Coffee Story: Ka'u Natural Process, The Brandy of Coffee
This August we're featuring a unique, jammy, and fruit-forward Hawaiian coffee called Ka'u Cloud Natural produced by Silver Cloud Coffee Farm, whose washed coffee won 1st place in the Ka'u District in 2018!
Natural processed coffees are harvested and then dried fully intact as a whole fruit. What results is a deeply fruited, full-bodied, exotic coffee experience that we liken to the brandy of coffee.
Meet the heartfelt farmer and founder, Miles Mayne. Like many of us, Miles was called to coffee. His poetic love for what coffee represents goes back to his childhood and may be stronger than the awards his coffees bring...
"Coffee is a part of who I am. It runs through my veins. I was born into a marginal farming family but always dreamt of a brighter future. The future was inspired by my father’s small coffee and cardamom estate in the Western Ghats of India, where every morning as a child I awoke to the aroma of coffee...
Farming as a career was discouraged as there was just no money to be made in farming. When I retired, I knew it was time to go back to my first passion – coffee brings my heart home."
Over the past 6 years, Miles and his wife Shantha have converted a 22-acre flower farm they bought after retirement into a lush, vertically-integrated Hawaiian Ka'u coffee farm with 12 acres planted to 6,500 coffee trees -- typica, caturra, catuai, yellow caturra, and a handful of maragogipe.
"... when the air temperature drops to the dew point, the colder air drains into the valley in the form of a silver mist. This was my inspiration in naming the farm “Silver Cloud”. When this happens, the mist forms a delicate drapery over the farm with all the coffee trees looking like sentinels floating above the mist. It is an amazing experience, that makes your soul sing".
We're delighted to feature Silver Cloud's natural process Ka'u coffee in our Wild Coffee Lovers Club for the month of August.
Specialty-grade natural coffees are uncommon in Hawaii because they demand long term care and attention to detail. If the weather is cool or the coffee cherry takes too long to dry, the fruit sugars might ferment and sour the coffee; yet if it's dried too quickly, the brewed coffee may taste woody and the green coffee has a reduced shelf life. In dry countries like Africa, natural processed coffees are more common and less risky. But in Hawaii's moist climate they're costly, risky, and difficult to produce. Hence the relative rarity.
We're thrilled to share Ka'u Cloud Natural with members of our Hawaiian coffee club this month! Members of the Cuppers, Explorers, and Roasters Club will also receive a washed process Ka'u coffee to compare the natural process with.
Tasting notes include chocolate-covered strawberries, red apple, sandalwood, leather, red wine, lavender.**
** Each roast level will have its own tasting notes. For instance, a dark roast will be heavier on the chocolate and leather, and light roasts will exhibit more berry and lavender. But the base notes will be similar to those listed above.