Early Morning Thoughts: History of the Philippine Coffee

Aside from the abundant abaca in the Philippines that are now exported in different countries like Korea, Japan, and United States, the country is also abundant in Coffee. Dating back to 1940, the Philippines had a rich history when it comes to its coffee industry. Because coffee is recorded to be the second largest commodity in the world after oil, the country has been a top producer of it in the late 1800s. Stop and take a look down the memory lane as we take you to the history of coffee in the Philippines.



The Spanish Franciscan Monks introduced the first coffee tree that was located in Lipa, Batangas, making it the Coffee Capital of the country.



Exportation of Coffee from Batangas to San Francisco; when the Suez Canal opened, it also opened trade to Europe



Cultivation of coffee trees began in Cavite, though the Liberica Bean, also known as Barako, is still produced in Lipa, commanding a high price.



The Philippines became fourth of the largest exporters of coffee beans



All the coffee trees in Batangas were destroyed as the coffee they were plagued with coffee Rust, which soon paved way for an insect infestation.



Coffee production dropped to 1/6th from its original production. Because of this, the seedlings were then transferred from Batangas to Cavite.



Instant coffees were then born as the more resistant strain of coffee was innovated and produced.



New beginning: coffees were grown again by many farmers.



The country became a member of the International Coffee Organization (ICO)



According to the Bureau of Agriculture Research, it has been recorded that approximately 300,000 Filipinos were involved in the coffee industry



As per Census data, 276,000 coffee farms with 79.4 million coffee trees existed in the Philippines.



Farmers moved to rubber. A data showed that there is a shift away from coffee to high yield crops that were definitely more profitable.



The first congress for the Mindanao Coffee Producers happened.



Coffee Industry Roadmap was created



A proposal for the formulation of a Philippine Coffee Council under an executive order was drafted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)