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Liberica Coffee , What is Liberica?

Liberica coffee is one of the rarest and least cultivated types among the various known types of coffee beans, and it is the focus of a certain number of coffee producers.

We will talk about Liberica coffee beans and about its unique taste, aroma and history.

Liberica is completely unknown thanks to its rarity. However, today we will analyze the rarest coffee bean by examining its origins, its flavor profile and what makes it different from the rest.

Liberica belongs to the big Rubiaceae family and was discovered for the first time in the region of Liberia, a small country in West Africa (Liberia) and its name is also rooted in the name of this land.

Coffee is a very popular drink and nowadays you can more or less find a coffee shop on every street corner. Many coffee lovers appreciate coffee because it provides them with caffeine throughout the day and also helps them to go about their daily life more efficiently and with more energy.

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What is Liberica coffee?

Among the different types of coffee beans, Liberica is one of the rarest and least cultivated types, which includes about 2% of the coffee produced in the world, and for this reason, it has attracted the attention of many coffee producers.

Producers, traders, roasters, exporters and consumers are mainly familiar with two types of coffee: Arabica and Robusta.

However, after these two famous coffees, there is a third species that grows mainly in Southeast Asia, and its name is Coffea liberica, which grows in Malaysia and the Philippines.

Liberica is located in Liberia, West Africa. However, today it is mostly grown and consumed in Southeast Asia – namely the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.

An interesting point in the Philippines is that Liberica makes up more than 70% of all coffee produced, that is, 7 out of every 10 cups of coffee served in the Philippines is Liberica coffee.

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Liberica coffee characteristics

Some of the most well-known and successful countries for growing Liberica coffee are mentioned below.

In general, Liberica coffee is very hard to come by these days. This is due to the small number of coffee producers who grow it in the first place.

So, where can we find these specialty beans? In this article we talked about Liberica coffee in Malaysia.

It is truly astonishing that Liberica coffee accounts for almost 95% of all coffee produced in this country. And this is also why you can literally find this type of coffee at any local coffee shop in Malaysia. In fact, local Malaysian coffee drinkers are already used to the strong taste of Liberica coffee.

They are very appreciative and just love to order a great cup of kopi at a local kopitiam. (“Kopi” means coffee in Malaysian, and Tiam is an abbreviation for shop in the local Hokkien and Fujian language.)

If you want to get Liberica coffee for yourself, Malaysia and its coffee market is a good place to get this famous Liberica coffee.

As mentioned earlier, the largest producer of Liberica in Malaysia is My Liberica. My Liberica is a domestic company but also has a coffee farm and processing plant in Kulai, Johor, which is near the Singapore border. My Liberica also operates several cafes in Johor, Bahru and Kuala Lumpur. If you like to choose this coffee, you can try Liberica at this place and the listed cafes in Malaysia.

In some parts of the Philippines, Liberica coffee is known as Kapang Barako, which means Barako coffee. Liberica coffee farmers usually grow in the provinces of Batangas and Cavite in the Philippines. In total, about 4% of the country’s coffee production comes from Liberica coffee.

Traditionally, this Liberica can be made plain or sweet in a coffee maker. Especially among the older generations, Baraco coffee is an essential part of their daily morning routine.

Liberica Coffee
Liberica Coffee

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Overall, Indonesia is one of the top coffee producers worldwide.

The country successfully grows and exports a variety of coffee beans. Liberica coffee was first introduced by European colonists. But, the coffee variety quickly caught the attention of local coffee farmers.

Some farmers still grow Liberica coffee commercially. This happens mainly in Riau and Jambi provinces of Indonesia.

Liberica coffee review

A person named Pacita, who is a member of the Steering Committee of the Department of Forestry and Farming of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, said about Liberica’s trip from Africa to Asia:

Liberica may have gone from Liberia to Ethiopia and traveled to the Middle East from there! As a result, it has spread to Southeast Asia. In the distant past, many African Muslims traveled to Malaysia for religious reasons, and Pasita believes that Liberica coffee reached Malaysia through Muslim people.

And of course, all these are the possibilities mentioned by Pacita, and there are thousands of possibilities and hypotheses that show that Liberica coffee traveled from Africa to Asia.

It is also possible that colonists brought Liberica plants with them to Southeast Asia after settling. In the distant past, most of Southeast Asia was occupied by either the French, the Dutch, or the Spanish. As these European colonists brought coffee with them to Asia, it then influenced coffee drinking habits in much of Southeast Asia.

While the details of how Liberica arrived in Southeast Asia may have been murky, research suggests that Liberica coffee gained popularity in Asia in the late 19th century. That’s because around 1890, an epidemic of coffee leaf rust affected more than 90 percent of Arabica plants worldwide. Of course, resistance to diseases and pests became a priority for many producers.

So the producers wanted to produce another coffee to prevent iron rust disease. Then many merchants and producers turned to Robusta coffee and tried to produce as much Robusta as possible to avoid the risk of Arabica pests and diseases.

Read more: Robusta Coffee

As it was said, all countries produced Robusta except the Philippines!

Liberica producers, unlike others, went towards Liberica coffee and encouraged people to consume this rare coffee. You might think why the Philippines went to produce this coffee…??

In response, we must say that the reason is that the Liberica plant is much more resistant to coffee leaf rust and it can also be cultivated more easily than Arabica at higher temperatures and lower altitudes. In addition, it is much more difficult for pests to penetrate the bark of the Liberica plant, as their bark is significantly tougher than that of Arabica and Robusta.

Read more: Arabica Coffee

Proximity and easy travel from the Philippines to other Southeast Asian countries allowed the Liberica plant to spread quickly, and the Philippines is just a boat ride away from Malaysia and Indonesia, Pacita explains.

Coffee and spices can be transported from one country to another without the need for giant ships. Certainly, with Pacita’s explanation, we can say that the epidemic of Arabica leaf rust around the world caused the Philippines to start mass production of Liberica coffee, and then this production of the Philippines caused Liberica coffee to travel to Malaysia and Indonesia and the popularity of the people there. include

Characteristics of Liberica coffee plant

Gonzalo Hernandez is the owner and manager of Coffea diversa, a coffee plantation in Costa Rica that grows over 700 different varieties of coffee plants. He also explains that today, Liberica can be found growing throughout tropical Africa.

Liberica trees begin to bear cherries five years after planting. They grow tall, with some trees even reaching 17 meters in height, which can make cherry picking difficult.

The leaves and coffee cherry of the Liberica plant are also significantly larger than those of the Arabica and Robusta plants. The width of Liberica leaves reaches up to 30 cm, and the cherries of this plant sometimes double in size.

About 20 years ago, Liberica was less present in the world coffee market and was mainly used in instant coffee with a certain percentage.

“Years ago, Liberica was mixed with Robusta because farmers didn’t have a buyer for Liberica,” Pacita says. Often, they sell this blend to coffee producers or those who usually buy Robusta.

However, he added: The efforts of the Philippines to encourage people to consume this coffee in the early 21st century increased the popularity of this plant in the world. In 2001 and 2002, we paid for farmers to sequence their coffee and identify Liberica. This move led to a taste test among people and then people fell in love with the taste of Liberica.

In 2005, we wrote a book about the Liberica plant called Barako: The Big Bean. In this book, it was explained that Liberica was more valuable than Robusta, which led to more interest in planting this plant.

Additionally, importing Arabica into parts of Southeast Asia, namely Malaysia and the Philippines, can be expensive. Because liberica is grown locally, it is often readily available and significantly more affordable.

Today, Liberica has a good position in the Southeast Asian market. Liberica’s popularity in Southeast Asia could be due in part to religion, Pacita says. Because most of the time Muslims prefer to drink coffee after prayer and it gives them a sense of vitality and freshness. As a result, since Indonesia and Malaysia are Muslim countries, the people’s interest in Liberica coffee is quite natural.

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This article was prepared by an expert. But this is for general information only. Before any action, it is necessary to consult a doctor.
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