Milalittra Coffee Farmers: On Sustainable Farming That Feeds
"At what point does good coffee become 'great'?"
This has been a question that we so often ask ourselves as roasters. We've had delicious coffees from different sources around the world and we can collectively vouch that every cup is best enjoyed when you get to hear the story of its production and origins.
After our visit to Mt. Apo, we headed to Talakag, Bukidnon in pursuit of green coffee beans that we can add to our roster and share with our patrons. We were blown away by the breathtaking terroir that Talakag offers, and it wasn't a surprise that this beautiful flora yielded one of the cleanest and balanced coffees that we've had for this season.
We were welcomed by Joannah Dumaquita, the acting manager of Milalittra Farmers Agriculture Cooperative (MILFACO) to walk us through the coffee that they have produced. The Milalittra Washed Typica Sweet coffee is a name that can be a handful to remember, but its flavor profile is something that cannot be easily forgotten. This particular lot contains a unique varietal locally known as 'Sweet Coffee' (with genetics traced back to an Ethiopian landrace variety) and was processed using a washed method, which involved removing the pulp and skin with a depulper, leaving the coffee with its mucilage attached, submerging it in water for hours to remove the mucilage, leaving the parchment, and then drying it on raised beds. This coffee has a similar flavor profile to a classic Ethiopian heirloom washed coffee.
However, their story doesn't stop with the way that they produced this lot. In a video interview done with ACDI/VOCA, Joannah shares that as a cooperative with all members belonging to the Talaandig tribe, they uphold values that will protect their land. These farmers have found coffee production as a sustainable way to raise their families and at the same time, fulfill their role to the environment as 'lumads'. Due to their thriving microclimate, they also help to rebuild nature by planting endemic trees alongside their coffee crops. Joannah describes their coffees as literal 'forest coffees,' grown in a flourishing terroir within the forest.
We are so honored to have been MILFACO's roastery of choice for this exceptional coffee. A coffee that exhibits flavors of cacao, papaya, and rich, sweet sugar cane with just the right tang of guava and lime and most importantly, a story that moves—this is what makes good coffee great.
The Philippines Milalittra Washed Typica Sweet Coffee is ready for you to experience.