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Kaffe Belardo - The Cafe of Choice in the Coffee Capital of Cavite

The story of coffee is one of convergence; the convergence of the plants that make it for their survival and propagation and that of humans that discovered and fell in love with it over and over again. 

Coffee culture in the Philippines has taken a while to truly establish itself but now that it has, it is flourishing. The modern Filipino might equate the beginnings of the coffee culture in the country to the entry of Starbucks and other foreign coffee chains, but its origins go much further back than that. 

When the coffee bean borer infestation of the South American coffee plantations happened, the plantation owners desperately searched for other, yet to be contaminated countries, where they could grow their crop. That search led them to Asia where they began to cultivate coffee in the hills and mountains of Indonesia, Indochina and the Philippines.  

Coffee production has fallen off significantly in the Philippines since then but the love for the black beverage has not waned. The hills of Cavite were where coffee was actively cultivated, but sadly, demand for the local robusta variety waned and farmers shifted to other crops. One Cavite municipality that hasn't forgotten its roots in the bean is Amadeo. Situated adjacent to Silang and Tagaytay, Amadeo has rebranded itself as the coffee capital of the province of Cavite.

The influx of tourists to the Cavite highlands for the cool weather has triggered an explosion of restaurants and cafes, but only a few truly cater to the coffee cognoscenti. Kaffe Belardo just South of the Amadeo town proper is one such establishment.

It's a small unassuming cafe that roasts and sells locally sourced coffee. They sell varietals such as excelsa, robusta and liberica as well as their house blend called Masilao which is a blend of all the local beans. They also source arabica from Atok, Benguet and Mt. Kalamansig, but supply is limited, and these varietals aren't regulars on their shelves.  

The usual array of espresso beverages is available to patrons, but the more discriminating will know to ask for one of their hand-crafted coffees. On my last visit, I was fortunate to find a varietal called Las Flores Chiroso, a single-origin coffee that exuded flavors of dark fruit, citrus, mint and jasmine on the palate. Perfect for a mid-afternoon sip.

Established in 2010, Kaffe Belardo also offers a selection of pastas, sandwiches, pastries and a small breakfast menu for those looking for a snack or a light meal to accompany their preferred coffee beverage. Their success has spawned a number of cafes heading up on the road to Tagaytay, recalling the glory days of coffee in the province. 

Kaffe Belardo is located on Crisanto de los Reyes Avenue, Loma, Amadeo and is worth the 15-minute drive down from the Tagaytay Ridge if you want a really good cup of locally grown and roasted coffee.