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The Beginning of Coffee and Where We Are Now Today

No one really knows the exact beginning of coffee but there are some legends on how humanity discovered the coffee bean and how it became the world's major commodity.

First Legend

A Yemenite Sufi mystic Ghothul Akbar Nooruddin Abu al-Hassan al-Shadhili was traveling through Ethiopia and on the trip, he noticed some birds that were unusually lively. He tried the berries he saw that the birds had been eating and felt the same vigor. The Berries were the coffee cherries.

Second Legend

Coffee was discovered by a Sheik Abou'l Hasan Schadheli's disciple - Omar. Although he was known for his ability to cure the sick through prayer, he was once exiled from Mocha to a desert cave near Ousab and was trying to survive. While trying some berries from a shrubbery, he found them to be bitter. When the stories of the drink reached Mocha, Omas was asked to return and was made a saint.

Third Legend

A goat-herder noticed that his goats behave restlessly when they eat berries from the bush so he tried them himself. 

Beyond these legends, the first evidence of coffee drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century, in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen in southern Arabia.

Here in the Philippines, coffee was first introduced as early as 1730 when a Franciscan friar planted the first coffee tree in Lipa, Batangas. The coffee that was introduced in the Philippines came from Mexico and was later promoted. The coffee plantations became part of the foundation of Batangas’ economy and Lipa was later labeled as the coffee capital of the Philippines.

In the late 19th century, Lipa was once a famous coffee exporter and in the 1880s the Philippines was the world’s fourth-biggest exporter of coffee beans. When the coffee rust hit Brazil, Africa, and Java we became the only source of coffee beans worldwide. Lipa City then became very rich. This was the booming era of the Philippine coffee industry which lasted until 1889 when coffee rust hit the Philippines.

If you ask where we are now today, the Philippines produces 25,000 metric tons or 25 million kilos of coffee and ranks 110th in the world in terms of output, however, we consume almost 100,000 metric tons a year. The result? Import. We import most of our beans from Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. 

Support from the government for our local farmers is scarce but if you look deeply into the quality of coffee that our farmers produce, they have good quality and can compete at par in the world market. 

It is time to promote our own coffee and support our local farmers as they really put an effort in planting, growing, taking care of, and harvesting each coffee. 

Our best sellers - Atok, Sagada, and Mt Apo - Naturals coffee have been consistently our client’s favorite, and the good thing is the list keeps longer and longer. Our rock stars are Kibungan, Mt. Kesimlan and Asipulo are also the favorite coffee of those who want to try different taste notes and different coffee origins. For more Philippine coffee variety, check www.goodbeansph.com/products. We will definitely help you explore the Philippines through coffee. 

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