Farm: Kona Rainforest Farm
Process: Anaerobic Washed
Region: South Kona, Big Island of Hawaii
Variety: Red Bourbon
Elegance in a cup. Soft floral and pear aromatics lead to a sweet, Sake-like cup with hints of citrus, complemented by a rounded mouthfeel and a complex finish.
Kona Rainforest stands as the largest and one of the last remaining certified organic coffee farms in Hawaii. Despite the number of certified organic farms steadily declining over the years, Kona Rainforest has persevered, especially after the arrival of the devastating coffee leaf rust disease which led to the majority of farms abandoning their certification in the past two years.
Spanning 40 acres, the Kona Rainforest farm is planted at elevations of 1600-2000ft along the slopes of Mauna Loa in South Kona. The farm boasts an advanced mill for processing coffee from cherry to green coffee, with all equipment powered by solar energy. While predominantly planted with the Typica variety, the farm also cultivates small plots of other varieties, including K7, SL34, and Red Bourbon.
In 2023, the farm collaborated with Miguel to develop a yeast fermentation protocol for each of its varieties, utilizing only organic certified yeasts. Despite the plethora of commercial yeast strains available for beverage fermentation, only a select few are certified for organic use. This partnership led to the discovery of a strain that enhances the floral notes and acidity of the Bourbon variety when processed as an anaerobic washed coffee.
This innovative approach paid off when Kona Rainforest entered its coffee in the 2023 Kona Coffee Festival cupping competition, securing 3rd place. This achievement marked it as the highest-ranked non-Geisha/Gesha variety coffee and the highest-scoring washed coffee in the competition.
Production was limited this season, with only 15 lbs available for sale. Encouraged by these results, the farm is planning to increase production in the next harvest season.