After a series of trainings held in Davao and in Manila, the Philippine Coffee Board Inc. (PCBI) along with the Coffee Quality Institute(CQI), has announced the contest everyone waits for in coffee producing countries. Dubbed Kape Pilipino (KP), it is the first national coffee quality competition to determine who produces the highest quality coffee in the Philippines.
The competition is supported and sponsored by the Mindanao Productivity in Agriculture Commerce and Trade (MinPACT) project, a project implemented by ACDI/VOCA and funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. KP’s objective is to improve farmer income through increased production, productivity, and quality of coffee, cacao, and coconut.
Since March 2016 the PCBI has been hosting cupping trainings in coordination with the Barista and Coffee Academy of Asia (BCAA) to improve the understanding of farmers, roasters, and retailers on coffee quality. Recently, an Arabica Q or quality exam was held to graduate Filipino Q graders among the attendees of the past courses. PCBI is the In-Country Partner (ICP) of the CQI, the esteemed authority on specialty coffee based in the USA. Specialty coffee is coffee that scores higher than 80 points on a 100-point scale, the scoring is based on 10 attributes and defects of the coffee. The higher the score, the better price it commands in the specialty market.
Farmer associations and cooperatives as well as individual farmers are encouraged to collect five-kilo samples of their best lot of Arabica and or Robusta green beans with a moisture no higher than 11%. These samples, limited to one sample per association, cooperative, or individual farmer, will be cupped in late February by a panel of experts selected by CQI to do the difficult job.
Farmers need to have the volume required for the samples. They are encouraged to retain the quantity of the same coffee in the sample because if it wins, it may fetch a higher price after the competition.
There is also a special category for Liberica and Excelsa coffee varieties which are also found in the Philippines.
Samples will be received by specific State Universities and Colleges, namely Benguet State University, Cavite State University, Mindanao State University, Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology, Sultan Kudarat State University, and by ACDI/VOCA in Davao City. A receiving protocol has been provided to those designated as receivers of coffee samples. Meanwhile, farmers are encouraged to start selectively harvesting and appropriately processing their best green coffee lots for the competition.
International cuppers will be coming from February 27 to March 4 for the cupping exercise. Final results will be announced in early March.
The winning Arabica and Robusta coffees and a representative of the cooperative, association, or the individual farmer who produced them will be sent to the upcoming Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) convention in Seattle, Washington, USA on April 2017. Other coffees that have high scores will also be shared with potential buyers and interested stakeholders during SCAA.
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