A relaxing highland farm dotted with pine trees at Kapatagan, Digos City in Davao del Sur produces civet coffee or kopi luwak from the droppings of the civet cat known locally as alamid. The rich volcanic soil at the foot of Mt. Apo in Davao del Sur, the highest mountain in the Philippines, is home to organically grown Arabica trees. The coffee cherries are selected and picked from these trees by the farmers. The civet cats basically feed on coffee cherries digesting only the pulp, so they used to be major enemies of the Digos farmers. These nocturnal weasel-like animals were captured and killed by the local farmers to prevent them from further destroying their crops. Until Mr. Philip Dizon, the owner of Mt. Apo Civet Coffee Farm, offered to buy the captured civet cats to make use of their dung.
How a Civet Coffee is made
At Mt. Apo Civet Coffee Farm, they feed the civet cats with coffee cherries then the stomach proteolytic enzymes of these animals seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. The fermented civet cats droppings are then collected. After which, they are washed to remove the impurities. Finally, the dungs are then dried and the silver skin residues removed. The low quality beans are discarded and the best ones are roasted. The finished products are then packed and sealed.
Unlike regular coffee beans, the coffee beans droppings from the civet cat yield a smooth aromatic chocolaty taste coffee with much less bitterness than regular coffee. Civet coffee costs around Php 950 for 200 grams and Php300 per 200 gram for Altura Coffee which they also sell. These coffees are also sold at Davao Crocodile Park and souvenir shops at Davao International Airport.
Other Reasons to Visit Kapatagan
Mt. Apo Highland Resort is also located a few meters away from Mt. Apo Civet Coffee Farm in Kapatagan, Davao del Sur. It boasts of 25 things to do like boating, fishing, and camping, trekking, off-road riding, visiting Lake Rosario, the T’boli village, and swimming at the Virgin Falls among others.
Zip line at Camp Sabros is also a popular adventure destination here. You will also love the Kublai Art Garden which is owned by the artist Kublai Millan. This charming place has various sculptures, art pieces and the eccentric Agong House.
(Gael Hilotin is a female solo traveler currently traveling around the Philippines. Follow her adventures at The Pinay Solo Backpacker).