what is so special about Makahiki Farms Kona coffee? First and foremost, it tastes wonderful! This has to do
with several important factors.
themselves are high quality nursery stock that were started in sterile
soil. That means the seedlings are free of pests. The trees are
planted in rows with a state-of-the-art irrigation system and fertilization
system called "fertigation".
unique climate in the Kona area on the west side of the island of
Hawaii makes for the best coffee-growing conditions. Warm sun in
the mornings and cloudy, damp afternoons are ideal. In addition,
the summers are rainy and the winters are relatively dry. These
seasonal changes in Kona are great for the flowering and maturation
of the coffee cherry.
farm is small and manually tended. The trees are pampered to create
good yields with large beans. Jonathan jokes that Nancy has named
every one of the nearly 2000 trees.
harvest is all done by hand. We are fortunate to have a very conscientious
picking crew. The pickers choose only the ripe red cherry insuring
that they get almost none that are under-ripe or over-ripe.
Farms cherries are processed separately, right here on the farm, so that only the product
from our farm is in our roasted, estate coffee. We have complete control over the quality. For example, during pulping, we float the coffee so that we remove and discard any cherries that float. We also have special equipment that captures and removes any cherries that make it through the pulper but aren't properly pulped. These are mostly either very tiny cherries, under-ripe or overly large "mother" beans and are also discarded. We wash the pulped coffee thoroughly after fermentation and float it again to remove any defective beans. Our coffee is dried in the sun on our covered greenhouse deck.
This wonderful climate
and attention to detail is evident in the taste that is Makahiki
Farms Kona coffee - smooth and flavorful, but not a trace of bitterness.
About Bean Grades
Unroasted Kona Coffee is held to the highest standards of all green gourmet coffee in the world. It is graded according to several factors including bean size, color, shape, moisture content, taste and defect counts. Extra Fancy is the highest grade, with the largest bean and fewest allowed defects and as such is highly prized. The next grade is Fancy, which is slightly smaller, followed by Number 1 and Prime, in decreasing bean size and increasing allowed imperfections.
Peaberry is unique. It is called a "type 2" bean, where for some reason only one bean forms within a coffee cherry instead of the usual two. The bean fills the entire space and ends up rounded and is usually small and dense. This genetic or environmental rarity is highly sought after and occurs in only about 4% of the crop.
Roasted to Order = Always Fresh
Since we don't roast your coffee until we receive your order, it might take a day or two before we ship. We usually roast within 24-48 hours and ship often same-day or the next.Shipment depends on the shipping carrier and their respective cut-off times. The post office here in Captain Cook is 3 PM Monday through Friday and 11 AM on Saturday. Fed Ex picks up around 10:30 AM. Sometimes we can roast early in the morning and make those cut off times. It depends upon the orders we have and how many different roast levels we need to do and the day of the week. Coffee Club orders are roasted on or about the 1st or 15th of the month.
Guide to Roast Levels
Sunshine roast is lighter and with a bit more brightness and some citrus flavors up front. The finish is very smooth and somewhat chocolaty. Roasting terms are not very precise but I would call it an "American" roast. Our usual medium is like a "City" and medium-dark a "Full City", and dark a "Full City Plus" (a bit lighter than a French). Wikipedia has some detailed information on coffee roasting as well.
Tips for Purchasing Kona Coffee
There are a couple things you might want to consider when buying Kona coffee. First, make sure it is 100% Kona Coffee. There are many brands of coffee that have the word "Kona" in the name but aren't Kona. There are also many that are a "Kona Coffee Blend". A Kona blend can contain as little as 10% Kona beans or even none. So read the label. Make sure if you want 100% Kona that it really is 100% Kona.
If you are looking at several different brands of Kona coffee and comparing prices, be aware that some packages look to be the same size but some contain only 7 ounces or even 6.5 ounces instead of 8 ounces.
Look for Kona coffee that is fresh. You are paying for a premium gourmet product. You want it to be fresh and not stale. Packages with the one-way valve let the gasses from roasting escape without letting in air that will make it stale quickly. Light is also bad for coffee freshness, we recommend avoiding packages with transparent panels.