May 9 – Kona Coffee

Coffee Berries at Hula Daddy Coffee

When we were in Hawaii, I didn’t want to spend too much time blogging so I planned on talkin’ coffee later. Well, here we go:

The first day on the island, Madison and I rented a Jeep and drove around the west side of the island.  Our first stop was Big Daddy Hula Coffee Plantation. Driving up the mountain, the air became much cooler and it even rained for a bit.  This type of weather is typical here, which is great for coffee growing. The west side of the island is rarely windy, as the volcanoes block the wind; if you travel north of the mountains,  you will find more sun and more wind. Interesting fact: 11 of the 13 world climates are on Hawaii’s Big Island. Can you guess which ones didn’t make the cut?

The plantation we visited was very small, and  they have a very time-consuming process, so the little coffee they do produce is high quality.  Any coffee grown within a certain region on the island can be labeled 100% Kona coffee.  However, not all Kona coffee is the same (or so the salesperson said). =)

Hula Daddy sifts through the berries by hand, picking out the perfectly ripe ones.  They sell the others (too ripe and not yet ripe) to other Kona coffee producers. They bring the berries down to the area of the island in between the airport and the resort we stayed at, which sees very little rain all year. The berries are laid out in the sun to dry out for a couple weeks, and then sent to a mill where the skins are removed. Hula Daddy does their own roasting – only 9 lbs at a time. While we were there they had the roaster running – it smelled like toast.

Madison and I enjoyed drinking our Kona coffee every morning, especially while sitting on our balcony.  It was so peaceful and a great way to start our day. After flying to Phoenix and not sleeping, I searched the airport for coffee before our connecting flight.  The only Starbucks we saw had an incredibly long line, but I found a coffee machine at Cinnabon. I wanted to have a reaction to the coffee like Will Ferrell in Zoolander (http://youtu.be/tNjysERQ4Oo) but was too tired to make the effort. “Are you not AWARE I only drink Kona Coffee?” #CoffeeSnob

-V

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