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Tasting Hawaii: Notes on our 2016/17 line of Hawaiian coffees

Each season we taste several dozen lots to select the best coffees that we've cupped from that region, that year. And this year we thought you'd enjoy knowing the background of each coffee we're offering.
Tasting district Hawaiian coffee

How we became Hawaii coffee farmers, and how you can too

The number one question we get asked is how we got started farming coffee in Hawaii. So here it is: the cost of the farm, what it was like in the beginning, the challenges we faced, and where we are now. Plus 6 tips to get you started, too.

Decoding Hawaiian Coffee, from Fancy to Prime

The grading standards for Hawaiian Coffee are almost as confusing to coffee growers as they are to coffee buyers. In this article we'll simplify and answer common questions regarding the grading classifications for Hawaiian coffee as of 2016. So whether you’re purchasing green wholesale Hawaiian coffee for your company, or you’re a #coffeelover interested to learn, this article is for you.

Coffee Blossom Tea

For just a few short days the farm fills with an intoxicating perfume of jasmine, and we have a limited window to quickly & carefully harvest the delicate flowers for coffee blossom tea.

Hawaiian Coffee: The State of the Blend | PART 2

Under what circumstances will Hawai’i allow the use of its name and branding power on a bag of coffee? The answer is up to you.
Deceptive Labeling

How to Use a French Press

Much like a broom or machete, the french press is simple & timelessly designed. Needn't of extensive improvements - only minor direction to the operator. That's why we've made this video! A practical approach to french press coffee preparation without all the pretense.

The Natural Process: Puna Coffee

Last month members of our Wild Coffee Lovers Club received something we were quite excited about: naturally processed Puna coffee! In some countries the natural process is common - usually those with water shortages - but in our wet climate it's risky, laborious & challenging.

Coffee, Chemicals & You

While we don't choose to use conventional pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides on our coffee, we profoundly understand why one would. When a farmer is deciding on how to resist a fungus or a pest, making the wrong choice can literally cost a farmer his/her livelihood.

Growing Hawaiian Coffee in the Wild, Wild West

It's the Hawaii tourist brochures won’t show you. Known best for it's molten lava, and certainly not it's Hawaiian coffee. This is the wild West. This is Puna.
Sorting Hawaiian Coffee - Puna

Hawaiian Pink Bourbon!

The Grand Champion of the 2013 Hawaii Statewide Cupping Competition: Puna Pink Bourbon!

This post is from a series of letters sent to members of our Hawaiian Coffee Lovers Subscription.
Hawaiian Pink Bourbon Coffee

Lucky Laulima’s Puna Coffee

As we’ve learned, coffees can taste dramatically different from one farm to the next, even if they’re geographically close. This month’s coffee -- Lucky Laulima’s -- comes from our friend Mark, whose farm is about two and a half miles down the road from us. Mark’s coffee is full with meaty dark fruit tones, black tea, nuts and woodsey spice, and on the cupping table, it’s a pretty stark contrast to our coffee.

This post is from a series of letters sent to members of our Hawaiian Coffee Lovers Subscription.
Lucky Laulima Puna Coffee

And the winner is… “Accidental Coffee Farm”

Each month we share new Hawaiian coffees with our Wild Coffee Lovers club members. On this month members enjoyed an elegant Puna coffee few have tried, and not found outside of this club: "Accidental Coffee Farm".
This post captures the backstory.
Accidental Hawaiian Coffee Farm

It’s our Anniversary!

One Day Only: Free shipping on Hawaiian coffees, free gifts and more! Celebrate with us, and take a look behind the scenes of five years farming, roasting, growing, and going from cherry to cup.

Ka’u Coffee: History, Tasting Notes & Terroir

Welcome to Ka'u: Deep, rich soil, morning sun, afternoon clouds and rain define this pocket of land. The coffee seems to really enjoy it, too. Let us introduce you to the farmers, the geography and the tasting notes of Ka'u coffee.

Drip Brewer Buying Guide

Shopping for a new drip brewer? There are hundreds you shouldn't buy, but only a few you should.

A Visual Coffee Guide

Through "coffee clouds" we explore the regional traits of Hawaiian coffees. It turns out, they're quite distinct; and we can guess what you'd like based on your preference for nuts, chocolate, pastries, or fruit.

Puna has a Lava Problem


Living on the slopes of an active volcano, we know it's a possibility. Nature does what it does, and we clear the way. It's not as surprising as it is heartbreaking and breathtaking...

Holiday Givings

We're donating to a valuable non-profit organization, and we'd love your help with choosing one. Have a minute? Leave us your input. We'll even let you take a dive into a bathtub full of ripe coffee cherry! (a.k.a. "Fountain of Youth", pictured right.)

Celebrate with us

It's Big Island Coffee Roaster's anniversary, and you know what that means: you get something for free!

Is your Hawaiian Coffee Organic?

Too often we hear producers claim their Hawaiian coffee is organic, when we know that it's not. In fact, very few Hawaiian coffee farms are organic, and it comes as no surprise that terms like "organic coffee" and "shade grown" can significantly boost sales.

In this post we plainly describe our current farming practices and provide stories about our experiences.

Hawaii: Brands of Excellence

Yes, the brand of excellence! And also the brands of counterfeit Hawaiian blends, exploitation, and deceptive labeling.
brands, blends

2014 Fresh Crop List: Ka’u Coffee

With a new year come fresh crops and new coffees - and we have some delicious Ka'u lots lined up for 2014.

2014 Fresh Crop List: Puna Coffee

I have a secret. It's a test run we've been trialing on a small bag of Puna coffee. We're often researching, testing, and tasting things, but this little investigation has been particularly exquisite.

How Does Rain Affect Coffee?

A few weeks ago we received a good question about how rainfall affects coffee production, quality, and growth. For Puna coffee lovers, it's a pertinent question. This blog is a part of the Because You Asked series.

What makes “the best” Hawaiian coffee different?

Let’s say we have two Hawaiian coffees of the same coffee varietal, the same region, and harvested on the same day. Blindfolded, you taste them both. What separates the mediocre from the extraordinary?

Grand Champion? We Won? We Won!

August, 2013. Yes, our coffee earned the top score as Grand Champion for the state of Hawaii. I know it can sound a bit surprising because we’re very small and Puna coffee hadn't received much press before. Actually, it was a […]

Coffee Review: 94 for Honeyed Yellow Caturra

Kenneth Davids for Coffee Review: “Elegant flower-bomb. Exhilarating, refreshing meadow flowers, roasted cacao nib, almond in aroma and cup. Delicate, balanced structure. Soft but lively acidity; smooth, plush mouthfeel. Gently but decisively flavor-saturated finish…A unique and precious profile, breezy and […]

HYC Coffee Review


Waikiki, Honolulu, Manoa, Kaimuki, International airports

Big Island
Kona, Hilo, Hawi, International airports

Maui and Kauai
Paia, Kihei, Kapaa

Where to Buy

Big Island Coffee

12 Best Coffee Roasters in the USA: #2 Big Island Coffee Roasters | Forbes

World’s Best Hotel Coffee is at Four Seasons Hualalai | Forbes

Coors Banquet Beer & UPROXX presents HUMAN: Brandon Damitz, Coffee Farmer a mini documentary

Big Island Coffee Roasters Win Big! | Big Island News Now

HCA Crowns Champions of Hawaii Coffee: Big Island Coffee Roasters Hawaii State Cupping Competition

Hawaii’s Favorite Artisan Beverage | Edible Hawaii, Local Heroes Awards

Best Roaster in Hawaii | Best Roasters in all 50 States

A Look at the Young & the Caffeinated in Hawaii | Honolulu Magazine

Rareified Roasts Proudly Take Their Place. | San Francisco Chronicle

Top 30 of 2013: Honeyed Yellow Caturra | Coffee Review

2013 Hawaii Senate Certificate | Raising the Bar on East Hawaii Coffee Quality