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Hawaii Coffee Association hosts annual conference, cupping competition

Coffee industry professionals from across the state assembled July 13-15 for the Hawaii Coffee Association’s 21st annual Conference and eighth annual Statewide Cupping Competition at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel.

Presenters included numerous state and federal researchers, regulators, agencies as well as a trade show.

Activities included tours of area farms and processing facilities and an optical sorter demonstration. Workshops covered coffee brewing, cupping, processing for quality and social media training.

In the cupping competition, 83 entries from growing districts across the state competed for top honors in two categories: Creative and Commercial. Qualifying for the Commercial division means at least 1,000 pounds of the coffee entered is available for sale.

Competing in the Creative division, the top-scoring coffee was produced by Greenwell Farms with its Pacamara varietal with a score of 84.8. The top scoring coffee in the Commercial division was a Margogype variety produced by Aloha Hills Kona Coffee LLC with a score of 83.4.

The highest scoring entries from other participating Hawaiian coffee origins also earned honors including Hawaii District’s Second Alarm Farm (84.2), Maui’s Olinda Farms (84.3), Ka’u District’s The Rising Sun (84.2), and Kauai’s Moloaa Bay Coffee (83.1). Visit hawaiicoffeeassoc.org for a full list of qualifying entries and scores.

Veteran cupper Shawn Hamilton noted an ongoing increase in scores. “It’s a great trend. There were so many great coffees [competing] it makes our job harder.”

Fellow cupper Warren Muller added, “We’re really proud of all the great work the farmers are doing. It’s very exciting for us.”

Hawaii Coffee Association membership gathered to elect their new board and officers. The new president is Chris Manfredi (Ka’u Farm &Ranch Co., LLC), vice president is Ralph Gaston (Isla Custom Coffees), treasurer is Adrian Guillen (Hawaiian Queen Coffee) and secretary is Gloria Biven (Royal Kona Visitor Center Mill &Museum).

The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawaii coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers. The association’s primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees.