Unlike Arabica, Robusta coffee is often overlooked because of its supposed poor quality despite it being the most produced coffee variety in the country. Oftentimes Robusta beans are traded with hundreds of defects and their cupping quality has not been a priority.
But these past few years, Robusta is slowly coming out in the limelight, thanks to coffee processing innovations and improving education for our farmers and consumers.
One example of farmers who proved that Robusta can be regarded as quality coffee is the Abears.
Ms. Jean Abear shared that they have been in coffee farming for around 25 years. It is the primary source of income.
When asked if coffee farming has a bright future in the Philippines, Ms. Jean wrote – ” Yes, there is a bright future for our coffee industry if the government or Department of Agriculture will provide funding for us farmers to help us improve the quality of our coffee. Filipino consumers should learn how to patronize our local products”.
“Yes po may magandang future po ang coffee industry ng bansa kung ang pamahalaan or ang DA ay magbibigay ng pondo para dito upang ma-improve, at dapat ang kapwa Pilipino matutong mag-patronize sa sariling produkto.-Jean Abear
They have been also joining coffee quality competitions. In 2017, a Canadian company submitted their beans for Global Specialty Coffee Expo and their coffee was graded 83.
One of the challenges that Robusta farmers are facing though, is the low selling price of this variety, even if it is sorted and passed the quality control, forcing them to sell their produce to company giants. That is why improvement in production and processing in their part is crucial, but more importantly for coffee buyers not to haggle but do fair trade with them.
In a roaster’s endpoint, it is also significant for us to develop a quality flavor profile of Robusta and make a good cup.
And for the consumers, to learn to appreciate our own coffee produce- not just Arabica, but also our lowland coffees and help uplift our Filipino farmers.
Buy Abear’s Bukidnon Robusta here: