The panorama on the sunrise side: an awesome view of Malarayat

The quiet panorama on the sunrise side of the farm: an awesome view of Mount Malaráyat and the river below the gap.

26 June 2011


At its very core, 1784 has been and will always be a coffee farm. We grow three of the four commercially-grown varieties in the Philippines: Robusta (shown above), Excelsa, and Liberica (the other is Arabica which is best grown in high elevations).

Usually triggered by the tropical winter solstice, the coffee trees (as with a lot of other flowering and fruit-bearing plants) instinctively pro-create and flower after it experiences a profound change in weather. Apparently, the change shocks them enough to jar their complacent nature and in an inherent desire to survive, the trees willfully preserve their line by flowering.

In time, these same flowers become the cherries that are initially colored green and will become red when ripe. The cherries take anywhere between eleven to twelve months to mature before it is ready to be manually picked from the tree (Tag. pagpupúti). In fact, we don't necessarily pick an entire tree in one go as sometimes, some cherries even from the same branch mature ahead of the others so they have to be selected with keen eyes and a good sense of touch.

Liberica is another variety (shown above) with unusually-bigger cherries than Robusta and Excelsa (and Arabica). Some cherries are twice the size of the rest, thus it is locally nicknamed Barako, the Tagalog for "stud" and connoting an Alpha characteristic among a group or breed. Undoubtedly, it has a richer and more intense aroma and flavor than Robusta, at least.

Our Robusta trees are neatly planted on a grid between coconut trees. When we acquired the farm, the trees were scrawny, extremely tall and overtaken by ants. We let the season pass and after harvesting, we pruned them meantime to keep the trees low, easier to maintain, and hopefully prolific.


  1. The coffee beans have so much decorating potential! They look like holly berries while still on the branches. Nice for the holidays! I'm not a coffee drinker so I really have nothing to say about the coffee's taste and potency ;p

  2. And they turn just before Christmastime!

  3. I moved to the Philippines in the beginning of 2015, my wife is Filipina and we bought a mostly mountainous type landscape hectare on the iloilo strait.
    I shared that information as I am unsure of the influence geographical location may affect coffee which is of great interest to me only for ourselves not commercially. I am most interested in the Liberica coffee plant but also am interested in the other coffee that does well in the Philippines.
    I saw your blog and wanted to see if I may could get any direction from you in terms of where I can find the different types of coffee plants here and additionally any direction on how to know what I am buying when I find it and any links that could educate me on growing my own coffee correctly.
    Thank you so much for any information and I appreciate your blog. I can be emailed at