Western Visayas’ coffee industry could now start to create its brand.
The 2021 Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC), a convergence activity of government agencies and the private sector, has recognized the robusta coffee beans in the region and graded them fine and premium.
The PCQC is an annual event that seeks to identify the best specialty coffees in the Philippines. It aims to motivate producers to improve their coffee quality and to improve market access as these coffees are made known to specialty buyers and subsequent auctions with support from the government and private sector, among others.
Of the eight entries submitted from Region VI, the entries from Antique and Negros Occidental provinces were graded ‘fine robusta’ – showing that the green coffee beans have zero primary defects and have no more than five secondary defects sample.
The entries were from Alejandro Gonzaga and Antonio Endencio of the Bulalacao Calu-oy Tula-Tula Sikap Org. in Sibalom, Antique, Carmen Gonzales of Carmen’s Brew of Tongo Integrated Farmers Asso. and Teddy Cañate of Minoyan Murcia Marginal Coffee Asso. in Himamaylan and Murcia, Negros Occidental, respectively.
Antique’s entry leveled-up to fine grade this year. It was graded premium in 2020.
The other four entries were from Calinog, Igbaras, Lambunao, and Barotac Viejo in Iloilo province. Igbaras’ entry was graded ‘premium robusta,’ as its bean samples have no more than eight combined primary and/or secondary defects samples.
More than 100 entries were submitted, graded, and cupped simultaneously by Philippine-based licensed quality graders in Davao City and Manila. The final cupping of top entries was done by internationally-acclaimed judges from the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, and Taiwan.
Each participant submitted three one-kilogram sample packs of coffee beans to the Barista and Coffee Academy of Asia, Inc. (BCAA) Manila through the DTI for green grading, roasting, and cupping eliminations.
Grading involves a relationship between the amount of defective coffee beans and the overall cup quality. Coffee is graded by sorting the hulled green beans over screens with different sized holes.
The beans remaining in each screen are then weighed, and the percentage of the total is recorded. Following this the coffee is roasted and cupped in order to evaluate the characteristics.
“We encourage our coffee stakeholders and enthusiasts to take advantage of these opportunities and focus on the potentials of the coffee industry,” said DTI VI Regional Director Rebecca M. Rascon.
The PCQC is a convergence of the DTI, Department of Agriculture, ACDI/VOCA, and the BCAA (Barista and Coffee Academy of Asia, Inc.). It aims to place the country’s coffee production in the global coffee industry, providing awareness on the importance of coffee quality, and making the Philippine specialty coffee known in the global market thereby opening more selling and pricing opportunities to Philippine coffee farmers.