Iloilo coffee producers dominate WV regional contest

Iloilo coffee producers Rommel Cabistrante and Marcial Eluzo topped the 2024 Western Visayas (WV) Regional Coffee Quality Competition.

Cabistrante scored an impressive 86.81, while Eluzo was a close second with 86.06.

The Department of Trade and Industry Region VI (DTI VI) celebrated their achievements and the region’s success in the annual event focused on identifying and promoting the best green coffee beans.

Hosted by the Barista and Coffee Academy of Asia Coffee Laboratory in Iloilo, the competition, which spanned from April 8-10, saw a rigorous evaluation of entries from Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental.

A total of 13 entries were graded as Fine Robusta, meeting the stringent standards required to advance to the cupping round.

From Green Grading to Fine Graded Robusta Coffee, each stage was met with excellence and precision.

Only beans graded as fine with zero primary defects and no more than five secondary defects were eligible to advance to the Cupping Round.

These beans were then required to achieve a minimum score of 80 points on a 100-point scale during cupping to become the official entry/entries representing Western Visayas in the upcoming 2024 Philippine Coffee Quality Competition, scheduled for May 6-17, 2024.

The judging panel comprised esteemed Q-Graders and cuppers from the Filipino Coffee Institute.

Entries from Negros secured the third to sixth spots, demonstrating the region’s robust capabilities in coffee production. Out of the top 13 performers, Negros had seven representatives, Antique contributed one, and Iloilo proudly presented five.

The competition serves as a gateway for these local products to gain national attention, as the winners will go on to represent Western Visayas in the 2024 Philippine Coffee Quality Competition this coming May.

“Western Visayas has once again proven its prowess in producing top-quality coffee beans,” said Rachel Nufable, Officer-in-Charge Regional Director of DTI VI.

Nufable highlighted the hard work and excellence that the region’s coffee producers bring to the industry. She also expressed hope for the continued engagement and excellence of coffee farmers in future competitions.