community as well, so we make sure to buy local farmers’ products at a much higher price than most well-established businesses.
3. The Industry Helps Build and Preserve the Community’s Character
Mass-produced coffee products will always have similar tastes and qualities. It’s often generic, which means your choices won’t matter in most cases. For local coffee products like Bean To Mug, it exudes a certain level of uniqueness.
Our products reflect the local community that sold us the raw materials. It becomes amplified once we process them, making each cup a taste of the Filipino culture. It’s the originality that you’ll crave in this world of increasing homogenization.
Help Revitalize the Filipino Coffee Industry
Despite the setbacks experienced by the coffee industry, things are starting to pick up once again. The government is starting campaigns to champion the quality of green coffee in the country. They partner alongside NGOs and local micro-roasters to remedy the quality issues that made imported coffee more desirable.
If you want to taste the Filipino Culture, make sure to try Bean To Mug. We have Arabica and Robusta beans made from cherries harvested by small-scale farmers from Bukidnon. Order today and have a premium experience at home.
Find the Best Tasting Coffee Today
If you’re looking for the best tasting coffee in the world, the journey is long and hard. Even then, you can try all the coffee we have on list. We’re sure you won’t regret any one of them.
For those looking for a new organic coffee that tastes perfect, what you need is Bean to Mug.
Quality Grade: 85.75%
Bean to Mug provides delicious Filipino tribal arabica and tasty robusta coffee beans. With ethical sourcing and fair trade in mind, every cup you drink is not only full of flavor. They also change lives.
Bean to Mug Founder
Marc is a Filipino Organic Coffee Lover and Founder of the Bean to Mug Movement. A Registered Nurse living in Los Angeles; he is very passionate and dedicated in sharing the Filipino Culture through all-natural coffee beans from the Philippines.