First new 2022 crop Hawaiian! Kicking off the season with a great start! Nothing like these Extra Fancy grades of Kona, beautiful beans with a taste to follow.
Coffees from the big island of Hawaii fill a special niche for roasters around the world. “Kona” is a term of designation that encompasses a large volcanic escarpment of fertile farmland on the island’s western coast, which is one of the island’s most populated regions and home to a rich indigenous political history, as well as some of its deepest modern commercial farming legacies. Growing elevations in Kona are low compared to almost any specialty in the world (equivalent to 500-800 meters). The region’s latitude, however, is uniquely high, roughly the same as Mexico City, making Kona one of the world’s northernmost tropical specialty landscapes. This unique confluence of global position, as well as other factors that the island offers in abundance, including soil fertility, proximity to the pacific, a supportive agricultural sector and custom arabica genetics, have earned Kona coffees a small but deeply devoted following.
Coming from a diverse agricultural background, the Kona Hills team seized a rare opportunity to bring our knowledge of sustainable large-scale farming to the famed Kona coffee belt to create a one of a kind specialty coffee farm. Hidden inside a lush ‘ōhi’a forest were vast tracts of land most recently used for cattle grazing that was previously planned for residential development. In 2016, we purchased over 1,300 acres of the historic Hokukano Ranch and 500 acres of the Kealakekua Heritage Ranch and began to return it to its agricultural roots. With an eye towards sustainability, we designed our farm with extensive rainwater catchment infrastructure and utilized drip irrigation to deliver a uniform supply of water and nutrients to the plants.
Tasting Notes: Great balanced cup, lively acidity upfront at lighter roasts, very clean with a more chocolaty finish. Can be roasted from light to dark. The acidity is a bit citrus/floral, some soft islandy fruit tones can be found with lighter roasting, especially as the cup cools or the beans have a little longer setup time. From a medium roast on, the acidity is very gentle and balanced, cup is medium to full bodied with a smooth to rough chocolaty cup profile, milk chocolate before 2nd crack, bakers chocolate and smoky into 2nd crack.
Roasting Notes: A quick & light roast will be pretty bright with a less defined chocolaty factor, if you are shooting for a lighter roast, good to slow down the roast a bit, get a little more development to the tones. A strong medium roast was our favorite, gentle and sweet, a cup everyone will love. Darker roasts are a little bit of shame, burns out some cool islandy tones that put some distinction to these beans but plenty tasty at fuller roasts.