Love coffee? Here are PH destinations to visit
Filipinos are some of the biggest coffee drinkers in Asia. In fact, 9 out of 10 households have coffee in their pantries. That comes as no surprise because the Philippines is also a country that is blessed to be able to grow and produce all four types of coffee beans: arabica, robusta, liberica, and excelsa.
If you’re a coffee junkie and want to include it in your itinerary, here’s a short guide to local destinations to visit for the best Philippine coffee.
The Cordillera region in the north of Luzon, where you’ll find Baguio City and the town of Sagada, are among the most popular destinations, especially around the hotter months of the year. Baguio, after all, is called the country’s summer capital. It also makes for a great jump-off point if you plan to explore the region since it’s the most accessible whether you’ll be going by car or bus.
There are a variety of activities and spots to visit in Baguio alone, especially since the city is now teeming with restaurants and shops. There are also a number of parks, gardens, and markets (especially thrift stores). The iconic BenCab Museum, which features the works of and is named after National Artist for Visual Arts Benedicto Cabrera, is also a must-visit.
In Baguio’s markets, you’ll be able to get good deals on fresh vegetables from the north as well as varieties of coffee grown in the region. But if you have more time, it is best to go further up to Sagada, a town in Mountain Province.
Another type of coffee from the region is Benguet coffee, also of the arabica variety. Benguet coffee is notable in that its acidity can be compared to Hawaiian Kona coffee and Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.
Batangas, Cavite, and Tagaytay
Cavite has a rich history and heritage, having been one of the seats of the revolutionary government. A rich culinary heritage is also waiting to be explored in this province.
You may also like: 6 food destinations in Cavite that aren’t in Tagaytay
Meanwhile, the more popular weekend destination is Tagaytay. There are a lot of restaurants and establishments in the town, too—a handful of which provide great views of the scenic Taal Volcano and its lake.
When in the area, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find Kapeng Barako. This variety comes from the species Coffea liberica and is well-known for its intense flavor. (Which is why it’s named barako—in Filipino, that translates to “stud.”)
Further down south is Bukidnon, a landlocked province in northern Mindanao. This might be the most underrated destination on the list, and may just be the most difficult to get to since there are no direct flights to the province. However, the majestic nature views are worth it.
Recently, US-based specialty coffee roaster Blue Bottle Coffee included beans from Bukidnon in their “Horizon Series,” where they spotlight “avant-garde coffees from Asia.”
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To explore and discover the origin of these noteworthy beans, you can either fly into Davao City or Cagayan de Oro, and then take a several-hour bus ride to Bukidnon.
Noteworthy activities include hiking through Mt. Dulang-dulang or camping at Pine Ridge. For those coming with family, the adventure park at Manolo Fortich also provides great activities to keep everyone engaged. If you’re more into water activities, you can also visit Alalum Falls in Sumilao or Lake Apo in Valencia.
Bukidnon is also home to Mt. Kitanglad, where arabica coffee is grown. Mt. Kitanglad single origin coffee is often described as having a light and nutty flavor.
If going out of town isn’t a possibility, you can still enjoy Philippine coffee culture from the capital. Manila has a thriving specialty coffee scene. Each city is host to dozens of coffee shops, many of which also use the best of locally sourced beans. If you’re lucky, you might also be able to catch a few coffee events here and there.
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