Blue Bottle Coffee features Philippine specialty beans for the first time

Images: Blue Bottle Coffee / Kalsada
Images: Blue Bottle Coffee / Kalsada

World-renowned coffee roaster Blue Bottle Coffee recently announced its release of a Philippine set, featuring beans from microlots in the highlands of Sitio San Roque in Pigtauranan, Bukidnon — the first time the major third-wave coffee player has featured Philippine-origin coffee.

The Sitio San Roque beans are part of Blue Bottle’s Horizon Series, a collection of specialty coffee from Asia.

Blue Bottle called the set “an exploration in the resurgence of Philippine coffee.”

“The Philippines’ newest wave of coffee exploration is shaping the nation into a hub for experimentation. Farmers and producers from the region are finding inspiration in their country’s long history with coffee to reinvigorate the craft. Now, microlots like these two from Sitio San Roque are returning the Philippines to coffee exceptionalism,” the brand wrote.

Specialty coffee producer Kalsada, who works with the coffee farmers of Sitio San Roque, shared that this moment was five years in the making and called it a win for Philippine coffee.

“We started sending green bean samples to Blue Bottle Coffee in 2018, and after repeated evaluations, rejections, and encouragement from their graders to keep improving, our coffee finally met their standards in 2022. This is the first Philippine origin that Blue Bottle is serving and we’re proud to share that the two microlots they chose come from one of our communities in Sitio San Roque, Pigtauranan in Bukidnon,” it wrote.

“Elevating Philippine specialty coffee by partnering closely with producers has been the center of our work these last nine years. It’s been largely difficult, but every so often, we’re reminded why we do what we do and why we need to keep going,” it added.

The Philippine coffee scene has made serious headway in the past years — although historically a coffee-producing nation, much of the production has been focused on commercial robusta for decades, as the supply for beans such as arabica remained low.

Players such as Kalsada have been instrumental in raising the profile of Philippine coffee, working with local coffee producers around the country to ensure fair trade and improve farming and cultivation practices.

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