Benguet-grown Arabica coffee dominates 2018 Philippine Coffee Quality Competition

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Best PH Arabica coffee growers. The top six Arabica coffee growers in the the 2018 Philippine Coffee Quality Competition was dominated by Benguet farmers with Oliver Oliem of Caliking Atok Benguet awarded as champion (Top 1) and Restie Labi Tacio, also of Caliking Atok Benguet getting the top 3 plum and Belen Macanes whose farm is located at Sagpat Junction, Kibungan Benguet got the top 5 spot. Joining them were the entries of Juanita Amaba of Davao del Sur (Top 2), Caida Besto of Mirajon Talarag Bukidnon (4th spot), and Leizel Siluano (top six), also of Davao Del Sur. (Lito Dar/PIA CAR)

BAGUIO CITY (PIA) — Arabica coffee is best grown in the highlands, coffee experts say, and this is proven once again with Benguet-grown Arabica varieties winning three spots in the top six of the 2018 Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC).

The Best Arabica coffee is in Benguet. The Arabica coffee being grown by farmer Oliver Oliem of Atok Benguet was awarded as champion in the 2018 Philippine Coffee Quality Competition – Arabica category. The PCQC awarding ceremony is among the highlights of DTI – DA led Philippine Coffee Congress 3 held at Hotel Supreme, Baguio City, wherein the selected top 6 from Arabica and Robusta the 106 submitted entries that were chosen by professional coffee cuppers and industry stakeholders, locally and abroad. With Oliem in the photo is DTI Baguio – Benguet Provincial Director Freda Gawisan.(Lito Dar/PIA CAR)

Emerging as champion for the best Arabica coffee was the entry of Oliver Oliem, whose coffee farm is located in Caliking, Atok, Benguet, with his washed mixed typical Arabica coffee that is grown at 1,650 meters above sea level.

One of the judge Charlie Habbeger, a specialty coffee buyer of the Blue Bottle Coffee owns 81 Café in the US and Asia, affirmed that all judges unanimously voted for the winning Arabica variety giving emphasis on the coffee that blends the characteristics of Apricot, lemongrass, Pomelo, Oolong Tea and the aroma of a Rose.

The entry of Restie Labi Tacio, also of Caliking, Atok, got third spot while Belen Macanes whose farm is located at Sagpat Junction in Kibungan, Benguet was No. 5.

Rounding up the top six were the entries of Juanita Amaba of Davao del Sur (Top 2), Caida Besto of Mirajon, Talarag, Bukidnon (4th), and Leizel Siluano (sixth), also of Davao Del Sur.

For the Robusta category, awarded top six entries were: Rodolfo Asiong of Cayus, Ilocos Sur (Champion); Lorna Libante of Bagong Silang, Bukidnon (2nd); Luz Dalapus of Dapdappig G Del Pilar, Ilocos Sur (3rd); BMMPC farmers of Pigtauranan San Roque, Bukidnon (4th); Pine Valley Farm of Barangay Paloc, Maragusan, Campostella Valley (5th) and Ramon Polipol of Ilocos Sur (6th).

The winners were recognized during the 2018 PCQC awarding ceremony at the Hotel Supreme here on Wednesday, as a highlight of the 3rd Philippine Coffee Conference.

The PCQC aims to give recognition to farmers who showcase excellence in coffee growing, and to encourage others to push for product development. Moreover, it aims to promote

Philippine coffee as a driver of economic growth and showcase its potential of being among the best coffee produce in the world.

It is co–organized by the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture and the Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA) with funding by US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and technical supervision by Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), a US based institution that promotes specialty coffee and brings about quality grading for Robusta and Arabica coffee in the Philippines.

Only in its second year, PCQC gathered 108 entries for this year’s tilt.

The 3rd Philippine Coffee Congress was successfully conducted with the able leadership of DTI and DA in partnership with the Philippine Coffee Council and in coordination with the various coffee industry stakeholders in different parts of the country. It primarily aimed to put the implementation of the Philippine Coffee Roadmap 2017 – 2022 into full gear and to push forward the country’s coffee industry into its former glory, as a driver of economic development and in bringing in inclusive growth, especially in the countryside. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)