Arabica! Arabica! We need Arabica beans to conduct preliminary experiment. I rushed to nearby coffee processing plant to get about five kilograms green unroasted beans.
No more Arabica available. The staff told me, go to Gourmet Farms if I need it badly. They can give me the beans I wanted for 230 pesos per kilogram.
The next day, instead of going to Gourmet, I drove to Cafe Amadeo. They also have Arabica greens which can be sold for 250 pesos per kilo. Buying two kilograms would be 40 pesos higher. But, Cafe Amadeo is nearer to Indang. The 40 pesos savings could not cover the additional diesel cost from Amadeo to Tagaytay.
The Robusta cost 90 to 100 per kilo, Excelsa / Liberica 170 plus, and the Arabica a whooping 230 to 250. They are all coffee but are priced differently.
Robusta. These variety is well suited under our climatic condition. A very prolific variety. Price lower because sources are plenty. Volume of production is large both local and foreign.
Liberica / Excelsa. Priced about two times as high as Robusta. The high cost is driven by government support and scarcity. It is being marketed as Philippines very own, the Barako. Increase of planting area is slow though. These varieties are low yielding. Planting such is a bit discouraging.
Arabica. Well suited in high altitude and cold areas. Grow well in selected parts of the Philippines such as mountains of Mindanao, Benguet Province and Cordillera Region. The most flavorful coffee variety and the most sought. Could there be more reasons why this is so damn expensive?