Odette has been buying her coffee directly from the farmers in Benguet, which serves two good purposes. First, it means we're getting coffee that's been selected first-hand by the seller, and it's all from a single source, so the beans have that signature flavor and aroma of a particular geographical location. Second, it's good for the impoverished farmers of the Cordillera, as they're selling not to a middleman who'll give them lower prices, but direct to the retailer. The third benefit, says Odette, is that she gets to roast each batch herself, applying her personal tastes as needed to bring out the best in the beans. The coffee it makes is indeed very fragrant; this is one of the coffees I can take without sugar at all. It was good by itself, but it was my wife who made it even better.
Cat's just arrived from Davao, bringing with her some of my favorite desserts -- namely, Linda's signature durian pastillas. As I've a perennial hankering for Blugre Cafe's durian cappuccino, Cat told me to try dissolving some of the pastillas in our coffee in lieu of cream and sugar. Hallelujah! The aroma of the pure Arabica coffee blended beautifully with the pungence of durian, and with five pastillas per mug, I got a perfect blend of creaminess and sweetness. I'm now thinking of doing the same again, but this time with iced coffee and maybe even more pastillas, maybe some vanilla ice cream as well, and whizzing it all to frothiness in a blender.
Benguet coffee, Davao durian -- never have the north and south of the Philippines come together so well!
Odette Wallace can be reached at 0916.382.1402. Linda's Durian Special Candies is available at No. 26 San Antonio Village, Matina, Davao City or at her new branch at Quirino Avenue, Davao City. Her contact number is (082) 298-0404