Sometimes it’s easiest to explain things visually. In response to a question from our last post, here’s a visual guide of the journey that vertically integrated Hawaiian coffee takes in getting to your cup.
• COFFEE SEEDLINGS Aren't they cute?! These little Hawaiian coffee beans sprout a taproot to feed into the soil.
• COFFEE TREES FLOWERING After 3-5 years the coffee tree will blossom and the farm will smell like jasmine! Nearly all Hawaiian coffee is Arabica, which is self-pollinating, meaning it doesn’t need bees to produce coffee 🐝 . Most Kona coffee is a variety of Arabica called Kona Typica, but all over Hawaii coffee farmers grow varieties like Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, Geisha, etc. Hawaiian coffee also grows in different regions, like Ka'u, Maui, Puna, Hamakua etc.
• COFFEE FRUIT FORMATION The coffee cherry is a fruit that develops on the coffee tree (which is technically a shrub). Inside the coffee cherry is a seed that we call a coffee bean.
• COFFEE HARVEST This is our Puna coffee called Pink Bourbon. The cherries it develops are pink/orange, but most Hawaiian coffee develops red or yellow cherries.
• WASHED PARCHMENT Once the coffee is processed and fermented, it's in a protective shell called parchment. Vertically integrated Hawaiian coffee farms, like ours, can mill the parchment in small batches, which can further protect flavors and help to create the best Hawaiian coffee experience. In other words, we can mill and roast in small batches!
• ROASTING Roasting can be a complex and meticulous art form, where the smallest changes make a big impact on your experience: mouthfeel, flavor, acidity, aroma, etc. Because these Hawaiian coffees are meticulously cared for, we go to great lengths to find a roast profile that will allow the coffees to shine. The roast profile (aka roast recipe) will be defined, cupped, and approved, then each roast will be tracked and measured.
• BREWING We've babied the Hawaiian coffees up to here, and now it's up to you.
Brewing can be as simple or complex as you make it! We've made a guide to Professional Coffee Brewing at Home, as well as an email course on Hawaiian coffees. You can get it right here.