Hawaii Koa Coffee wins competition



KONA, HAWAII’S BIG ISLAND – Marin and Cathy Artukovich Koa Coffee Plantation won the coveted Gevalia Kona Coffee Cupping Competition today. The five-year old family run Kona coffee farm is located in Captain Cook at the 2,700 foot elevation. Cupping judge John King of Harold King and Co. described the winning coffee as “a typical medium mellow bodied Kona coffee with a delicate acidity.”

Second place went to Sugai Kona Coffee and third place to Wood Captain Cook Estate.

Over sixty Kona coffee farmers submitted entries into this year’s Gevalia Kona Coffee Cupping Competition. The blind-taste competition, held Wednesday and Thursday at the Ohana Keauhou Beach Resort, was sponsored by Gevalia Kaffe of Sweden,
and fourteen entries advanced to Thursday’s final round.

The guest judge of honor, international master cupper Willy Pettersson of Gevalia Kaffe, was welcomed back to Kona. Manabu Fujita of UCC Ueshima Coffee Company, the largest coffee roaster in Japan, served on the judge’s panel with John King of Harold King and Co. and Michael Therrien, an international coffee expert, maintaining the high standards for the competition.

Each farm submitted a 50-pound sample from which five pounds were actually entered into the cupping competition. To be eligible, the coffee submitted must have been harvested in Kona. The cupping competition is a blind tasting, once the entry is accepted it is simply assigned a number to protect its anonymity. These numbers are even changed midway into the cupping-between the preliminary and final rounds-to keep the judges’ palates alert throughout the competition.

The coffee samples, both green and roasted, are placed on a long table for the judges to independently evaluate. The judges look for
high marks in these six categories: fragrance, aroma, taste, nose, aftertaste and body.

Cupping sponsor Gevalia Kaffe has included Kona coffee among its elite selections of Island Mountain Reserve coffees-three of the world’s most sought-after coffees. Gevalia developed a cupping chart for Kona coffee that graphically characterizes the gourmet brew. Intensity, referring to the strength and impact of the coffee that is brought out during roasting, rates 3-cups on a 5-cup scale. Acidity, the characteristic liveliness or sharpness, also rates 3- cups. Body, or how the coffee feels in the mouth and weighs on the palate, completed the balance with a 3-cup rating. According to Gevalia, its 100% Kona coffee is best described as “smooth with buttery and nutty overtones, rich and velvety without heaviness.”

The Gevalia Kona Coffee Cupping Competition is a signature event of the 32nd annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is supported by the Big Island Visitors Bureau, County of Hawaii, UCC Ueshima Coffee Company, Ltd., Doutor Coffee Company Hawaii, Gevalia Kaffe of Sweden, Hawaii Coffee Association, Kamehameha Schools, Keauhou Resort, KTA Super Stores, Meadow Gold Dairies, Hawaii Coffee Company, State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture and numerous corporate and community donors.

Gevalia Kona Coffee Cupping Competition

From Koa Plantation: 

Our plantation is a family owned and operated business, which was established in 1997 and continues to grow each year. We are located in the small town of Captain Cook and situated on the slopes of the Hawaiian Volcano, Mauna Loa, at the ideal elevation of 2,500 ft.

Because of the high elevation, sun drenched mornings, cloud covered afternoons and abundant rainfall, our coffee beans mature more slowly. This enables them to obtain a large size and a superb grade. Our soil is a mix of volcanic and nutrient filled earth, which is excellent for growing our rich flavorful gourmet coffee.

We process all our own coffee from start to finish. With the most ecologically efficient wet -processing equipment in Kona (first of its kind here), we take the coffee from fruit on the tree to roasted bean in the bag. Because of complete control during each step, we are able to ensure a very high quality coffee. Our final product (before roasting) is stored in one of the only climate-controlled rooms in Kona. –Marin and Cathy Artukovich

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