MANILA, Philippines – A coffee blend using Arabica beans sourced from the different coffee-producing member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be served during the 45th annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Governors in Manila next month.
Philippine Coffee Board (PCB) co-chairperson Pacita Juan said this is the first time coffee producers and sellers in the ASEAN region are coming together to create an ASEAN coffee blend that is unique to the region.
It will officially be named the ASEAN Coffee Federation Blend, which is being developed by the PCB and the Specialty Coffee Association of the Philippines (SCAP) with the ASEAN Coffee Federation (ACF).
“This ASEAN blend is representative of our sentiments to come together as a region both in economic matters and in lifestyle products,” Juan said in a statement.
Many ASEAN countries, such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Laos, grow coffee. Vietnam is the No. 2 producer of coffee beans in the world, while Indonesia is No. 4, according to Juan.
However, the Philippine Barako will not be part of the blend since Barako coffee is made from Liberica beans.
“Although we will have single variety coffees like the Barako during the Manila 2012, the ACF has decided that the ASEAN blend will be 100% Arabica,” Juan explained. “This is to avoid any overpowering characteristics of Barako to mask or cover the qualities of the Arabica coffee beans of others.”
Filipino master roaster Manny Torrejon of the PCB will be creating this ASEAN blend. The members of the SCAP will be cupping each coffee to determine the best roasting profile for each.
The Philippines is hosting this year’s ADB annual meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center from May 2 to 5.
Dubbed Manila 2012, the meeting will be attended by finance and economic planning ministers from over 67 ADB member countries, along with over 4,000 delegates comprised of governors of central banks, CEOs of major banks and companies, ADB staff, members of multilateral development community, representatives of non-government organizations, international and local media, international organizations and the academe.
As host, the Philippines can show the world the best of what the country has to offer through its culture, people, products, services and industries, Juan said.
Juan said the ASEAN blend is proprietary to the ACF and will only be showcased at the ADB meeting to give the event an Asian flavor.
“It will be an ACF blend, which we hope to sell regionally with its signature mix,” she said. “We hope that our local chains like Bo’s Coffee may carry it. It will also be sold in our store Kape Isla at ECHOstore in Serendra, in our outlet in NAIA Terminal 3 at Le Bistro Coffee, and other places like hotels in the future.”