Drink

A Serious Review of Pacquiao Coffee

Does Pacquiao Coffee pack a punch?
IMAGE Mario Alvaro Limos
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We have so many questions about Pacquiao Coffee's existence, but we will lay them aside and wear a coffee connoisseur's hat as we sip Senator and presidential aspirant Manny Pacquiao's malunggay coffee, his latest foray into the beverage industry.

What is Pacquiao Coffee? 

Pacquiao Coffee is a three-in-one instant coffee mix infused with malunggay (moringa) and other herbs. It is not carried in many supermarkets and grocery stores. In fact, I only found out about it during a random trip to MerryMart the other day, where they were selling 10 sachets of Pacquiao Coffee for P50.

Pacquiao Coffee 

Photo by Mario Alvaro Limos.

Pacquiao Coffee was launched in November 2020. In a post by Arnold Vegafria, a close associate of Manny Pacquiao, the coffee was described to deliver a “solid three-in-one knockout caffeine punch.”

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It comes in three variants: Original, Brown, and White. 

I know you’re not supposed to review instant three-in-one coffees like you would brewed coffees, but for the sake of curious palates, I am doing it with anyway. 

Pacquiao Coffee is manufactured by Orich, which supplies powdered and concentrated beverages to hotels and restaurants. 

Pacquiao Coffee Nutrition Facts and Manufacturer Information

Photo by Mario Alvaro Limos.
Photo by Mario Alvaro Limos.
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Pacquiao Coffee Original

It’s difficult to place the profile of Pacquiao Original when its sweetness, body, acidity, and finish fail to puncture the palate or even leave a significant aftertaste. 

The standout flavor is sweet, but even the sugar fails to highlight the flavor of barako, which this coffee claims to be. 

Pacquiao Original tastes very mild. In terms of body, Pacquiao Coffee is far from strong and has not kept me significantly awake in the afternoon. Boldness is also muted here, which could be a result of a light roast: I could not feel that this was a medium or medium-dark roast. 

There is a very slight hint of herbal in the coffee, barely noticeable, unlike in other herbal-infused brands like MX3

Pacquiao Coffee Brown

Compared to the Original variant, Pacquiao Coffee Brown tastes slightly bolder but still very mild. The brown sugar takes the spotlight in this variant, but it also slightly enhances the coffee flavor. 

Possibly because of the brown sugar, this variant imparts a very mild earthy note at first sip and finishes with a lingering sweetness on the surface of your tongue. 

It still does not taste like the classic barako, but I prefer this blend over the Original variant. I am still looking for that distinguishing dimension brought by acidity but it is barely perceivable in this variant. 

Pacquiao Coffee White

When drinking “white” variants, what you would typically expect is the unmistakable dominance of latte or cream in the flavor. That is not the case with Pacquiao Coffee White. 

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Compared with similar variants such as Great Taste White and Nescafe Creamy White, the Pacquiao Coffee White seems to lack that extra creaminess or dairy flavor. Nothing remarkable here except for the unusual note of herbal, which is slightly more apparent than the Brown variant since the sweetness does not hide that profile. 

The flavor profile is a bit similar to the Pacquiao Coffee Original. 

Pacquiao Coffee: Overall Verdict

The three variants of Pacquiao Coffee are overwhelmingly sweet. The sugar tends to overpower the coffee taste, but that’s something common in many three-in-one instant coffees. But what really stood out is the lack of boldness you would expect of kapeng barako.

“It’s not baaad,” I tentatively say to my brother. “But it’s not good either.”

“So, it’s still bad,” he replies.

Pacquiao Coffee Original, Brown, and White have quite similar flavor profiles. When you compare them side by side, you would notice that there is barely any difference in color and aroma. 

Pacquiao Coffee: Original, Brown, and White

Photo by Mario Alvaro Limos.
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Was I disappointed? 

Not really. For the price of P50 for 10 sachets, Pacquiao Coffee is one of the most affordable in the market. 

But to go as far as describing it as a “solid three-in-one knockout caffeine punch” is painfully debatable. If you’re looking for that classic barako flavor and boldness, I would say that Pacquiao Coffee is just not the right option.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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