Caliking, Atok, Benguet.
We are proud to be bringing in Philippine coffee for a second year courtesy of Kalsada – a social enterprise that is working hard to champion Philippine specialty coffee. It provides support to Filipino coffee producers and their dedicated efforts to bring quality coffee to market. Working in partnership with local communities, Kalsada invests in machinery and equipment to elevate coffee quality and pays farmers over $1 per pound more than Fair Trade.
In 2014, among Kalsada’s first purchase of coffee was from a small community called Sitio Kisbong in Atok, Benguet. Farmers processed coffees from their own backyards with their hand-cranked pulpers and dried them bilao, or winning baskets, on top of their roofs. Despite growing coffee for decades, most farmers regarded it as a secondary crop and only applied traditional ways of processing. Coffee quality was inconsistent, and production was low. On average, each farmer can only produce 35kgs to 50kgs of coffee.
In partnership with Bo’s coffee, a Philippine coffee house chain, Kalsada established a small community washing station in Sitio Kisbong in 2019. As a result of typhoon rains and winds during this harvest, most coffees from 33 family farmers were washed and dried for 4-6 weeks.