Philippine Coffee - Barako

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Philippine Coffee - Barako
(Coffea arabica & Coffea canephora or robusta)

About Coffee
Coffee has two main varieties or species, Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora or more popularly known as Robusta. Arabica (Coffea arabica) was originally cultivated in the Arabian Peninsula, hence its name. While Robusta (Coffea canephora) is grown in many regions where Arabica would not grow but Robusta has less flavor and contains more caffeine than the Arabica. However, Robusta contains more antioxidants than Arabica coffee. Today, coffee is the second largest traded commodity in the world, second only to oil and the largest exporter of coffee is Brazil. Most espressos blends use good quality Robusta beans because it produces more foamy heads and
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The first Barako tree was a a cutting from Brazil planted in the 1800s in Barangay Pinagtung-Ulan, Batangas by the Macasaet family. Barako coffee has strong taste, flavor, and has a distinctively pungent aroma. All coffee grown in Batangas is generically called Barako.

During this golden times of coffee production in the Philippines, the town of Lipa in Batangas flourished and many plantation owners became millionaires. In 1887, Spain 's Queen Isabella elevated the town of Lipa into a city named it Villa de Lipa owing to its prosperity. Lipa became one of the richest cities in the Philippines during the coffee boom.

Today, there are only a handful of Barako trees and is in the brink of extinction. The title "coffee capital" of the Philippines has also shifted from Batangas to the town of Amadeo in Cavite province. The decline of coffee industry in the Philippines stated when crops were plagued by "Coffee Rust" an infestation the almost wiped out the Philippine coffee industry. And South American countries took over to satisfy the world demand for coffee. In recent years, this was aggravated by the flooding of Vietnam with cheap coffee which made the world prices collapse even further. Even today, world prices of coffee is a fraction of the prices during the boom years.

The recent world wide popularity of special brews and exotic blends of coffee gives a sliver of hope to the Philippine coffee industry. This new

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