Mt. Manabu: Exotic Brews

mt manabu

Mountains and coffee. What could be better brew?

After our sweat-free climb at Mt. Maculot rockies, Travel Tipid did a sidetrip specifically to taste “the rarest and most expensive coffee in the world”. At Sto. Tomas, Batangas was where we headed after, to the jumpoff point of Mt. Manabu.

mt manabu

Find the Brewery at Mt. Manabu

Do not even ask about the climb to Mt. Manabu, because it was a mere walk in the… forest. Pretty soon, without stopping to catch our breaths, we reached the famed Station 5 where the exotic drink is being brewed.

Civet Coffee is made from the excrement of civet cats (musang in Tagalog), which feeds on the coffee cherries found in Mt. Manabu. The civet’s digestive mechanism improves the taste of the beans which are then ground and roasted into the famous brew.

The coffee is called many names: kape motit in the Cordillera region, kape alamid in Tagalog, kape melo/kape musang in Mindanao, kopi luwak in Indonesia, kafe-laku in East Timor, cà phê Chồn (“weasel coffee”) in Vietnam.

mt manabu

Free Taste Coffee

A thermos of kape alamid is given away for free to mountaineers of Mt. Manabu. Three cups did it for me, but only because I’d hate to be gluttonous. T’was SO good. Loved the clear, distinct taste and strong aroma of the coffee.

Tatay also sells packs of kape alamid for only P100, which is peanuts compared to its market price. You will never see the coffee sold for this cheap. And it’s found right in the middle of the forest of Mt. Manabu!

Unfortunately, drinking civet coffee has been discouraged because of caging of wild civet cats. Whereas the musang was first considered a pest that feeds on crops, they are now valuable because of the high demand for civet coffee in the Western market.

mt manabu

Since it was getting dark, we abandoned our plans of going to the peak of Mt. Manabu and instead enjoyed more cups of coffee and conversation with our fellow climbers.

Because it combined two things I love — mountain climbing and coffee — this short trek to Mt. Manabu is one of my favorites. Still, civet cagers should really keep this in mind:

mt manabu
I hope you can taste the kape alamid for yourself, preferrably up at Mt. Manabu. Next time, I promise to finish the entire climb! (UPDATE: I returned and I finished!)


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  • Reply
    mumwrites (@vixquips)
    October 4, 2014 at 5:10 AM

    mountain climbing is something i always wanted to try. add coffee into the mix + i cannot wait to go. i do hope i try to climb this mountain + taste this world-famous brew one day soon!

  • Reply
    Jhoanna Tacorda
    September 23, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    You always have great photos and travels. I wish I had the time and money (hehe) to travel too!:) I did not try civet coffee when we were in Sagada, parang di ko maatim hehe

  • Reply
    Janice / The Roller Coaster Ride
    September 22, 2014 at 1:43 AM

    I’ve tried civet coffee before, back when I was still working with the Phil. Coffee Board. You’re right, it’s very expensive in the market and the demand is very high.

  • Reply
    September 16, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    I wanna try the alamid coffee also! A big offee lover here! 🙂

  • Reply
    Que Sullano - Gavan
    September 16, 2014 at 3:45 AM

    have not tried tha alamid coffee. though I’m not a coffee drinker, I want to taste (a little of it)

  • Reply
    leirs (@leirs)
    September 15, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    I have not tried Civet yet but looking at your photos it is a must try indeed.

  • Reply
    May De Jesus-Palacpac
    September 13, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    Ohmigoodness! Now that I know what Civet Coffee is, I’m never going to try it, haha. I’m coffee addict but I’m not that adventurous with food and coffee. 😀

  • Reply
    Mr. Jacob's Mom (@MrJacobsMom)
    September 13, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    Read about that kind of coffee before, but I’m not too inclined to try it out! Mag-water na lang ako 😀

  • Reply
    September 13, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    I would love to taste this as it seems tasty.

  • Reply
    Aisha Kristine Chong
    September 13, 2014 at 7:10 AM

    Wow. I am sure that is yummier. I wish to visit the place too.

  • Reply
    Manu Kalia
    September 13, 2014 at 3:22 AM

    Just when I read this I made coffee from a fresh coffee bean. Mt. Manabu would be a great place to visit.

  • Reply
    September 12, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    trekking has been my greatest weakness ever since. I hate the idea of walking and hiking. anyhow, it was great seeing civet, right? i am just hoping that they will release the animal instead of caging it.

  • Reply
    September 12, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    adventure! i want to taste this coffee , i think pagbalik nmin ng pinas.. not sure kung kaya ko akyatin lahat lol.

  • Reply
    Franc Ramon
    September 12, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    I’ve tried the civet coffee and it’s really good on the tummy. It would be nice to have it in this environment though.

  • Reply
    Fernando Ceballos Lachica
    September 12, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    I never tasted this coffee but I read it before. I think, somebody discovered it through the lack of fresh coffee beans?…just joking..maybe someday, I’ll try this kind of coffee.

  • Reply
    September 12, 2014 at 5:46 AM

    I would love to try the coffee too but quite disappointed with the procedure how the coffee is being done, the wild civet cats deserves a better treatment than that. I hope theres a better way.

  • Reply
    September 12, 2014 at 4:52 AM

    nice! may wild musang pa bang nakikita sa Mt. Manabu?

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