Kapeng barako

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Kapeng barako (Spanish: café varraco or café verraco; English: barako coffee) is a coffee varietal grown in the Philippines, particularly in the provinces of Batangas and Cavite. It belongs to the species Coffea liberica. The term is also used to refer to all coffee coming from those provinces. Barako is the Philippine term for the male stud of an animal, itself taken from the Spanish varraco, and has become associated with the image of a tough man.


Barako takes its name from the Spanish word for wild boar, varraco,[1] which are fond of dining on the plant’s leaves and berries.[2]

The first barako tree was a cutting from Brazil planted in the 1800s in Barangay Pinagtung-Ulan, Lipa City, Batangas [3] by the family of Willie and Cora Macasaet.l[4] Barako coffee has strong taste, flavor, and has a distinctively pungent aroma. All coffee grown in Batangas is generically called barako.

In the 1880s, the coffee industry in the Philippines collapsed due to an infestation dubbed as "Coffee rust" as well as tough competition from coffee growers in South America and Vietnam. This has caused kapeng barako growers to shift to other crops, which has threatened the varietal with extinction.[5]


Kapeng barako is prepared using a drip brewing device, French press, or by simply pouring hot water unto the grounds and filtering the mixture using a piece of cloth. Barako is best sweetened with honey or brown sugar. Barako can be used to make espresso and other espresso-based drinks.

Comparison with other coffee varieties[edit]

Barako (C. liberica) is not a common coffee variety, accounting today for less than 1% of commercial coffee grown, although it is abundant in Southeast Asia especially in the Philippines. It is also produced in Malaysia, although it is typically not exported because most producers operate small farms and sell locally and to the tourist market. It has the largest leaves and beans of all the coffee varieties.

Liberica beans from Mindoro, Philippines

The shape of the beans is not symmetric, which is unique among the four remaining commercial species (arabica, robusta, excelsa and liberica). One side is lower than the other side, creating a distinctive "point" or hook at the bottom. The furrow in the middle is generally jagged rather than straight as in other coffee species. The coffee fruits grow on trees that reach 30' tall, and harvesting is usually done by accessing the fruit using ladders. Its taste is said to be superior to Robusta, and most Philippine coffee drinkers prefer barako to Arabica. Arabicavarraco and excelsavarraco blends are popular and create a cup with broader flavor range.

Other uses[edit]

Aside from being a beverage, kapeng barako is also used as a body scrub in spa treatment.[6]

Batangueños use kapeng barako as an alternative to soup as part of the rice dish. It is usually used when eating tapa or any dry/fried dish.

Kapeng barako from Batangas is now gaining popularity among consumers, mainly for its unique, authentic and traditional appeal.[7]

Kape Barako brands[edit]

  • Barako Frappe
  • Palma's Pure Barako Coffee
  • Mrs. Owl Coffee Kapeng Barako
  • Kick-Start Coffee Philippine Barako
  • #TaraKopiTayo tarakopitayo gmb
  • Silcafe Farmer's Brew
  • KKK Coffee
  • Gourmet's Barako Batangas
  • Batangas Brew
  • Cafe de Lipa
  • Old Juancho's Kapeng Barako
  • Kapeng Barako
  • Figaro
  • Kape Amadeo
  • Siete Barako
  • Taza Mia Coffee
  • Les' Paul Gourmet
  • Pamana Kape Barako Select
  • Katha Coffee


  1. ^ http://dle.rae.es/?id=bOQrBo3
  2. ^ Nuguid-Anden, Charmaine. Figaro Coffee Company Case Study (PDF). UK: New Academy Of Business. p. 6. 
  4. ^ White House Farm Philippines, retrieved 2012-10-14 
  5. ^ Gutierrez, Tuesday, Save the Barako Coffee, OhmyNews, retrieved 2007-01-25 
  6. ^ Yoon, Rowena dela Rosa, "Well-being" Mania Goes Tropical, retrieved 2007-01-25 
  7. ^ Rodriguez, Ma. Cecilia. "Mrs. Owl Coffee Kapeng Barako". Mrs. Owl Coffee Kapeng Barako. Retrieved 27 February 2016.