Just a few miles “up” the road in Honaunau-Kona, it’s hard to imagine that the temperature is 15 degrees cooler! Today to escape the heat Randy and I decided to drive over to a coffee farm as we know Randy loves his coffee!!!
As we pulled up to Greenwell Farms our tour guide greeted us with a pre-tour taste test! Since I’m no coffee drinker…they did have some fresh Kona Honey for me to try, it was so sweet, yum!
The very first thing we found on our tour had ZERO to do with coffee! Yep that is an Avocado tree!!! Moving along we stopped by a banana tree, this variety is actually called apple-bananas!!!! GreenWell Farms has tons of other fruit, mostly citrus.
Next up we stopped by the coffee trees themselves. Our guide showed us the coffee plants and gave us the low down on how to know when the cherries are just right for picking!!! Red is good, green is bad.
Our group moved along to the area were local farmers/coffee pickers bring their coffee/cherries to be dropped off to be converted into what we call coffee beans. We were there for the weigh in and then watched the cherries be put into sorters and then the driers. When local pickers bring their bags of beans in, there are inevitably green ‘bad’ beans, so to sort them, they float them in water. The Red ‘good’ beans sink and the green ones float to the top and can be removed. The red ones are then pressed and out comes the beans. If it splits in half it is a regular Kona coffee bean, if it doesn’t split, it is known as a Peaberry. Who knew?!
Then they get dried and then they ‘sit and rest’ for two months, kind of like aging wine. Then they are off to the roaster. They get sorted by size on the way to the roaster and then they all go in at the same time/temperature. Then, they slowly raise the temperature over time. The light roast go to about 375 and 17min, the dark roast well above 400 and over 25min. Then its time to get bagged up…and sold to Randy!
I had no idea about the different beans or any part of this coffee making process, pretty cool stuff!