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 our club: "Accidental Coffee Farm".
This post captures the backstory.
October 2015: "Accidental Coffee Farm"
Grown at 2000' feet in Glenwood, Hawai'i, 2015 Hawai'i District Winner
6th place in the Hawaii Statewide Cupping Competition.
This month you’ll be enjoying an east Hawaii coffee few have tried. Although the farmer (Ron) has plenty of trees and enough coffee to sell, he instead chooses to use his excellent coffee to earn favors with important people in his life -- like his cardiologist.
Recently his lovely Puna coffee received 1st place in the Hawaii District for the Hawaii Coffee Associations Statewide Cupping Competition, and an enviable 6th overall in the state of Hawaii (of approx 100 entries).
Ron, a former Brooklyn CFO in his late 60's, lives alone in a small rusted home in Glenwood on the eastern slope of Kilauea with his entourage of rescued cats and dogs. His coffee farm relaxes him and keeps his blood pressure low. We’ve been very close friends with him for several years.
Since 2013 we’ve helped around his farm and together we transformed his coffee trees into deep, green bushes of cherry. And after each harvest, he grabs a 6-pack and drives his coffee cherries to our farm for pulping, washing, and drying. Then we relax on our porch and complain about politics.
While the annual Hawaii Statewide Cupping Competition was nearing this year, we learned that few farmers had submitted entries to the competition and the deadline was approaching fast. We took the opportunity to pressure Ron, who'd never participated, to enter his coffee.
Convincing Ron was easy: we had helped him harvest, pulp, and process his coffee using practices that yield high-quality results. Once the coffee had sufficiently dried on our racks, we monitored, stored, and protected it from the extremely wet conditions in Puna. When the time came, we helped him complete his competition paperwork, filling in all information but his signature and farm name.
As we all sat together over beers, helping Ron to fill out his entry form, we realized he'd never given his farm a name. Passing the paperwork over to him, he thought for a second and scribbled “ACCIDENTAL COFFEE FARM” not thinking he would win, and then signed his name.
A few months later Ron's micro-lot won first place in the Hawaii District and 6th overall. And now his quirky farm name is sealed and engraved. Ha!
There are a precious few people who would care to farm coffee - or anything at all - in this chronically overcast, rain-saturated, sandy-soiled, rusty mountain town called Glenwood. At 2000 feet, it’s a place where the days are cool and the evenings are cold. Not typically the way we think about Hawaii. Yet it’s precise because of these reasons that Glenwood coffee grows dense with flavors and characteristics that taste completely unlike the classic Hawaiian coffee profile.
To bring out the heavier body, masculine & mineral-laden characteristics, we’ve roasted the coffee to the slightly darker level of medium. You might also taste chocolate, dry red wine, spice, and as it cools, pine.
This Puna coffee tastes great with steamed milk, and we suspect would make an excellent Toddy or Filtron cold brew.