Human Series: Brandon Damitz | Coffee Farmer
Our story, as told by UPROXX & Coors Banquet Beer
Over 1 million views and over 2000 shares.
What if you found your calling on Craigslist? Meet the coffee farmer whose life was turned upside down by a random listing.
Hawaii Tribune Herald
Hawaii Tribune Herald.
"The Coffee Quality Institute recently licensed Stewart as an Arabica coffee Q grader... Licensed Q graders are qualified to judge cupping competitions worldwide and classify a coffee as specialty or commercial with specialty grade being among the highest quality in the world.
... Stewart was also recently was named as one of Pacific Business News’ Top 40 Under 40. Chris Manfredi, Hawaii Farm Bureau past president, praised Stewart as “the best of her generation.”
The San Fransisco Chronicle
By Kim Westerman
"As owners of Big Island Coffee Roasters, they have brought innovative approaches to varieties and processing to their beans as well as those of other local growers who meet their high standards....
"Hualalai Trading Co., on Kona’s luxurious Hualalai resort, features their roasts exclusively, with special experiences for connoisseurs who want to delve deeper"
Kikaha Magazine by Island Air
Text by Martha Cheng; Images by John Hook.
"Big Island Coffee Roasters is in Puna, where the pavement between the volcano and the ocean struggle to contain the lush jungle. This region is on the opposite side of Hawaii from Kona... before [they] debuted, few considered the coffee grown here any good, if they had even heard of it...
"What we learned is that specialty coffee is a process." Stewart says. "It's not Kona, it's not Geisha, it's not Arabica. It's the way coffee is handled from harvest to cup."
Four Seasons Press Room
A collaboration between the Four Seasons Resort, Big Island Coffee Roasters, and Kona Earth.
"Four Seasons Resort Hualalai announces a one-of-a-kind coffee farm and tasting experience at the Five Star, Five Diamond Kona resort.
In partnership with Kona Earth and Big Island Coffee Roasters, the experience offers guests access to a boutique Kona coffee farm followed by a coffee tasting and pastry pairing...”
A CREAweb review of the Farm to Cup Coffee Experience at the Four Seasons Hualalai featuring Big Island Coffee Roasters and Kona Earth.
Pacific Business News
June 2017. Awarded by Pacific Business News at the Four Seasons Resort Ko'olina
"...she and her husband have [built] a stronger specialty coffee industry for all Hawaiian coffees...
April 12, 2016. Hosted & published by Valerian Hrala.
".. In these two episodes [they] tell their fascinating story starting a farm and roasting company in Hawaii...
As always, I extract wisdom about their branding, website, Instagram... how to roast Hawaiian coffee and, finally, how to purchase a coffee roasting company."
Daily Coffee News
April 5, 2016. Published by Roast Magazine's Nick Brown.
"The Ramsey, Minnesota company made famous for its boutique, direct-to-consumer sales and extraordinary quality has new ownership based in the Rainbow State. Three coffee farmers from Hawaii have purchased the company..."
A look at the young and caffeinated in Hawaii. By Martha Cheng.
" While established farmers like Tom Greenwell, a fourth-generation Kona farmer, process upward of a million pounds of coffee on the opposite side of the Big Island, Stewart and von Damitz were starting from scratch. They turned to YouTube. "
From across the globe, London-based men's lifestyle magazine "The Coolector" reviewed our carefully crafted Hawaiian coffees.
" Hawaii is perhaps not best known for the quality of its coffee (or, at least, not to us here at Coolector HQ) but our opinions about this may well be set to change now that we’ve stumbled across this incredible concoction that goes by the name of Big Island Coffee Roasters and which herald from the breathtaking American state of Hawaii. "
San Francisco Chronicle
To be featured in the renowned San Francisco Chronicle is an privilege we don't take lightly.
"[When] a pink and orange Bourbon coffee from Big Island Roasters, grown in the Puna district on the island of Hawaii, won in the Hawaii Coffee Association's creative category, [it] was a little like a wine from the Petaluma Gap region winning at the California State Fair Wine Competition - possible but unexpected."
Of over 400, worldwide coffees reviewed, we're honored to be included in Coffee Review's Top 30 Coffees of 2013. Our beloved "HYC" was described this way:
"Elegant flower-bomb. Exhilarating, refreshing meadow flowers, roasted cacao nib, almond in aroma and cup. Delicate, balanced structure. Soft butlively acidity; smooth, plush mouthfeel. Gently but decisively flavor-saturated finish.”
Hawaii Coffee Association
What a surprise! And to think, only 3 years prior we'd moved to - what was - a dilapidated farm in the heart of the Hawaiian jungle.
"Two Champions of Hawaiian Coffee were crowned in Commercial and Creative ... Big Island Coffee Roasters of the Big Isle’s Hawai’i District was awarded the top award in the Creative category with a score of 86.939."
Daily Coffee News
It was my first attempt at applying for a grant, and it was a great success! With the award we're able to improve the value of our crop and that of neighboring coffee farmers.
"This equipment is the first of its kind in east Hawaii... Because of their efforts Senator Russell Ruderman of Hawaii Island presented Big Island Coffee Roasters with a Senate Certificate [to] commend their work in developing the Puna coffee region..."
Hawaii Business Magazine
"... To confirm its superior quality, early this year they submitted a sample to the Coffee Review for grading. It scored a 93. In his review, Kenneth Davids wrote, “This would be a striking and unusual coffee from anywhere in the world, but it is a complete surprise coming from Hawaii, where sweetness and balance is the norm rather than startling aromatic originality.”
Barista Magazine Blog
“When we moved, the farm was dilapidated: over-grown, under-nourished, and scrappy,” Kelleigh remembers. “We had no idea if the coffee was any good because few had heard of ‘Puna coffee,’ and most of the coffee we’d sampled was horrible. We decided to import a Diedrich IR-7 to practice roasting with the 500 pounds of old coffee the previous owner had left.