by Ralph Lauren Abainza
Coffee has been one of the traditional crops grown in the Philippines since it was first introduced in the country during the Spanish colonial period. However, it was only in recent years that local coffee production gained more traction in the international market, especially the demand for specialty coffee increased.
During a Farmer’s Table event hosted by Good Cup Coffee Co. in Makati City last March 4, 2023, Marivic Dubria, a coffee farmer living on the slopes of Mount Apo in Mindanao, shared insights on her coffee production and had the guests have a taste of the types of coffee she and her husband produce.
Marivic Dubria shared that she and her husband, Joe, were into vegetable farming before they ventured into coffee farming in 2011 due to the low yield of crops. Despite their difficulties in coffee production, they managed to produce award-winning products, including beans that were crowned champion in the Arabica category in the 2019 Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC).
Dubria highlighted the importance of constant innovation and meticulousness from growing to harvesting coffee. She shared that her fellow women coffee farmers were often assigned to tasks such as sorting because of their determination and attention to detail. The Dubria Farm started with just two hectares of land but is now expanding to two more hectares as the demand for coffee increases. According to Dubria, from 80 pesos per kilogram of coffee beans, they are now able to sell export-quality coffee beans up to 1000 pesos per kilogram.
During the Farmer’s Table, Dubria served the guests typica and catimor coffee varieties with different flavors depending on the process. The Bacofa Maria Luz coffee was produced through a double fermentation process, yielding rich melon, yogurt, and the sourness of orange. On the other hand, the typical Bacofa coffee has undergone a natural anaerobic process and yielded lychee and grape flavors. Dubria also introduced their new coffee flavor, the Marivic Dubria Lactic Fermentation, which by the name itself, has undergone a lactic fermentation process that enabled the beans to yield clementine, chocolate, and honey flavors; and Marivic Dubria’s PCQC Entry which underwent through a natural anaerobic process, yielding the strong taste of blood orange, chocolate, and sugar cane.
The Farmer’s Table event enabled Marivic Dubria, and soon other farmers, to personally share their experiences, lessons, and coffee products with more people interested in specialty coffee. The success story of Marivic Dubria is truly an inspiration to all Filipino women farmers, especially to those who want to venture into coffee production.
Photo courtesy of Good Cup Coffee Co.