Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hualalai Estate Kona Coffee

I woke up this morning and finished the last of my delicious Kona coffee that I brought back from Hawaii. As I listened to my last cup brewing I thought, what am I to do? How can I live without this amazing coffee? I examined the writing on the now-empty bag and noticed a Web site written on the back. Score.

When I was picking out my coffee in one of the many the ABC Stores in O’ahu I opted for the slightly more expensive, yet obviously better quality, Kona coffe from the Hualalai Estate. I chose it because it came in a vacuum-sealed bag, was 100% Kona, and 100% pesticide free. And it came in a gold bag (I’m a sucker for nice packaging). Little did I know that I would be entering into an unshakeable preference for coffee grown thousands of miles away. Apparently I’m not the only one since you can order an array of products from the estate online.

What I enjoy so much about this coffee is that it never has a bitter taste—only the fresh, rich taste of properly cared for coffee. According to their Web site, the Hualalai Estate started off in 1996 as a two-acre farm where a local teacher named Joel Cooperson began growing coffee as a hobby. Since then it’s grown to 150 acres of coffee grown on several farms throughout Kona.

The region of Kona is an ideal place to grow coffee because of excellent soil and growing conditions. Cooperson also explains how they process coffee to ensure a high-quality product. He notes that the farmers pick the coffee beans while they are still red, “which gives it its greatest full-bodied quality.” They pulp the coffee beans immediately, which keeps the coffee from developing a sour aftertaste. Then they rinse and dry the beans quickly before storing them in a dehumidified room. When it’s time for roasting they separate out the four grades of Kona coffee—Prime, No. 1, Fancy, and Extra Fancy—on a Gravity Table, and then they carefully roast the beans in small batches. They also offer a bean called Kona Peaberry, which they claim is absolutely superb. I was highly impressed with their basic Estate Coffee made of 100% Kona, but I opted for the Extra Fancy when I placed my order online.

The result is, as I mentioned, enough to make you want to fly to Hawaii to pick up an order. Luckily you can simply order online and have this perfectly grown, picked, and roasted coffee delivered to your doorstep. If you are a lover of coffee I highly recommend trying a batch from the Hualalai Estate. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Check out their Web site and descriptions of their products here:

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