Kona Bliss Coffee
Kona Bliss Coffee Farm is a small, family-owned farm located in Captain Cook on the western slopes of Mauna Loa. Growing coffee is a labor of love that involves our whole family!
Our farm is blessed with the perfect combination of rich volcanic soil, warm days, cool nights, and gentle rains. At 2,200 feet of elevation, we are at the very top of the Kona coffee growing belt. This means our coffee takes a little longer to mature, but it's worth the wait. The extra growing time on the tree gives our coffee more time to develop its smooth, rich flavor.
Growing coffee in Hawaii is a year round process. Starting in December and continuing in waves until May, coffee trees are covered in a profusion of snowy white flower clusters. Our bees love these beautiful flowers!
As the blossoms drop off, they are replaced by beautiful, vivid green fruit. Yes, the coffee beans that we know and love are actually the seed of a fruit. Over a period of about nine months, the bright green outer skin gradually lightens to yellow, then orange, and finally a brilliant red. This is our signal that it's time for the harvest to begin. The bright red beans are known as “cherry” for its obvious resemblance to the fruit of the same name.
The harvest season starts in September and goes through December. Since coffee trees bloom for many months, the branches are always covered in a range of green to red beans. This means that the cherry must be hand-picked to ensure that only ripe beans are harvested.
Once picked, the cherry must be processed within twenty-four hours or the beans start to degrade.
For processing cherry, we use a method called wet-milling. With wet-milling, the beans are soaked in large vats of water. Ripe, dense beans sink to the bottom, while any beans that float are skimmed off and discarded. The beans ferment for twenty-four to forty-eight hours in water and then the pulpy covering is removed with gentle mechanical friction.
Using a combination of sun and fans, the beans are dried to a moisture content of 10 to 12%. The beans are now covered only by a thin papery coating, and are bestowed with a new name – “parchment”. Parchment must be stored for a minimum of four months to allow the flavor to develop. If parchment coffee is roasted before aging, it will taste like a cup of hot water and dry grass!
Our parchment is stored in a special room that is environmentally controlled to optimize the temperature and humidity. We store our parchment for a minimum of six months before dry-milling.
Dry-milling is the process of sorting the beans for size and defects, and removal of the parchment coating. Removal of the parchment layer means the coffee needs yet another name – this time it’s “green bean”.
Parchment coffee can be stored for a very long time, even years, with little degradation of quality, but green beans are more sensitive to drying out with storage. After processing, our green beans are stored about two more months for final maturation and then roasted in small batches.
Roasting is where science and art come together and make magic! Each roast, light and dark, and everything in between, is created by adjusting time and temperature. The roasting time and temperature are further influenced by a diverse range of factors including the humidity of the beans, size of the beans, size of the batch, and even the ambient weather conditions.