The Coffee Farm, part 1
I recently was recounting my introduction to Hawaiian coffee and I felt compelled to share it. I was truly excited when I got invited on an exclusive tour of White Mountain Coffee Company’s farm. Why was I so excited? Since I first began to have big dreams I said, “In my life I will own a coffee plantation and a vineyard.” Today, I become 1 step closer to my dream of owning a coffee plantation.
Let’s start this story with a little background. When we first moved to Waimea on the Big Island, we found ourselves one Saturday at the Parker School Farmers Market. As we walked into the market a man in the first tent on the right said “Would you like some free coffee?” Now I’m not cheap, but he had just used 2 of my favorite words in the same sentence: coffee and free.
We tried the Javaloha label coffee by White Mountain Coffee Co. We tried the medium and the dark roast. The medium I was impressed with. The dark roast blew me away. I have had some great coffees over the years: Kenyan, Jamaican, Kona, and the list goes on. I even had a friend in Guatemala who took over his dads farm, converted it to coffee, grew everything all natural and off the grid (solar powered, catchment water, hand processed). That had been the best cup of coffee I had ever had. Anytime he was in town I would purchase a couple pounds. Over the ensuing months I would enjoy a French press every few days of something which truly tantalized my taste palette. Hmmmmmmm.
I enjoyed the coffee so much that I eventually had to ween myself off, because my body was becoming too acidic. So when I tell you I enjoy coffee I have to impress upon you, I truly enjoy good coffee. Never will you see me jonesing for coffee. It has little to do with the caffeine. I’m all about the dark robust flavor. It’s the same reason I enjoy a robust dark beer like Moysons Irish Red Ale or ice cream with extra chocolate sauce. I enjoy the light Kenyan brewed coffees on occasion. But my leaning is towards a darker roast and bolder flavor with a touch of organic raw sugar. I like my coffee like I like my wife, hot, sweet, and dark. My little Persian Princess.
When I met this Javaloha label coffee I was impressed. When I heard the story about how the coffee is grown and processed, off the grid and by hand, my impression deepened. Then John told me how the coffee cherries, the name for the coffee bean in its husk, are hand picked by a Micronesian church and they take their proceeds and share them with the less fortunate throughout the South Pacific. Then my cynicism met my hope that there is still a place in the world and people in this world who understand how to “do it right.” It sounded like a Starbucks commercial. I was waiting for the salesman to come out and try to sell me 100 pounds of coffee at $75/pound…. But, it didn’t happen. I asked John what I owed him for the coffee. He simply said it was aloha, a gift of love, no cost. “WHAT?!?!?” Could this be real? Am I still alive? Pinch me. You are actually giving away cups of the best coffee I have ever had? Well obviously you are limiting them to 1 cup, right? No, do you want some more? This was how I became introduced to Javaloha label coffee by White Mountain Coffee Co.
More of this story to come…