Don't hold your breath for quality Kauai Estate coffee. I got a couple of pounds when I was there on vacation last January. It's turned into my own private Ugh coffee collection. Just plain ol' lousy stuff. Demian If you visit, you will see it is literally "sea level coffee". You could wet process it naturally in the tide pools! Every so often I found a lot with some character - usually a peaberry. But that was a few years ago we offered it. You also need to watch out for "Kau" or Ka'u" coffee from the big island. It is not Kona coffee. BTW I will be judging at the Kona competition again, if anyone is around let me know... Tom -- "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters" Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting - Tom & Maria http://www.sweetmarias.com Thompson Owen george_at_sweetmarias.com Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - tom_at_sweetmarias.com
My daughter who lives about 500 miles away was here for "Christmas." So we had a late gift exchange. She was in Kauai and brought me some greens from there. They enjoyed touring the coffee plantation on the island. I am drinking some today. It isn't bad, but I can understand why Tom doesn't offer it. It is so one dimensional. The aroma brewing this morning was good, and the initial flavor is good, but there is no complexity and the body is very thin with no aftertaste. Everyone should try a non-SM coffee once in a while to appreciate the gems that are always offered by our cupping maniac, Tom Owen. Happy New Year Tom and the rest of the gang at Sweet Marias. Thanks for all the cupping you do so we get some of the most awesome coffee in the world. Les
Kauai Coffee is a huge 500 acre agribusiness. They machine harvest their crop and I'm sure their quality standards are not similar to the small Kona farmers who treat their coffee trees like children and hand pick over the entire harvest season. Their website brags about their high tech production processes but says little about taste and quality. Even the pictures of their milling processes, with at least a third of the beans being green and unripe, and huge 'dryers' instead of patio drying tend to make me believe their primary concern is quantity over quality. A quote from their website... "Although a relative newcomer, we are proud to be at the leading edge of coffee production technology, and producer of over half of all the coffee grown in the U.S.A." I'm sure their coffee is better than what most drink, and makes for great tourist coffee, but it's likely not going to impress anyone on this list. ********************* Ed Needham "to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com*********************
I did the self-tour at the Kauai plantation when we were there in August. The property is low altitude and flat, so walking around was quite easy and the signage was clear and informative. I also tasted some of the coffees they offered visitors. They had a couple of medium roasts that were quite drinkable, if a bit flat. Their dark roast had little character. They also offered several flavored coffees which I passed on completely, but seemed to be the favorites of most of the visitors I saw. The coffee farms on the Big Island were a whole other experience.