n Septembers 2015's Hawaiian coffee subscription, coffee club members received Lucky Laulima's Puna coffee -- an exquisitely pampered Hawaiian coffee from a neighboring farm.
One of our favorite things is experiencing the diversity of life. Another is sharing those experiences with people. As we’ve learned, Hawaiian coffees can taste dramatically different from one farm to the next, even if they’re geographically close.
This month’s special Hawaiian coffee -- Lucky Laulima’s -- comes from our friend Mark, whose farm is about two and a half miles down the road from us. He and his partner Shelley moved here from Portland, Oregon in August of 2010, pretty much the same time as we did. We first met late in 2010, when they stopped by our place inquiring about coffee processing services. After talking story standing in our driveway for a while, the coincidence of our circumstances established a bond, and we’ve remained friends ever since. We’ve also talked a lot about coffee. It’s been fun and often times helpful to share the farmer’s journey; experimenting, investigating, gaining insights from each other’s perspectives over the years.
(Photos taken by to Shelley Tallarigo)
Mark’s farm is a beautifully manicured 2-acre homestead. In the past five years, he’s transformed the property from a simple ranch-style home with a few hundred coffee shrubs to a lush garden of edibles and 800 vibrant coffee trees. As a result of his attentive and meticulous care, Mark’s coffee is pretty damn good. He harvests ripe red cherry, utilizes the same Kenya-style of processing as we do, and properly dries and stores the parchment.
This year, we wanted to share his coffee with you in hopes of highlighting what a few miles can do to alter your experience in the cup. Apart from a few miles of distance, the only other major difference between our farms is varietal composition -- Mark has a higher percentage of Typica than we do ( we have much less than 5%. ) And, of course, our farming practices differ. While we’re similar in approach, we often implement different methods to suit our needs and personalities: he uses mulch, we use sheep (etc).
Five days a week you’ll find him selling coffee roadside, under a tarp with a big sign reading “PUNA COFFEE: FREE SAMPLES”. He sells his coffee under the label Lucky Laulima’s” -- lucky because of the opportunity he was given to move to Hawai’i and laulima meaning “many hands working together,” because we mill, grade and roast for him throughout the year. It’s the only way to find his coffee. Limited supply and unavailable online. It seems like a worthy excuse to visit the Big Island!
This year, Mark’s coffee is full with meaty dark fruit tones, black tea, nuts and woodsey spice. On the cupping table, it’s a pretty stark contrast to our coffee, which possesses more floral and sweet characteristics. However, one thing is distinct about both of these coffees thanks to terroir: minerality. A characteristic imparted by the mineral-rich pahoehoe.
We know you'll enjoy it. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Cheers and Aloha!
Brandon & Kelleigh (+ Mark & Shelley)
Big Island Coffee Roasters