Once in a while we have to unwind and leave the hassle bustle of the city life behind and go smell the fresh air and refreshing green scenery of our mother nature. The perfect timing came when our one year in the making trekking plan to Barangay Kinilis of Polomolok, South Cotabato Philippines finally push through to go see the Mindanao Civet Coffee plantation.
My blogger friend Sheng Dumalay coordinated with sir Fred Fredeluces the one who is responsible for the Kape Balos and coffee industry in the area. Sir Fred worked with the Mahinata Foundation before he educated the B’laan community of the importance of preserving the forest and the Civet. He further widen their outlook in life by providing them source of income by buying their coffee beans and selling it in the city in their behalf. He further taught them in the Civet Coffee industry which is more expensive than the normal arabica coffee bean. By doing so the Civet Cat locally known as “Musang” is now being protected by the community instead of hunting and captivating it. They now called it “KAPE BALOS” balos is the B’laan term for the Civet Cat.
The Civet Coffee or Kape Balos is an expensive coffee because of it’s very distinctive taste and the way it is processed. The Civet Cat is a nocturnal animal and loves to eat coffee bean and has an excellent palate that they are known to eat only the sweetest coffee bean. They leave their poop in the forest and the coffee farmers hand picks them early in the morning. After hand picking the Civet poop they carefully choose each bean for its quality control and they wash it and then sun dry. The process is not over yet they carefully roast it to perfection then grind pack and of to the coffee shops who offers it as high as P300 per cup.
The experience is an eye opener to me and makes my heart smile with gladness. As it could be done by the perfect example from this community together with sir Fred that we can do it: Preserve the forest, Protect the Civet Cat and earn a living at the same time. By the way the coffee beans are 100% organic NO fertilizers it is cross planted in the forest together with the giant hard wood trees.
My golden knowledge for the day the Civet Coffee or Kape Balos is decaffeinated coffee because the coffee beans went through a process inside the stomach of the Civet Cat therefore the acids inside the cats stomach rips aways the caffeine from the coffee bean. Freshly roasted Kape Balos has it’s milky taste with out any rough and sour flavor unlike the instant coffee we are having. It is very healthy and a great way to perk you up and start your day.