Our quest for the finest coffee beans in Mindanao presented to us many wonders that our country can best offer. As Coffee is a native of the rainforests, our journey gave us the opportunity to appreciate further the Philippines’ natural treasures with the bounty and beauty of the forests. Specifically, we found three invaluable treasures, our very scenic natural assets, the smallholder communities of farmers and indigenous people, and of course the rare find top quality coffee.
What a great privilege to have captured this opportunity and this made us so excited to showcase these rock star beans locally and globally. However, a year after of operations with our initiative to set and meet top quality coffee beans, we saw many inefficiencies which are inevitable in the process. It was this time we discovered the “unlovely beans.” They are not bad at all, as they all went through the same meticulous and tedious quality control processes from agricultural practices to multiple phases of processing yet at the end you find them as broken, irregular and have minor defects, in short “unlovely”. Our attempt is to save these “unlovely but good” beans from being downgraded which in effect will extremely lowered down its price. For us at PHILIA, this directly discounts the amount of effort, time and resources of our smallholder coffee farmers and we want to prevent that.
In one community gathering, “Kuyao” (Kuya Taduyao), a member from one of our community partners who is a Manobo (indigenous people) at Sabanal, Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat invited us to join them for a simple meal where he spoke using his mother tongue. He said “Kumaan Ké” which means “let’s eat”. This is actually a typical Filipino behavior, where we invite people, even a stranger, to join us to eat. The beauty of this Filipino gesture is that it highlights our hospitable character regardless of our differences in age, social status and ethnicity. Taking on from that principle, though these coffee beans are ”unlovely” they are not bad at all and worthy to be tried and shared by everyone, thus, Kumaan Ké was born. This is a sub-brand of PHILIA for all our unlovely but worthy local products.