This exceptional coffee from a high elevation farm in Ka'u is the very definition of specialty Hawaiian coffee. Meet the passionate couple, driven to produce it: Alla and Rus.
We met Alla in Pahoa at Makuu Farmers Market back in 2014, and from the very beginning, she overflowed with passion for specialty coffee and artisanal agriculture. Eager to grow and excited to learn, she sought work on the farm side of the Hawaii coffee industry. And then she found the ideal opportunity.
A retired and remote farm-owner who we knew fairly well - Dennis - was looking to sell his coffee farm. It sits in the heart of a majestic area called Wood Valley in Ka'u at 2300' feet. Instead of selling his farm, he let Alla and Rus take over.
Sunny mornings and misty afternoons... the setting is almost too romantic.
Alla, Rus, and Dennis spent the past three years doing much of what we did our first years in Puna: pruning the trees, fertilizing, pulling weeds, rehabilitating the field day by day. Simultaneously, they've been harvesting and processing coffee, experimenting, and testing ways to improve quality.
We've tasted this lot throughout the years and, while it's been very good, this season's crop is at another level: intensely fragrant, juicy, ripe, and sweet.
And so to do this great Ka'u coffee justice, and as is our practice when we bring in new Hawaiian coffees, we've carefully designed the roast profile (recipe) to reveal the exotic, inherent, and ripe hidden flavors. Freshly milled and then roasted, we cupped 10 different roast profiles before selecting our favorites. And that is what we're now offering here.
At a light-to-medium roast we get tasting notes of rose, pear, honey, and hazelnut. At darker roast levels our employees exclaim that it tastes just like a fudge and nut brownie. Notes of mocha, dense fudge, roasted hazelnut butter, and juniper.
Alla and Rus have showered their coffee with love and attention to detail, from beginning to end, and it clearly shows in the cup. One could say this delightful Ka'u coffee is the culmination of six years of anticipation and passion, and three years of preparation and work.
Quite honestly, it's among the best Ka'u coffees we've had the pleasure to serve.
For home roasters, Wood Valley Single Estate is available as a green coffee bean here.