December 2021’s Coffee Origin - Hawaii, USA
What is so special about Kona Coffee?
Well, for starters, it comes from one of the most beautiful places on the planet. You can have your coffee while literally watching a rainbow arching over a tropical rainforest, the Pacific Ocean or a Volcano... Yeah a freaking Volcano!!!
On a more coffee centric explanation, true Kona Coffee is grown in the Kona Coffee Belt on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa, the Big Island. The unique microclimate of sunny mornings, shady and often rainy afternoons (and of course rainbows), combined with volcanic soil and a decent altitude are ideal for slow growing coffee cherries.
The geographic area suitable for growing Kona Coffee is less than 50km long by 4km wide. Kona Coffee is handpicked by American Farmers and processed on the island. The limited supply, high cost of labour and the endless demand from tourists help to explain Kona Coffee's (especially highly graded beans) comparatively high price.
But Wait, I've Seen Kona Coffee at Bargain Prices!
Kona Coffee has become synonymous with quality and luxury. This has lead to countless counterfeit and marketing angles that use Kona in their name (Kona Style, Kona Roast, Kona Blend) to lure and entice the coffee curious. To truly be 100% Kona Coffee, it must be grown in the Kona Coffee Belt and meet the grading requirements defined by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. If you are buying "Kona Coffee" off island (even Prime Grade, the lowest specialty Kona grade) for under $45 per pound... let's just say... meh, who are we kidding, it's probably not 100% Kona Coffee!
This Month's Coffee Farm
Our coffee this month is 100% Kona Coffee, Fancy Grade from Greenwell Estate, Big Island, Hawaii. Greenwell Farm was founded in 1850 by Henry Nicholas Greenwell and has remained a family farm, now operated by his Great Grand Son, Thomas Greenwell. Their onsite processing facility allows them to control every aspect of production as well as offering a truly 100% single origin. If you happen to visit the Big Island, Greenwell Farms offers guided tours to the public that will show you every aspect of the coffee growing process, literally from seed to cup!
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - HAWIIAN KONA - FANCY
Region: Kona Coffee Belt
Growing Elevation: 1500+ feet
Process: Hand Picked - Fully washed
Flavour Profile and Notes: GO CUP YOURSELF and find out!
Compared to Origins we have cupped thus far, you may notice that the altitude is significantly lower on Kona Coffee. What Kona lacks in altitude is replaced by the slow growth microclimate conditions and fertile volcanic soil. That and family farmers who love to grow coffee and continue a tradition of excellence. This month's roast is on the light side of medium. This should offer you an accurate account of what to expect from a 100% Kona. If we went any lighter it may not have been an ideal everyday cup, while if we went any darker the flavours brought on by the roast would take over. Add to that the high cost per pound, the opportunity to roast a ton of samples simply wasn't an option. This light-medium 13 minute roast created a beautifully even colour and a wonderful cupping treat. this should make a great cup of coffee to share with guests over the holidays. With all that said, we ask, is it worth the high price and praise? You decide!
Once you have finished Cupping, click on the “EXPERT TASTED” tab for our tasting notes. Can’t wait to compare notes.
If you enjoyed this month's coffee and the Go Cup Yourself experience, please take a moment to review us on Facebook, Google, Yelp, Reddit, a bathroom stall door or anywhere you get your reviews