Kape Barako, also spelled Baraco (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 Filipino term for a the male stud of an animal, and has become associated with the image of a tough man.
The first Barako tree was a cutting from Brazil planted in the 1800s in Barangay Pinagtung-Ulan, Batangas by the Macasaet family. 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 Kape Barako growers to shift to other crops, which has threatened the varietal with extinction. Currently, organizations such as the Figaro foundation, seek to revitalize the industry.
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