Monday, May 16, 2011

Ka‘u: Coffee is Our Specialty!

Mahalo to our supporters, friends and family for a successful weekend of coffee, food, crafts and fun!

Thousands of people joined us in Pahala to celebrate the Ka‘u Coffee Festival ho‘olaule‘a on Saturday. After many days of clouds and rain, the skies cleared and the sun shined throughout the morning. In the afternoon, the clouds returned to keep festival-goers cool, while mist enveloped Cloud Rest and the other Ka‘u Coffee-growing areas above Pahala. 

Skylark emceed throughout the day of entertainment, coffee tastings and recipe contest.
Mayor Billy Kenoi made an appearance and congratulated Bull and Jamie Kailiawa for their recent win as one of the top ten coffees in the world. He said it’s a win for all of Ka‘u.

Ka‘u Coffee Recipe and Taste of Ka‘u Contest:

Crystal McIntosh was named the overall winner. Here is her winning original Ka‘u coffee recipe:

Strawberry Mocha Trifle
     Brownies: 1 cup butter, melted; 2 c. sugar; 4 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla, 2/3 c. cocoa, 1 1/3 c. flour, 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 c. white chocolate chips, Ka‘u macadamia nuts chopped, ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp. salt, 1 c. Ka‘u coffee, Hershey’s syrup, 1 pint whipping cream, 6 Tbs. sugar, 2 tsp vanilla, 5 c. strawberries soaked in 2 c. melted strawberry jam.
     Garnishes: 1 Ka‘u strawberry, 2 chocolate leaves (1/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips melted + 2 Ka‘u lemon leaves, clean)
     Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 13X9 pan. Stir butter and sugar until blended. Beat in eggs, then vanilla, until well blended. Stir in cocoa, mixing well. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into small bowls; stir together. Add flour mixture to chocolate batter, mixing until smooth. Stir in semi-sweet and white chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake 25-30 minutes or until firm. Cool, and then cut into 1-inch cubes. Place half of brownie cubes on bottom of large glass bowl. Brush with coffee, then drizzle with Hershey’s syrup. Layer ½ of strawberries using slotted spoon, then ½ of whipped cream. Repeat layers, garnish with strawberry and chocolate leaves.
     Whipped Cream – beat whipping cream and sugar in chilled bowl until stiff. Add vanilla in last minute of beating.
     Chocolate leaves – brush melted chocolate onto one side of clean leaves until covered. Freeze overnight or until firm. Peel off lemon leaves.

The two-day festival wound up with a day of education on Sunday from coffee roasters, buyers and café chain owners who have been in the business for many years. They stressed the importance of the place, which they admired as a good coffee growing location in the mountains of Ka‘u. They stressed good farm practices, processing and storage and described many techniques to farmers on hand. They noted that the best coffee can bring a high price to people who want the highest grade coffee for their restaurants, stores and homes.

Recently in the news:
The Ka‘u Coffee Festival made the front page of West Hawai‘i Today on Sunday. Reporter Chelsea Jensen quoted Joann Norberte as saying, “Ka‘u Coffee is like Kona’s younger, hotter sister.” Promoter of her family’s JN Coffee Farms, Norberte told West Hawai‘i Today that “coffee all happened in Kona first, and we were able to learn from the good and bad to create a special coffee.” Joann Norberte, daughter of Leo and Herme Norberte, grew up in Pahala and lives in Las Vegas, where she promotes here family coffee online and to buyers and at conventions. The farm has 25 acres and produces 200,000 pounds of cherry each year. She also told the newspaper that she knows that the Ka‘u farmers will pull together to keep the coffee borer pest from spreading and ruining crops.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ka`u Coffee Festival This Weekend

The Miss Ka`u Coffee Court will be on hand at the Ka`u Coffee
 Festival tomorrow at Pahala Community Center after they
 parade through the town.  Photo by Anna Kailiawa
THE KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL KICKS OFF at 9 a.m. tomorrow, May 14 at Pahala Community Center just off Hwy 11 between Punalu`u Black Sand Beach and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Enjoy award-winning Ka`u coffee, entertainment, food, contests, local crafts and games. Meet Miss Ka`u Coffee and her court. Admission is free.

LEADERS OF THE SPECIALTY COFFEE INDUSTRY are traveling to Ka`u, the state’s largest agricultural district, this weekend to learn about award-winning Ka`u Coffee. Representing three areas of the U.S. Mainland, they include specialty coffee guru George Howell, of Terroir Coffee in Action in Massachusetts; Skip Fay, of Dunn Bros. Coffee in Minneapolis; and James Freeman, of Blue Bottle Coffee in Oakland, California. George Howell shares his coffee expertise at the Ka`u Coffee College this Sunday.
     The coffee experts are participating in Ka`u Coffee’s inaugural reverse trade mission as part of the third Ka`u Coffee Festival May 14-15 at the Pahala Community Center. They will learn first-hand about Ka`u Coffee during Saturday festival activities, including guided tastings and farm tours. On Sunday, the men will give guest lectures to local coffee farmers at the free Ka`u Coffee College.
     A pioneer of the specialty coffee movement in the early 1970s, George Howell founded The Coffee Connection, a high-end coffee retailer that was acquired by Starbucks in 1994. He is an expert on single-origin coffee.
     Marshall “Skip” Fay is executive vice president of Dunn Bros. Coffee Franchising, Inc. He opened Dunn’s first franchised coffee house and roastery in 1994, and today there are 90 locations.
     Named one of the New York Times’ “Nifty 50,” James Freeman is on coffee’s radar for his Blue Bottle coffee company in the San Francisco Bay Area. Freeman’s network of coffee carts and cafes offers carefully made coffee drinks, and he is committed to selling beans less than 48 hours out of the roaster.”
     The reverse trade mission is sponsored by the state Department of Agriculture and the Ka`u Coffee Festival.

Saturday's Schedule of Events:

Food, Coffee, Craft and Information Booths and Entertainment: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m

Ka`u Coffee Tasting: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., free

Ka`u Coffee Recipe Contest Judging and Tasting: 12 p.m., $5 per person (includes Festival Button)

Farm Tours, $15 donation, all day long.

The entertainment lineup, starting at 9 a.m. is: Opening by Miss Ka`u Coffee and Emcee Skylark; Hands of Time; Tony Salvage; Bobby Koanui; Lorna and Mary Ann Lim; Hula by Miss Ka`u Coffee Brandy Shibuya and presentation of her court; Debbie Ryder and Halau Hua O Leionalani; Bolo; Brittany Paiva; Demetrius and Friends; Cyril Pahinui; Ka`u `Ukulele Kids; Gene Akamu; Lori Lei's Hula Studio; George, Moses and Keoki Kahumoku; and One Journey.

Sunday's Schedule of Events:

Ka`u Coffee College: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Farm Tours, $15 donation

Sponsors for 2011: Aikane Coffee Plantation; Ali`i Coffee; Big Island Honda; Big Island RC & DC;
County of Hawai`i; Crop Production Services; Edmund C. Olson Trust II; Fernandez Farm; Festivals of Hawai`i; Gascon Coffee Farm; GEICO; Hana Hou Restaurant; Hawai`i Coffee Association; Hawai`i Department of Agriculture; Hawai`i Tourism Authority; JN Coffee; Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative; Ka`u Coffee Mill; Ka`u Farm and Ranch Company; Ka`u Local Products; KAHU Radio 91.7FM; Kailiawa Coffee; Kehau Coffee; Kuahiwi Ranch Natural Beef; Ka`u Forest Coffees; ML Macadamia Orchards; `O Ka`u Kakou; OK Farms; Orcino Coffee Farm; Osama Coffee Farm; Pacific Quest; Pahala Plantation Cottages; Palehua Farmers Cooperative; Punalu`u Bake Shop; R & G Coffee Farm; Rusty’s Hawaiian; Sambajon Farms; The Ka`u Calendar; and The Local Buzz.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ka'u: Best coffee region in the USA

Bull Kailiawa, who won top in Hawai`i and U.S.A. and is
one of the top ten in the world at SCAA this year,
checks his coffee. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
If you've had the opportunity to taste award-winning Ka'u Coffee, you'll most likely agree with the decision of this year's Specialty Coffee Association of America Cupping Competition judges to rank a coffee grown in Cloud's Rest as not only number one of Hawai'i but the whole U.S.A. Bull Kailiawa, a native Hawaiian coffee grower, showed the world just how special Ka'u is when his hand-picked coffee from his farm just above Pahala was placed as one of the top ten coffee's in the world!

Bull Kailiawa  Photo by Teresa Tico
Hawai`i was honored at the annual SCAA convention in Houston last weekend as one of the top ten coffee growing places in the world. Ka`u was rated the top region in Hawai`i, and Bull was the top scoring coffee farmer. This is the fifth straight year that Ka`u coffee has ranked in the top dozen.

Last year’s winner was Willie Tabios, of Na`alehu.
Top Hawai`i winner at the SCAA Bull Kailiawa works with a volunteer volleyball
 team on new coffee fields along Hwy 11 at Pahala.  Photo by Julia Neal
Bull Kailiawa’s typica coffee ranked in the top ten worldwide alongside two coffees from Colombia, two from Honduras, two from El Salvador, two from Guatemala and one from Bolivia.

Bull noted that all three of the Ka`u Coffee SCAA winners in the last five years are former plantation workers who were leased land by the sugar plantation when it shut down in 1996. He said the three have been like brothers, working in the fields and as truck and crane operators in the sugar industry, then helping each other out on their coffee farms. Bull has scored in the top ten internationally twice, Willie Tabios twice, and Manuel Marques once in five straight years of Ka`u Coffee making a name for Hawai`i at the annual Coffee of the Year event. Bull and other Ka'u coffee farmers like Lorie Obra found themselves in Texas last week, serving up Ka`u Coffee at a pavilion showing off the winners at the Houston Convention Center.

Pete Licata, of Honolulu Coffee Co.,
used Lorie Obra's Rusty's Hawaiian
100% Ka`u Coffee in the barista
competition at SCAA.
Also from Ka'u, Rusty's Hawaiian 100% Ka`u Coffee was a key element in the creation of the 2011 United States Barista Championship entry of Pete Licata, of Honolulu Coffee Company. Pete is a frequent visitor to the home of Lorie Obra and her farm above Pahala. 
Lorie Obra's contingent at the SCAA
convention in Houston sported Team
Hawai`i T-shirts.

During his presentation, he provided visual images of her Cloud Rest farm on a small countertop screen for the judges, and said he picked and dried the coffee and followed it through all its process. He made three progressive drinks from the coffee, including a tea from the coffee cherry and the final espresso.

Pete Licata holds his award for U.S. Barista Champion that he
won using Rusty's Hawaiian 100% Ka`u Coffee.
Using Rusty's Hawaiian 100% Ka`u Coffee, Pete won the U.S. Barista Championship in Houston on Sunday. He will attend the Ka`u Coffee Festival on May 14 and head for Bogota, Colombia, with Rusty's in June for the World Barista Championship. Obra and her daughter, son and son-in-law were on hand at the U.S. competition in Houston this weekend wearing Team Hawai`i T-shirts.
Bull Kailiawa holds his award for
Best of Origin USA/Hawai`i.
Photos by Julia Neal

Bull Kailiawa received his award as one of the top ten coffees in the world and first in Hawai`i and the U.S.A. on Sunday from the SCAA and the Roasters Guild.

If you haven't tasted Ka'u Coffee yet, you haven't had the best. Join Bull, Lorie, Pete and the rest of us at this year's Ka'u Coffee Festival on Saturday and Sunday, May 14-15, at the Ka'u Community Center in Pahala, Hawai'i!