Our beginnings are found in four Tboli communities located in the lush, mountainous municipality of T’Boli, South Cotabato in the southern Philippines.
The Dream Coffee honors the farmers from T’Boli, the ancestral domain of the Tboli tribe who have a heritage of weaving sacred fabric inspired by dreams.
Wake up to the dream in your cup, we like to say. This dream is two-fold: to positively impact a growing number of 75 farmer-families and to produce coffee with dream-like taste.
We believe in purchase that makes an impact and taste that makes an impact.
Purchase that makes an impact.
We directly trade with coffee farmers from T’Boli, but we also move through more than just a trade.
Farmers receive training on harvest processes to better their bean yield and quality, and education on trading practices to improve and protect their bean selling. They are also supported with equipment and financing to make their harvest more efficient.
Taste that makes an impact.
We produce only 100% Single Estate, Single Origin Philippine Arabica.
Through intentional and mindful processing, every single premium Arabica bean in our bags is: shade-grown in a single estate from a single origin, organically produced, handpicked and harvested ripe, roasted in small batches, and traded directly and ethically with farmers.
We believe in—
The Philippines. Its people, its farmers, its coffee.
Giving life through the works of our hands,
Speaking life with the stories we tell.
Changing the world with dream-like coffee.
Taking the counterculture approach in all things—
Leading by serving,
Building strength with compassion,
Empowering with truth, and
Creating freely, fearlessly, radically.
Doing all things with purpose.
And waking up to live our dreams—
Always enduring until the day
Everyone gets to live theirs.
The Tribe and Communities
They are a people with a birthright to a place that shares their name.
The indigenous Tboli tribe—from the root words “tau bilil” that translates to “people who live in mountains”—are unique for having an ancestral domain that identifies with who they are. In South Cotabato, Mindanao in the southern Philippines, there is a mountainous municipality called T’Boli, where majority of the current population belong to the tribe. This is where your coffee is rooted and harvested.
To produce coffee with dream-like taste, The Dream Coffee works with 75 farmer-families across two barangays and four sitios in T’Boli: 20 families from Sitio Kleb in Barangay T’bolok, 18 families from Sitio Blo, 25 families from Sitio Datal Basag, and 12 families from Sitio Kule, with the latter three belonging to Barangay Salacafe. Our dream is to positively impact the lives of these families through coffee—with more families, sitios, and barangays hopefully following suit.
“Ang tribo na ito, mapagmahal.”
– Sanon Guidon, community facilitator, on what being Tboli means to him
Visit: Mt. Melibengoy & Lake Holon
Those who make the journey here find adventure, wonder, a new beginning, or a little bit of each.
The municipality of T’Boli is home to Mt. Melibengoy (also known as Mt. Parker) and the crater lake inside it called Lake Holon. Both are treated by the Tboli tribe as sacred, and upon reaching the summit of 1,430 MASL where Lake Holon can be viewed in all its glory, the vastness and immeasurable depth of the midnight blue water instills a sense of reverence from locals and tourists alike.
Even the hike through Mt. Melibengoy is, in itself, a sensorial experience. On your way up, nature will treat you to sky-reaching trees that look like they belong to the movie Avatar, a variety of flowers painted in bright oranges and deep pinks, plants bearing coffee cherries waiting to ripen, and wild strawberries you can freely pick and eat. After climbing for a good two hours, the breathtaking Lake Holon always welcomes you at the top, giving proof to the phrase: good things come to those who wait.
Though some tourists opt to make their way back after reaching the summit, some continue to head down to the lake’s campsite where you can have a dinner of freshly-caught tilapia and spend a peaceful night under the stars, devoid of the chaos and noise that comes with the city you momentarily left behind.
There are visitors who have gone here to see a side of the Philippines they have never before, to move on from a breakup, and even to propose marriage. Whatever your intention, a visit to this place allows you to discover at least one of these things we spend our lives searching for: beauty, identity, love.
How to get to Mt. Melibengoy & Lake Holon:
- Drive 1 hour, 30 minutes to the municipality of T’Boli from General Santos City
- Register at the T’Boli tourism office (entrance fee: P100/person, environment fee: P50/person)
- Take a habal-habal for 1 hour, 30 minutes with a tourist driver from T’Boli to either the Salacafe or Kule trailheads (P700 roundtrip)
- Hike two hours with a local tour guide to the Mt. Melibengoy summit to see Lake Holon (P450 to P600/guide for a group up to 10 people)
- If staying overnight, hike 1.5 hours down to the Lake Holon campsite
Boat ride: P50