Cordillera Coffee, owned by Frank and Mary Grace Arboleda-Young, exists to promote home-grown mountain coffee – the pride of the Cordilleras. Whole beans, mostly Arabica, are bought directly from the backyard farms of the upland coffee farmers. With brisk business and ready markets, the farmers are empowered to produce more of these indigenous crops. The mountainous region is also ideal to Arabica cultivation because of its cool climate and abundant rainfall. Coffee plantations need minimal care and fertilizers unlike other crops that require full doses of chemical inputs that harm the soil and environment.
In a Cordillera Coffee outlet, these beans are roasted to produce a fresh and richly aromatic brew, with a distinct ethnic flavour. Complementary products in the menu are homemade pastries and confections, Benguet Tea, Hot Chocolate, Tableya (native chocolate) Cake, Suman at Latik, Kalabasa Cake, Cordillera Risotto, and Pancit Cordillera.
With every cup sipped, patrons help the tribes of the Cordilleras find market for their crops, the most exotic of which is Cafe Alamid, coffee beans from the droppings of a palm civet cat locally known as alamid. These forest animals, through their sense of smell, pick the ripest and sweetest coffee berries and eat them all night. In the morning, they excrete the beans as they cannot be digested. While in their digestive tract, the beans interact with the stomach acids and enzymes thus affecting the chemical structure of the beans. The beans are then sterilized and roasted and the result is an interesting brew with none of the bitter aftertaste usually experienced with coffee.
Aside from the 3 outlets, Cordillera Coffee intends to expand its business by opening new branches in prime business areas, not only in Metro Manila, but other key spots in the Philippines, like Baguio City and Cebu City.