Categorized | Agriculture, Featured

Kona RainForest Coffee wins 2012 coffee cupping competition

(Photo courtesy of Kona Coffee Cultural Festival)


Winners of the prestigious Kona Coffee Cupping Competition were announced by Kona Coffee Council, the event organizers, during the 42nd Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.

Kona RainForest Coffee won the coveted Kona Coffee Cupping Competition Classic Division, beating out more than forty other entries. Arianna Farms repeats its win in the Crown Competition for its third Kona Coffee Cupping award.

The Kona Coffee Cupping Competition is sponsored by UCC Ueshima Coffee Co., Ltd. and Kamehameha Schools.

The Kona Coffee Cupping Competition is Kona’s prestigious annual competition where coffee grown solely on farms in the district of Kona compete to see which Kona coffee farm has standout “Kona characteristics.”

Like the vineyards of France, every Kona coffee farm has faintly different characteristics and a unique personality carefully cultivated by the farm’s owner.

It was up to the internationally recognized panel of cupping judges to sniff, slurp and taste their way through the entries looking for this year’s cupping winner.

The Kona Coffee Cupping Competition was judged by Head Judge John King of Harold L. King and Co., Makoto Ikeda, UCC Ueshima Coffee Company (Japan), and Phil Maloney of Peet’s Coffee & Tea.

Kona RainForest Farm first planted its coffee trees in 1999 and in 2006, Robert and Dawn Barnes purchased the farm, and took on the hard work of growing organically, harvesting, milling and roasting their Kona coffee beans.

This 42-acre Kona coffee farm is USDA Certified Organic.

“Growing organic is hard work. Our farm is a working family operation. We are so happy and honored to be recognized with this win for all of the hard work it takes to successfully produce winning certified organic 100% Kona coffee,” Robert Barnes said.

Kona RainForest Farm has been a cup of choice at the White House, when in 2006 it was served at the National Governors Association dinner. While researching for a coffee story, freelance writer Joel Berliner, who has attended the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, noted that American farmers were not being recognized. He proceeded to send first Lady Laura Bush several pounds of various estate-grown coffees. The rest they say is history.

Kona RainForest coffee is also served at Morimoto Waikiki, brewed in French presses for lunch and dinner at this signature restaurant located in the Waikiki EDITION.

Arianna Farms Ono Kona Coffee once again captured the win in the 2012 crown competition. Arianna Farms is a lush 50-acre farm on the original Kona Coffee Belt along the historic Mamalahoa Highway. This is the third win for Arianna Farms.

Arianna Farms Ono Kona Coffee features three varietals including Kona Typica, Kona Typica II and the original Kona Typica varietal called ‘Old Hawaiian.’

These ‘Old Hawaiian’ trees are more than 80 years old, first discovered by the Wood family on their land buried inside deep shrubbery. They have kept the trees and now visitors to the farm can walk through the grove and see these beautiful grandparent trees with their huge, gnarled stumps.

“We love our farm and coffee so much, we named them after our beautiful daughter, Arianna. We thought Ono, Hawaiian for delicious was perfect as well,” said Sharon Wood. “We are all so happy to have won the 2012 Kona Coffee Cupping Crown Competition. The win validates our love and effort we put into the farm and coffee trees. We are grateful to our team and the Kona coffee community because it would not be the cup of coffee it is without them.”

(Photo courtesy of Kona Coffee Cultural Festival)

Crown Competition First Place Winners

2012 Arianna Farms Ono Kona Coffee
2011 Arianna Farms Ono Kona Coffee
2009 Kona Coffee & Tea Company
2008 Kowali Farms
2007 Arianna Farms Ono Kona Coffee

Kona Coffee Cupping Hall of Fame

2012 Kona RainForest Farm
2011 Kainaliu Kona Coffee Company
2010 Buddha’s Cup
2009 Wolf Farms
2008 Hoshide Farms
2007 Kona Old Style/Kuahiwi Farm
2006 Pearl Estate Organics
2005 Rancho Aloha
2004 Lafayette Coffee
2003 Kona Coffee & Tea Company
2002 Koa Coffee Plantation
2001 Wood Captain Cook Estate
2000 The Other Farm
1999 Dragon Roast Coffee
1998 Brockston Gate Estate
1997 Terry Fitzgerald Estate
1996 Keokea Kona Farm
1995 Kona Kulana Farms
1994 Perry Estate Farms
1993 Keopu Mauka Lani Plantation
1992 Kona Kulana Farms
1991 Wailapa Farms
1990 Island Girl Coffee
1989 Wailapa Farms
1988 Faye Takashiba
1987 Tojiro Motokia

The award-winning Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is recognized as the oldest and one of the most successful food festivals in Hawaii.

The 2012 Festival, Nov. 2-11, includes 10 days of events that promote Hawaii’s unique culture and diversity and supports the Festival’s mission to preserve, perpetuate and promote Kona’s unique coffee heritage.

The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is supported as a ‘Major Festival’ by Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) and is made possible through the support of UCC Ueshima Coffee Co., Ltd., Kamehameha Schools, Alaska Airlines, Kamehameha Investment Corporation, KTA Super Stores.

The festival is further supported by Kawakami Family of Captain Cook Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, West Hawaii Today, and numerous other corporate and community donors.

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(Photo courtesy of Kona Coffee Cultural Festival)

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