Our own brew

Long before brewing local beans got fashionable, this homegrown coffee chain made it an advocacy

By Patricia May P. Catan
Image: Arni Aclao


COFFEE for many may just be an energy booster, but for a few who know their coffee well, it’s a totally different story. A cup immediately puts one in a lighter and upbeat mood no matter the weather outside. Its familiar aroma and rich flavor are all it takes to perk up the senses and make you feel full of life. But as you carefully sips a cup of freshly brewed coffee, do you ever wonder where its coffee beans originated from?

Taking pride of its homegrown spirit, Bo’s Coffee is a purely homegrown brand that sources and serves the best of Philippine coffee. Bo’s Coffee’s signature blend is putting the spotlight on Philippine coffee as they proudly wave the flag of its roots. Highlighting its homegrown brew not only speaks of their passion for taste, but it also mirrors Filipino creativity.

Today, the country’s all-Filipino specialty coffee shop recently opened its 97th store in the Philippines and 32nd in Cebu situated in the up-and-coming development of Northdrive, Mandaue City. Bo’s Coffee’s newest branch is strategically located in a bustling community full of individuals from all walks of life where everyone could enjoy their favorite local brew as they bond and share stories in a feel-at-home atmosphere.

To celebrate the grand opening of its Northdrive branch, Bo’s Coffee dedicated an afternoon for a coffee cupping session with members of the community and media where they were enlightened about the history of coffee and were instructed on how to better appreciate the nuances of coffee through the Philippine Coffee Origins, all of which are proudly harvested locally.

The five Philippine arabica beans tell the story of Filipino culture and is without a doubt, Bo’s Coffee’s point of pride. As “Your Homegrown Brew,” Bo’s Coffee locally sourced these beans from highland farmers in Sagada and Benguet in the Mountain Province, Mount Kitanglad in Bukidnon, Mount Apo in Davao, and Mount Matutum in Tupi, South Cotabato. To shed light on what makes Philippine coffee loved by many, SunStar Weekend takes you to a tour around the best coffee-growing regions in the Philippines.

Mt. Matutum

Mt. Matutum is located in South Cotabato, in the Island of Mindanao, in the southern part of the Philippines. This majestic mountain is abundant with lush foliage, making the home of diverse plant and animal species, one of which is the Philippine Eagle. Mt. Matutum is the greenest outdoor destination in South Cotabato and is the perfect hub to promote ecotourism.

Elevation Level: 800 to 1,000 meters
Arabica Variety: Mysore
Flavor Profile: Berrylike and spicy, with notes of cardamom and camphor

Mt. Kitanglad

Mt. Kitanglad is located in the province of Bukidnon in Mindanao Island. Showcasing various species of flora and fauna, this inactive volcano was declared as an Asean Heritage Park in 2009. Kitanglad is home to Rafflesia schadenbergiana, the second largest flower in the world.

Elevation Level: 1,200 meters
Arabica Variety: Catimor
Flavor Profile: Light and nutty, with floral undertones


Famously known for its highland tribal and adventurous activities like water rafting and trekking, Sagada is a popular destination for travelers who are either thrill seekers or nature lovers because of its majestic mountains and natural attractions. Nestled in the center of the Cordillera region in the northern part of the Philippines, Sagada is home to the Igorots or mountain people where the famous “hanging” coffins and “Stairway to Heaven” are located.

Elevation Level: 1,300 to 1,400 meters
Arabica Variety: Typica or Red Bourbon
Flavor Profile: Sweet, nutty, and well-balanced, with hints of chocolate and fresh tobacco

Mt. Apo

Mt. Apo is the highest mountain in the Philippines and is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the country. Mt. Apo is an excellent source of geothermal energy and is also home to over 272 bird species.

Elevation Level: 1,500 meters
Arabica Variety: Catimor
Flavor Profile: Sweet and earthy, with low acidity and medium body


Well-loved for its idyllic landscape and cold weather, the province of Benguet can be found at the Cordillera region in the northern part of the Philippines. Benguet is also known as the Salad Bowl of the Philippines and where a natural cultural treasure lies. The mummies of Kabayan are the most intact mummies found in the country and one of the best preserved in the world.

Elevation Level: 1,500 to 1,600 meters
Arabica Variety: Typica or Red and Yellow Bourbon
Flavor Profile: Well-balanced, with herbal notes and a winey taste

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