Let me share to you another Batangas’ best : Kapeng Barako or the Philippine/Batangas Coffee. Historians say that kapeng barako was brought in the Philippines centuries ago by the Spaniards while the country was part of Spain’s colony. They planted coffee trees on the highlands. And because of good combination of humidity, cold, soil and the tropical climate, these plantation flourished. By the 19th century, the Philippines was the 4th largest coffee producing country in the world.
The Barako coffee is the Philippine term for coffee produced in Batangas. This Philippine coffee is of the Liberica variety. Liberica is rare and exotic, grown only in 3 countries out of about 70 coffee producing countries in the world. The first Barako tree was a a cutting from Brazil planted in the 1800s in Barangay Pinagtung-Ulan, Lipa City, Batangas by the Macasaet family, (umm… my ancestors?) Barako coffee has strong taste, flavor, and has a distinctively pungent aroma. Now, all coffee grown in Batangas is generically called Barako – Matapang!
During this golden times of coffee production in the Philippines, the town of Lipa in Batangas flourished and many plantation owners became millionaires. In 1887, Spain’s Queen Isabela elevated the town of Lipa into a city named it Villa de Lipa owing to its prosperity. Lipa became one of the richest cities in the Philippines during the coffee boom.
Right now, kapeng barako is still part of most Batangueno’s mornings. I my self can’t make a day without a cup of it. So sinsay muna at magkape dine sa Batangas and say more cups of coffee please.