May 27, 2024

An entry from Tuba Benguet Coffee Growers Association, an affiliate proponent group (PG) of the Benguet Arabica Coffee Enterprise (BACE), has claimed the top spot for Arabica coffee during the first Regional Coffee Quality Competition held at the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) Montañosa Coffee Development Center in Bauko, Mountain Province from April 23 to 25.

The event was organized by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry and MPSPC.

BACE’s entry boasts notes of floral tones, mixed berries, honey, dates, raisins, stone fruit, apple, ripe banana, and papaya.

Aside from BACE, 21 other entries for Arabica coffee and eight for Robusta coffee were subjected to grading, roasting, and cupping by certified quality coffee graders following competition rules.

Securing the second place is an entry from La Trinidad Arabica Coffee Producers Association, another esteemed affiliate of BACE.

Their entry dazzled with flavors re-miniscent of mixed berries, apple, coconut, almonds, sugarcane, honey, molasses, citrus, pomelo, floral, tamarind, brown sugar, and nuts.

An entry from Sagada Arabica Coffee Growers and Processors Organization (SACGPO) clinched the third spot, featuring notes of honey, berries, lime, muscovado, caramel, and floral tones.

Another entry from SACGPO received a special award as it garnered the highest green grading score.

In the Robusta category, the title was claimed by Calanasan Masipag Farmers Association in Calanasan, Apayao, offering flavors of honey, dried berries, papaya, guava, caramel, tamarind, chocolate, and pineapple.

An entry from Tanudan Savings and Lending Cooperative in Tanudan, Kalinga got the second place, boasting flavor notes of cinnamon, coco sugar, caramel, chocolate, anise, and tamarind.

Gawidan Malin-awaan Marketing Cooperative from Tabuk City, Kalinga, captured the third spot with their distinctive blend, featuring nutty undertones and a medley of honey and mixed berries, cinnamon, and papaya.

Both farmers’ groups are also affiliates of the Kalinga Coffee Cluster for their enterprise subproject under the DA-PRDP.

Green coffee beans produced by DA-PRDP-assisted farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) and their members engaged in coffee farming have undergone grading, evaluation, and assessment processes.

Simultaneously held with the blind cupping activity, several FCAs/PGs who joined in the coffee competition also attended the two-day coffee forum held at the MPSPC Ba-ang Campus in Bauko.

The topics focused on cupping guidelines and procedures, coffee green grading, and coffee defects and recommendations.

During the opening program, MPSPC Center Chief Administrator Berlinda Pelingen conveyed the message of MPSPC President Edgar Cue, who supports efforts to improve and sustain the coffee industry in Mountain Province and the region.

DTI-Kalinga Director Renie M. Ramos emphasized the competition’s significance as a platform to promote Cordillera’s exceptional coffee, empowering local communities to thrive in the competitive market.

The winners will be officially recognized at an awarding ceremony on May 30 in Baguio City.

All coffee entries will be available for bidding to local buyers, with further details provided on the DA-PRDP Cordillera Facebook account. – Elvy T. Estacio