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Crushing on Kalsada’s Coffees

By Anonymous Paul on 23 July, 2014

kalsadacoffee

I found out about Kalsada Coffee by chance at EDSA BDG. I had just popped in one afternoon to buy a bag of coffee beans, no particular kind, and Lacy and Roderick, half of Kalsada’s team of four, were there at the bar. We had a short conversation and was able to try this particular type of bean they had just roasted; prepared by hand drip. And it was lovely. Medium bodied with a natural hint of sweetness.

I’ve been getting bags quite regularly from Kalsada ever since. My favorite of which they carry is what they label Auntie Domisa. Consisting of Typica, a varietal of arabica that was brought from Ethiopia and has not had the chance for much mutation. “Therefore, while it is a fairly common varietal, it has a cleaner taste than some of the hybrids that we have found in the Philippines. This clean character in the cup is especially true on a farm like the Domisa Family farm, as it has primarily Typica trees, instead of a mix of different flavors from different varietals,” says Lacy.

kalsadabeans

It’s profile? Notes of muscovado, caramel and toffee with this slight acidity. A very balanced cup. As you may notice in the picture above, they do a light to medium roast which allows the character of the beans to come forward. As opposed to the usual very dark roast they do locally which only heightens the bitter notes and hides the beans’ actual flavors.

My next favorite would be the Auntie Doris. Consisting of Red Bourbon and has a more earthy, woody character. Less innate sweetness with a pleasant citrus-like acidity.

Interesting to point out that these beans come from neighbor farms in Benguet. And were handpicked by the Kalsada team from hundreds of other farms. Usually what happens is that different type of beans are mixed together in a blend and the good beans get lost with the not so good ones. Kalsada now gives us the opportunity to enjoy these high quality beans; allowed to shine on their own.

kalsadacup

As one can infer, Kalsada is a roastery that aims to push Philippine specialty coffee. For me it makes a lot of sense to support them as they not only want the business to grow but also help out the farmers directly in order to produce a better product at the end of the day. “Our next goal is to develop community washing stations that would benefit the local economy, pay farmers more for higher quality coffee, and make processing coffee much more efficient. Instead of farmers processing each bean by hand, we would build co-op structures to allow the community to share technology, training, and knowledge,” Lacy explains.

I’m not one to complicate my life with all these machines and gadgets to make my coffee. I pretty much just have a hand grinder and a metal mesh drip filter (no fussing with paper cones) to make an enjoyable cup every morning. But knowing how these beans were sourced in relatively small batches from the most remote locations, harvested by hand, roasted exactingly, supporting Filipino farmers along the way, not only explains why it tastes better but actually makes you feel better to drink it as well.

 

 

To learn more about Kalsada Coffee and the work they do check their website here.

Kalsada carries jars and larger bags of beans at, I think, very competitive prices. To order you can email: order@kalsada.org

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