Just wrapping up a week in Hawaii on a USDA project and I must say, all that I thought I knew about Hawaiian coffee was a little outdated. It seems, the large mills in Kona still have a grasp on legislation no surprise there; this is why a Kona blend only requires 10% Kona coffee. Fortunately some new players have entered the Kona market, watch for Hula Daddy Coffee, this guy is putting major points on the board for integrity, 100% pure Kona every time. Lee Paterson and his wife Karen have done their homework and they are committed to their vision raising the bar for Kona Coffee.
As for Ka’u, I’m delighted to be a part of history in the making. In a region south of Kona near the town of Pahala is a group of locals working on writing their own chapter in Hawaiian coffee history. During my visit, we visited farms; spoke with pickers, discussed sorting standards, and with the direction of my colleague Miguel Meza, shall learn proper processing. This is an exciting project, as the business and marketing plan are in my hands, the beauty of it is, the quality will be set from the start. Only lots scoring 80 and above will leave the state of Hawaii, the rest will remain for internal consumption, regardless never less than 100% Ka’u coffee will be backed by their seal. That’s progress.