beans > Benguet Coffee Beans – Filipino Single Origin Coffee
Benguet Coffee Beans – Filipino Single Origin Coffee
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Flavor Profile: Flashy acidity with significant bitterness and notes of chocolate and citrus
Grown in: Philippines
Flashy acidity with significant bitterness and notes of chocolate and citrus
Did you know that in the Philippines, you can actually find different types of coffee plants? For instance, Benguet coffee, commonly known as Benguet Arabica, is a single-origin coffee variety that has been cultivated in the northern Philippines’ Cordillera highlands starting from the 19th century.
So, what exactly are they? The beans are a member of the Coffee Arabica, which itself comes from the Typica species. It is one of the most important crops grown by farmers in the province of Benguet, which has a climate that is ideal for arabica growth. Currently, Benguet coffee beans are included in the international list of endangered heritage foods.
However, it is also important to note that Provincial governments have been striving to reintroduce coffee production for both domestic and international markets in recent years. Since 2010, production has continuously grown. Thankfully, their attempts are successful and Benguet is widely recognized as the Philippines’ leading producer of high-quality arabica coffee, and additionally, is in great demand.
As for the taste, Benguet comes with significant bitterness and within your cup of coffee, you are going to discover notes of citrus and chocolate. Compared to similar coffee beans, these ones are well-known for their high acidity. In this guide, we are going to discuss the history of the coffee, as well as the top products available for you.
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The History Of Benguet Coffee Beans
Arabica coffee is believed to have arrived in the Cordillera highlands in the mid-nineteenth century. A Spanish military governor of Benguet was the first one who brought arabica coffee to the Cordilleras in 1875. They were first grown as part of a research project in government gardens in the province’s lowlands to determine their potential as a local crop. Plants did not do well because of low altitudes and frequent rains. However, the results were much better when the next governor transplanted Benguet coffee beans at higher altitudes 2 years later.
In 1881, a new governor tried to force the locals into producing coffee – as a result, native people demolished arabica crops as a form of protest. Camising, a local leader from Kabayan, is credited with introducing Arabica coffee to his people. He was able to persuade surrounding villages to start their own coffee farms. Benguet coffee was part of the Philippines‘ thriving coffee industry in the late 19th century, which exported up to 16 million pounds of coffee annually. Coffee rot decimated farms in 1899, resulting in a drastic drop in coffee production. By 1917, the Philippines’ yearly coffee exports amounted to barely about 3,000 pounds.
Benguet coffee is grown mostly in backyards and small-scale farms in the province of Benguet. In addition to serving as a local source of coffee, they also exported high-end coffee to Spain, where it sold at a premium. Mid-century demand sparked an explosion in the production of this beverage. However, due to fast-rising prices and government neglect in the 1990s, farmers shifted to other crops such as maize, causing the industry to fail. However, as we already mentioned at the beginning, things are changing for good, and coffee demand, as well as Benguet coffee production, is on the rise in the Philippines.
Top 2 Benguet Coffee Brands on Amazon
If you are someone who wants to take a sip of the real Benguet coffee, then you might be looking for ways to purchase it. I buy my coffee from Amazon, as it helps you avoid thinking about things such as payment, transportation, etc. Additionally, it is possible to get your product in less than 24 hours (if you use Amazon Prime, just like me). In order to save your time, we already did our research on the best Benguet coffee brands. Although there were not many options, we still were able to identify 2 trustworthy companies – you can easily check them out in the list down below.
How We Rated Them
We pay attention to the following:
For more detailed information on how exactly we rate the coffee products we suggest in our guides, click here.
Individual Overviews of Our Top Choices
Just naming our favorite products will not be enough for you to automatically guess whether you want to purchase them or not. That’s why we are going to do individual overviews of our top choices, reviewing all the special features about each of them so you can identify if a specific coffee is worth your time, money, and attention.
Benguet Gold Premium Barako Coffee
Price: $$28.95 (subject to change)
Size: 8 ounces
Producer: Benguet Gold Coffee
The first product on our list is Benguet Gold Premium Barako coffee. This coffee comes from a place where the combination of afternoon cloud cover and rainfall creates the ideal setting for high-quality coffee beans. To be more specific, the coffee is sourced from tiny farms in Benguet Province’s highland ridges. They are selected at the peak of ripeness and roasted in small batches. That way, it becomes possible to meticulously extract taste profiles and traits that are unique to the location.
If you want to experience true Benguet coffee quality, then you should definitely be considering purchasing this one. Not only it tastes good but the overall quality of the coffee is more than satisfactory. The coffee has nice packaging that is able to keep your product fresh for a long period of time. Within the first sip, you are going to feel the notes of chocolate and citrus. However, the ones that have health problems related to high acidity may stay away from this product as it is really acidic.
As for the price, an 8-ounce package will cost you $28.95 – for some, it might look a little bit expensive, however, the price can be justified by the fact that the availability of Benguet coffee is pretty scarce.
Red Soil Single Origin Arabica might be the best choice for people that appreciate and love natural products. The coffee trees are cultivated naturally, with no chemicals or pesticides used. Only mature coffee cherries are harvested and dried on high drying beds by the farmers. This guarantees that the beans are mature and free from chemical elements.
From my personal experience, I can say that with this product, you can actually feel the true nature of the Benguet coffee beans variety. Your cup is going to taste very unique, something different from everything that you have tasted before. The aroma and taste are very pleasant and overall, it has its own delicious blend of earthiness and flavor.
It is important to note that the company behind the product is pretty reputable, experienced, and trustworthy. That’s why you should be expecting high-quality coffees from them. What’s even better is that by purchasing their product you will not only be providing yourself with a delicious cup of coffee but you will also be supporting local farmers and the coffee industry in the Philippines in general, which sounds pretty exciting. All in all, the product may seem expensive at first ($39.70 for 16 ounces), however, the quality that you are going to get is definitely worth every cent.
Frequently Asked Questions on Benguet Coffee Beans
What kind of coffee is Benguet?
Benguet coffee is a coffee varietal grown exclusively in the Philippines. This one is also referred to as Benguet Arabica due to the fact that it is a sub-variety of Arabica coffee beans. The coffee plants can mostly be found in the northern part of the country, more specifically in the Cordillera highlands. This location is perfect for coffee-growing due to its attractive highland with the right amount of rainfall and shadow. Benguet coffee is considered a high-quality product and the demand for it is quite high not only inside the country but outside of it as well.
What does Benguet coffee taste like?
Benguet coffee tastes like a combination of chocolate and citrus. However, it has a significant bitterness to it, so don’t expect something very sweet. Additionally, it has high acidity, meaning that if you are someone who has problems related to it (headaches, stomach aches), then you might be considering other replacements for Benguet coffee. Overall, this coffee is pretty delicious, earthy, and worth trying at least once in your life.
Is Benguet coffee single origin?
Yes, Benguet coffee is a single origin. What this means is that it is grown in the Philippines exclusively and you will not be able to find the plants in another location. This is pretty good news as single-origin coffee allows consumers to enjoy an individual taste that is as pure as it can be. Aroma, acidity, and flavors are also frequently more prominent than in balanced mixes.