Research conducted at the University of the Philippines Diliman aims to uncover coffee heritage.


Credit: Robert Knapp


Coffee is world’s one of the most favourite drinks with an estimated two billion cups drunk every day, according to the International Coffee Organisation.
The Philippines produces four types of coffee namely Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa and Liberica but little has been done to characterise the genetic variations of these breeds. Dr Ernelea P. Cao of the University of the Philippines Diliman decided to do just this and his research ultimately aims to enhance the taste and aroma of Philippine coffees.
Defining the genetic identity of coffee is crucial in order to find out the most suitable agricultural conditions for certain coffee plants and sustain consistency in the flavour of blend coffee. It also helps preserve and promote local coffee varieties in a global market. Dr Cao also looks at the plants; appearance using geometric morphometric analysis, a technique which makes a quantitative analysis of form (size and shape), which allows her to study the coffee varieties without killing the target specimens. The study should help Philippine coffee compete with other brands inside and outside the country.



For further information contact:
Dr. Ernelea P. Cao
University of the Philippines Diliman, Philippines