Every single Kona coffee bean starts as a flower bud on the trees and grows to maturity, first turning green and eventually becoming a red cherry. At bright red cherry stage, you know it’s picking time!
Carefully handpicking each Kona coffee cherry has long been a tradition in the Kona Coffee District (a 30 mile stretch along the coast of the big island on the slopes of the Mauna Loa Volcano). During high season a coffee picker can pick between 100-250 pounds of coffee cherry a day. Most farms will pay their pickers by the pound for their efforts.
The thick almost unforgiving black solid lava rock also known as "a'a" dominate the terrain here in Kona, yet the lave rock provides a rich and flavorful soil for the coffee itself. Here in Captain Cook, we rely on steady temperatures between 78-82 degrees all year long and during certain seasons, at least one or two showers a day (which will last for about 20-30 10 minutes at a time).
All of these conditions, combined with a cool breeze coming off the pacific, create a relaxed and typical day for picking coffee cherry. Malaika has long since ditched her heels (except for the occasional night out on the town in Kona) for construction and rain boots and adopted what she likes to call “island farm chic attire." We're talking boots, long sleeves, picking gloves, & a hat to shield the sun!
Although coffee can be harvested year-round in Hawaii, highest production begins in late summer and extends to early spring depending on your elevation. Our typical season runs from July-November, with farm cleanup taking place in December.
At Kona Loft Farms we are fortunate to have a few different options for what we do with our coffee cherry once it’s picked and placed in a burlap bag. We will either sell it directly to a larger coffee processor as cherry itself, or we will process the cherry ourselves right here on the farm and sell it as our own estate grown coffee.
When we process our cherry we "wet process" or "wash" our beans. This process cleans and purifies the coffee beans. First, we set the beans in a tub to soak and clean and then run them through a wet pulper to remove the outside cherry skin. After allowing the beans to sit in a new tub of clean water and ferment (to remove all mucilage from the bean), we wash all our beans clean. After this wet mill process, the beans head to the dry mill station where the beans dry in the sun. One more layer of skin has to be removed via a huller when dried out, and at this point you have green coffee bean.
At this step we take the coffee beans and roast according to order, so that each and every order is fresh and ready for you to enjoy!!
A truly wonderful recipe to satisfy everyone's sweet tooth. Simply delicious!! Sea Salt Mint White Chocolate Coffee Cookie Recipe.