The Home Coffee Roast: Discovering My Origins

The Home Coffee Roast: Discovering My Origins

By: Rafael Teodoro

After building a healthy log of various coffee origins as a home-roaster, this week the long-awaited time finally arrived: Roasting my first-ever Philippine Arabica! I’ll describe what I found in a bit, but first some background on what signifies an ‘arabica’.

In the botanical world, there are actually dozens of different species of ‘Coffee’ plants. However, only 4 species have been used and bred for consumption: Canephora (AKA ‘Robusta’), Exelsa, Liberica (AKA ‘Barako’ in the Philippines), and Arabica.

While each of these have respective objective & subjective qualities, it’s coffea arabica that generally represents the bulk of ‘Specialty Coffee’ across many global coffee origins. I’ve been fortunate enough to do home-roasts of Philippine Robusta and Barako before; these highly-caffeinated coffee types pack a punch! Philippine Arabica, on the other hand, is a fairly precious commodity as there’s limited geography available for it; to achieve its characteristic qualities, Arabica coffee requires more elevation and ideal climate conditions. Specialty-grade Arabica generally comes from farms above 1000 meters above sea level. In the Philippines, this leaves Bukidnon/Mt. Apo in the South, and Benguet/Mountain Province in the North, as the primary areas of Arabica production.

So, how did it go? In this roasting & tasting adventure, I paired up this Benguet Washed-process green coffee with another coffee, to make for a fun direct comparison: a Colombian Antioquia (also Washed-processed). In my roaster, I put both of these coffees into similar & familiar roast cycles to produce a fairly light ‘City Plus’ profile, ideal for initial cupping evaluations.

After 24 hours’ rest, the cupping session commenced! (Note that the following is not a formal ‘Q-grading/scoring’ as performed by a certified coffee grader; just my own sensory evaluations)



Nose: Herbal, Caramelized Sugar, Savory, Wood-bark

Acidity: Moderate

Bitterness: Moderate ‘-’

Sweetness: Moderate ‘+’

Tasting Flavors: Sage, Dried Orange Peel, Air-dried meats, 70% Cacao Chocolate Bar


Colombia Antioquia:

Nose: Caramel, cotton candy

Acidity: Moderate ‘+’

Bitterness: Low-Moderate

Sweetness: Moderate

Tasting Flavors: Grapefruit, Juicy (‘mouthwatering’), Golden Sugar crystals

Truly a fun comparison! While these coffees did share some similarities, owing to their identical roasting profile and Washed-process sourcing, it’s interesting to see how 2 different origins can be very enjoyable but in different ways. As suggested from my sensory notes above, the Benguet coffee is a bit more ‘serious’, complex, and savory; while the Colombian was more on the bouncy, citrusy, playful side. And while one may jump to the conclusion that the citrusy coffee might also be sweeter; it actually wasn’t. While the Colombian certainly offered up a good deal of fruity sweetness, the Benguet coffee delivered a couple more subtle layers of ‘deep’ sweetness that surprised me.

Moving on from the more formal cupping session, taking the Benguet to ‘everyday’ brewing echoed my earlier observation: this coffee is lip-smackingly sweet! But not the cloying sort of sweetness of overly-added sugar….a subtle, satisfying, natural sweetness.

Next up for me will be trying the Benguet in espresso preparation, and also blending it in with the Colombian (as well as other coffees). I expect it to show deliciously in those forms as well! 

Hello there! 

If you're interested in home-roasting green coffee beans from the Philippines and Colombia just as Rafa did in this article, you can avail the same beans he used by messaging Cofiport at their Facebook pageInstagram page or shooting them an email at!

Home-roasting and home-brewing has never been easier with Cofiport, your first step to luxurious and healthy coffee for your personal and business needs.

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