Photo by Cj Bantiling.

Kapeng barako’s strong taste and rich aroma have endeared it to many Filipino coffee lovers. Its full, bold flavor makes it perfect to enjoy on its own or paired with any sweet kakanin (native rice delicacies).

Over the years, it has gained renewed popularity, thanks also in part to its traditional appeal. 

It has also become a favorite pasalubong, especially from travelers coming from Batangas or Cavite—two regions where the local coffee variety is mostly grown. Even coffee shops, established ones and mom-and-pops alike, have also highlighted their kapeng barako offerings.

Barako has a distinctive strong flavor and aroma, hence its name, with the Filipino word “barako” translating to “stud” in English.

Photo by Ara Arida.

“Barako” is most commonly used to describe someone who exudes masculinity and machismo. In other words, if you can take kapeng barako, with its powerful and bold taste, then you’re the man.

Also known as Batangas coffee, kapeng barako is traditionally prepared black or sweetened with muscovado sugar. Barako can also be used to make espresso and other espresso-based drinks.

Kapeng barako is actually Liberica coffee, which was first planted in Lipa by the Spaniards during the Spanish colonial era. Since then, the delicious coffee variant has helped coffee become the second most consumed beverage in the Philippines (just after water).

Photo by Borgie Balinton

Despite its popularity, kapeng barako only accounts for less than 2% of commercial coffee grown in the country, which means there’s a lot of room for growth for this coffee variety. That’s especially true because not only is kapeng barako ideal as a drink, it is also used in other products such as body scrubs.

So if you’re travelling to Batangas or Cavite and want to bring home coffee goodness that is sure to give you a caffeine kick any time of the day, get yourself (or a loved one) a pack of kapeng barako which you can later enjoy at home.

Authors