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Ka‘u scores big at Hawaii Coffee Association conference

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Contributing Editor

Ka‘u farms picked up two of the top five ribbons at the Hawaii Coffee Association’s second annual cupping competition.

Rusty’s Hawaiian of Ka‘u earned the highest praise from judges after four rounds of cupping. Using the same scoring criteria they would use with any coffee in any locale, the three-judge panel awarded a very high 91.1 rating to Rusty’s Hawaiian.

Kupaa Farm of Maui placed second with a rating of 89.65 and Paradise Meadows of Ka‘u was third with 89.2. The top Kona coffee – Kuaiwi Farm – came in fourth.

Two more Ka‘u coffees made the top 10 and the other four were coffees from Kona.

The overall top 10

* 91.10 Rusty’s Hawaiian, Ka’u
* 89.65 Kupaa Farm, Maui
* 89.20 Paradise Meadows, Ka’u
* 88.85 Kuaiwi Farm, Kona
* 88.30 Kehau Coffee farm, Ka’u
* 88.25 KonaWaena Farms, Kona
* 87.80 Mauka Meadows, Kona
* 87.80 Moki’s Farm, Kona
* 86.65 Arianna Farms Ono Kona Coffee, Kona
* 86.25 Ka’u Coffee Growers Coop, Ka’u

District winners:

* Hamakua: Hawaiian White Mountain
* Ka‘u: Rusty’s Hawaiian
* Kauai: MoLoaa Bay Coffee
* Kona: Kuaiwi Farm
* Maui: Kupaa Farms
* Molokai: Coffees of Hawaii
* Oahu: Manoa Valley Farms
* Puna: Manny’s Brew Coffee Farm

Lorie Obra of Rusty’s Hawaiian accepted the coveted HCA award presented Sandra Lee Kunimoto, chairwoman of the Board of Agriculture.

Obra said, “This is for the legacy of my late husband, Rusty. It is dream of mine, of his, for Ka’u to be up there with the elite coffees of the world. This is not just a victory for Rusty’s, this is victory for all of Ka’u, for the HCA and all of Hawaii”

Earlier this month, Obra was recognized for her industry contributions with the 2010 Outstanding Producer Award by the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe.

“This is good for our industry,” said HCA president Tom Greenwell. “This will make us all work harder, which will raise the bar for Hawaiian coffee.”

“What Ka’u is doing is an example, a bright spot,” Kunimoto said.

Kona’s district winner was Kuaiwi Farm.

Una Greenway, operator of the 5-acre organic farm said, “I attribute the quality of our coffee to our micro-climate, organic practices, hard work and attention to detail that my husband Leon Rosner gives to every step in the production.”

Judges said the top 10 coffees easily stood out when they first tasted the 67 entries. They re-roasted the top 27 entries, then top 15 and finally narrowed it down to the top 10.

“It was extremely difficult to rank the top ten”, said panel member Paul Thornton of Coffee Bean International located in Portland, Oregon. “All are exceptionally good coffees.”

Judges said Hawaii has world class coffees and noted the quality across the state is on the way up. They said the top 27 coffees this year were every bit as good as the top 15 last year.

Coffee cupping is a combination of art and science where coffees are evaluated and scored based on subtle characteristics including, flavor, aroma, ‘mouth-feel’, acidity, sweetness and aftertaste.

The competition was open to all coffees grown 100% in the Hawaiian Islands and certified by origin by the state Department of Agriculture.

At last year’s inaugural cupping contest, Onouli Farm of Kona was awarded top honors.

The cupping competition was a highlight of the association’s 15th Annual Conference & Trade Show at the Sheraton Keauhou Beach Resort.

The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawaii coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers. The HCA’s primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees. A major component of HCA’s work is the continuing education of members and consumers. This annual conference has continued to grow each year and has gained increased international attention.

— Find out more:
Hawaii Coffee Association:
Rusty’s Hawaiian:

2 Responses to “Ka‘u scores big at Hawaii Coffee Association conference”

  1. Don P. says:

    is there no video of the Staewide Top 10?


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