August 20, 2019
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August 2019 The Independent Voice

         The Independent Voice
“Best Agricultural Newsletter in Hawaii”
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association  
       August 2019

PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA

KCFA Joins HCA Board
25,000 Views & Counting
KCFA Farm Listings – Action Needed
Current Crop Problems
Hawaii Ant Lab Opens Office in West Hawaii
Judging the Ripeness of Coffee Cherry
Moisture Meter Calibration Workshop
Fancy Coffee Maker
Conflicting Coffee/Cardiovascular Studies
State Reimbursing Compost Costs
Coffee May Reduce the Risk of Melanoma
Philippine Heritage Typica Coffee
How Roasting Affects Coffee Flavor
Slow Foods Nation Marketplace
Editor – Clare Wilson

KCFA Joins HCA Board

This past weekend, KCFA was elected to a seat on the Hawaii Coffee Association’s Board of Directions.  This is the first time that KCFA has been an HCA member and our board underwent much discussion prior to deciding to join.  KCFA has long prided itself on being an independent voice (as our newsletter heading states) and some were concerned that this voice might be diluted.  At the end, our board felt there was a benefit to being in regular conversations with our counterparts around the state.  In addition, HCA does significant marketing of Hawaiian coffee, through trade shows and marketing grants. You, our members, should benefit from having our voice represent Kona Typica in the marketing activities.
We do expect that there will be moments where our KCFA opinions differ from the HCA consensus.  As always, we will continue to represent KCFA growers, first and foremost.
Mahalo nui loa from your President,

25,000 Views and Counting

In 2008 the Kona Coffee Farmers Association produced a short video entitled “100% Kona Coffee” to gracefully introduce coffee appreciators to our heritage crop and to deliver the important message that “10% Kona Blends” are not “Kona Coffee”.  Phil Scarr, son of KCFA Board Member Sandra Scarr, posted the video to YouTube and there have been more than 25,000 views of the video since.

If it has been a while since you watched the video (or if you have not seen it), please take a moment to visit the YouTube posting:

You will find that the video is every bit as current and effective as it was eleven years ago when KCFA released it.  Please consider posting a link on your farm’s website and encouraging customers and the public to watch it.  The opening lines set the theme:  “There is only one best coffee in the world—Kona Coffee, 100% Kona Coffee. And its only from here, Hawaii—Kona, Hawaii.”

Let’s see if we can generate another 25,000 views.
–Submitted by Bruce Corker

Preview YouTube video 100% Kona Coffee

KFCA Website Farm Listings – Action Needed!  

No Farm Info for your Farm Listing?
We are updating the KCFA website and will remove those Farm Listings without any information. We feel it would be frustrating for website visitors, and increase the chances of them leaving without finding a member farm that does have what they want.
How to Update your Farm Listing? EASY! Log in and on the far right hand column near the bottom-Click on <Update Farm Info & Photos> and follow directions to input your information.
Email if you have questions and we’ll get back asap.
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Farmer Observations of Current Crop Problems

Recent farm visits, samples and photos submitted, indicate an increase in observations of anthracnose and cercospora on coffee farms.  This is not unusual, particularly with the change in weather and rain patterns since the cessation of Kilauea Volcano. Anthracnose and cercospora thrive and spread in wet, humid and warm conditions, and we’ve been experiencing all three!

Anthracnose (Colletotrichum spp.) and particularly the species C. gloeosporioides, is found in Hawaii on coffee and other crops. So far, the species causing Coffee Berry Disease, C. kawahae, is not known to occur in Hawaii. Anthracnose symptoms can develop on seedlings, flowers, fruit, leaves, and branches. Spores spread with physical movement and in splashing water, and can cause infection anytime from growth to fruit set to harvest. Rain and temperatures of 75°F and above will accelerate anthracnose development, while dry conditions and temperatures below 59°F slow disease development.

Early symptoms of anthracnose are leaf yellowing and leaf drop, typically happening mid-lateral, in addition to browning (necrosis) near and on the nodal areas where leaves, flowers and berries develop. Advanced symptoms include stem lesions, dark browning of the vertical or lateral stem that progresses mid-branch towards the tip, additional leaf drop, premature berry death, fruit drop/abscission, as well as branch and berry dieback. In severe cases, this disease can cause young, recently stumped, unhealthy and/or stressed coffee trees to die. Often, signs of anthracnose are confused with damage caused by black twig borer; however, usually no hole is present on the underside of the branch when dieback is caused by anthracnose.

Cercospora leaf and berry blotch, also called Iron Spot, is caused by the fungal pathogen, Cercospora coffeicola. This disease also tends to present itself on coffee plants grown in areas of higher moisture and rainfall and on plants that are stressed.

Common symptoms of this disease are “brown eye-spots” with a slight yellow halo found on the leaves and brown, sunken, oval-ish blotches with a slight purplish halo on the cherry. These blotches can resemble sunburn. Young fruit tend to ripen prematurely. Ripe fruit affected by this disease may be further attacked by fungi such as Colletotrichum spp., that mummify fruit and cause cherry to be unmarketable.

Understanding weather trends for your upcoming coffee season is important for preventing pest and disease outbreaks. Early and prophylactic treatments during years of warm, humid and wet conditions, can help prevent outbreaks and reduce the effects of anthracnose and cercospora. Multiple applications are typically needed to gain control of fungal incidences. Once the damage threshold is surpassed by fungal infection, these affected branches, leaves and berries do not usually recover. Removal of heavily infected plant materials can be useful in reducing live spores on these branches and berries that if left, would continue to infest the orchard. Bag and completely remove these branch and berry materials from the farm. For cercospora, leaves with lesions are not typically removed. Proper plant nutrition can also help alleviate disease problems. Replacing coffee seedling trees with those grafted on coffee root-knot nematode resistant rootstock, such as on Coffea liberica ‘Fukunaga’, may help trees resist diseases by improving plant health and reducing tree and root stress.

Products such as Kocide 3000, Badge X2 (certified organic) and Rampart are approved for use on coffee. Directions for use on coffee can be found starting on pages 8, 12 and 13 on these labels, respectively. Be sure to read the entire product label and follow all directions. And, as much as possible, rotate fungicide products of different classes to reduce fungal resistance build-up and copper build-up in the soil. FYI: Tilt is NOT an approved fungicide product for use on coffee.

If using BotaniGard or Mycotrol, rotate the use of fungicides with Beauveria bassiana products. Apply each separately and approximately 1-2 weeks apart.

If you have questions please contact me at or 808-322-4892 for additional information. Mention of a trademark or proprietary name does not constitute an endorsement, guarantee, or warranty by the University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service or its employees and does not imply recommendation to the exclusion of other suitable products. The label is the law.

CTAHR Publications

–Submitted by Andrea Kawabata, Associate Extension Agent for Coffee and Orchard Crops with UH CTAHR

Hawaii Ant Lab Opens Office in West Hawaii

Little Fire Ants on a chopstick

The Hawaii Ant Lab (HAL) has opened an office in Kona at the CTAHR  Extension Center in Kainaliu. Kiyoshi Adachi, a Big Island native, is the newly appointed West Hawaii HAL staffer.
Please welcome Kiyoshi to the invasive species family. He is the guy to see with questions or concerns about Little Fire Ants (LFA).
His contact details are:
Kiyoshi Adachi
Hawaii Ant Lab
CTAHR Extension Center, room 12
79-7381 old Mamalahoa Hwy, Kainaliu
Phone 808-209-9014
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

Judging the Ripeness of Coffee Cherry

“Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death and sweet as love.”
(This is a Turkish proverb I saw in a book by Shawn Steiman entitled, “The Hawaii Coffee Book: A Gourmet’s Guide from Kona to Kaua’i”.)

In that same book he had a side bar Q&A “When is a Cherry Ripe?”
“Some say that the fruit must be monochromatic before it is ripe – that is, that the fruits must be completely red in red varieties and completely yellow in yellow varieties.
Actually the cherry is ripe when the seed easily falls out of the fruit when gently squeezed with fingers, which happens before the fruit becomes monochromatic.”

I’ve heard this debate before so I was wondering about a poll of sorts. Agree/Disagree? Why?

Anyway, these are some quick thoughts.
–Submitted by Carolyn Witcover
Okay readers – we would like to hear from you – how do you judge the ripeness of coffee cherry and why? Send your ideas here

Moisture Meter Calibration Workshop

KCFA is co-sponsoring the annual Moisture Meter Calibration Workshop on September 4th from 9:30-11:30 am.  Hawaii state law requires green coffee to be dried to 9% – 12% moisture, which can be surprisingly difficult to meet. If improperly dried, it can lead to production and marketing risks. Too dry, the coffee loses quality; too wet, it encourages mold. Also, parchment and green coffee should be dried to approximately 11% to manage CBB damage.

During this workshop, we will discuss the basics of how moisture meters work and its importance in the coffee drying process. We will have several types of meters to compare and have state certified parchment available for testing. Bring your own green coffee or parchment to see if your meter is measuring moisture content correctly. Don’t have a moisture meter or need a new one? This is the perfect opportunity to try out different models.
Reservations are required and seating is limited. Register at or contact Matt at 808-322-0164 by September 2nd. If full, a wait list will be created, and a second class may be provided on Sept. 5th from 3-5 pm.
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

Fancy Coffee Maker
Royal Paris announces first-of-its-kind, most luxurious coffee maker in the world

“PARIS, France — For the elite few who have collections of expensive cars, fine jewelry, extravagant watches, and beautiful handbags and shoes from the world’s most prestigious designers, Royal Paris announces the newest item exclusively made for them – the world’s most luxurious and extravagant coffee maker.
Designed by award-winning Parisian sculptor Jean Rieutort, the siphon-style brewer is unlike any other, handcrafted with 24K gold, the finest exclusively made Baccarat crystal carafe, choice of gold, copper or silver finish, and the finest base made with a choice of lapis azurite, malachite, obsidian or mahogany….”
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Conflicting Studies about Coffee & Cardiovascular Disease

Here’s the original article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that says too much coffee “unsafe”, dated May 4, 2019:

Here’s an article that refutes that article, also from the Atlantic Journal-Constitution and dated June 5, 2019 — says up to 25 cups a day is “safe”:
–Submitted by Jim Monk and Chet Gardiner

State Reimbursing Compost Costs

The HDOA is reimbursing growers who purchase compost from certified processors. Reimbursement will include transport costs, and is up to $50,000 per year.  Compost that is properly treated should be free of pests and weeds and can be a good addition to farm soils.  For more information, visit
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

Coffee may Reduce the Risk of Melanoma
Food for Thought: Coffee may reduce risk of melanoma skin cancer
“…SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The American Cancer Society estimates over 96,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer.
Melanoma rates have been rising for the last 30 years. Certainly we should wear sunscreen but we can also drink coffee to protect our skin.
According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, drinking 1 to 4 cups of caffeinated coffee a day can reduce the risk of melanoma by 25 percent. The benefits were seen only with caffeinated coffee not decaf….”
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Philippine Heritage Typica Coffee
“….SAGADA, Mountain Province, June 24 (PIA) — At least 3,000 coffee tree seedlings were planted  in two northern barangays of  this scenic town last week  to promote the local coffee industry and help farmers.
More than 200 volunteers from the different parts of the country and even abroad participated in the tree planting activity of the Coffee Heritage Project (CHP).  The coffee trees planted are known as the “typica” variety which is among the heritage trees in northern Sagada particularly in Madongo and Bangaan barangays….”
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith

 How Roasting Coffee Affects Taste

“…There are many different ways to roast. A shorter roast will result in a lighter coffee, that’s dryer and has its original flavor.
“A coffee roaster is trying to pull out the acidity, trying to make it bright,” said Holroyd. “Your fruity notes and things like that will live there in a light roast.”
A longer darker roast burns the bean, pulling out the oil and manipulating the flavor of the bean, making it less caffeinated in the process.
“So, when those flavors, when those oils are out, they’re being subjected to all of that fire, all of that heat, and they’re burning,” said Holroyd. “So that’s why your dark roasts taste roasty or burnt.”..”
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Slow Food Nations Taste Marketplace

An amazing opportunity in many ways for the 30,000 attendees, Slow Food Nations in Denver, CO (July 19-21) went very well for KCFA, our third year holding a booth (event website here: Three Board members (Colehour Bondera, Kay Dixon and Karen Zulkowski) helped prepare in advance (though many special thanks to Kay, who in 2019 did over 75% of the prep work!) and were the ones who made the booth happen during the full two days of operation. Karen’s husband, John, helped with booth operation, and therefore it was possible to sometimes take short breaks… Mahalo to all!
Our main time and actions, were spent talking with people while they sampled the coffee, about what we do and how if they ,as customers, seek Kona coffee, to be sure to read the label/website to ensure that it is 100%, and further to establish direct relationships with KCFA farmer members so that the direct line of purchase is their way to ensure integrity in product purchased, and this outreach and education had the most impact on the most interactions. To this end we passed out cards and references to the Buy Direct part of the KCFA website, so that folks could get coffee directly from our members! For this to happen, we have relied heavily on coffee donations, which we combine and then roast, bag and offer as a KCFA product, to promote our organization as the spokesperson for our membership. To this end, heartfelt thanks are due to our primary donation from Christine Coleman of Buddha’s Cup, along with Jim Monk, Kay Dixon and Lee Sugai. We received 96 lbs. of donated coffee, and were able to prepare (again HUGE thanks due to Kay Dixon, who this year did all of the roasting and bagging without assistance) enough for the continuous samples and for over 120 8 oz bags of medium and medium dark roasted beans and ground KCFA coffee. Not only did we sell out, but even after the event being shut down due to weather for several hours on Saturday, by the end of Sunday, we still had potential supporters asking about more KCFA coffee access. Strategically that was the main purpose of being there – to educate and promote 100% Kona coffee to people who truly care about where their food comes from and how it gets to them. That is the important and deep connection between KCFA and Slow Food, who you can be reminded has granted Pure Kona Coffee designation in their Ark of Taste listing (you can see this at:
As stated before, with enough planned help, volunteers could take breaks and participate in the Educational offerings this large event provides. This was not doable in 2019 during the two days of the booth space. However because of the help of Kay with booth prep on her own, it was a great opportunity for Colehour, who had been granted a farmer attendee scholarship from Slow Food, to attend the day-long Leader Summit on the University campus on Friday.
During this very well organized workshop event, it was possible to learn about actions around the world of Slow Food efforts, and to network and talk with others about how they deal with their crops/products in their circumstances. Many of these people over Saturday and Sunday would show up in our booth, and therefore connect the words with a booth space! Very effective and useful to build healthy support and recognition for issues faced by Kona coffee in our national marketing efforts and in public perceptions.
Worth significant note is that the person who put the event together, Krista Roberts, took the extra time to bring highly esteemed Slow Food Vice President, Alice Waters, a Chef, Activist and Author, to the KCFA booth to  introduce her to our story and truth about Kona coffee. From a public relations perspective it was a vital meeting for KCFA to receive the due recognition of being present and staying active. Further for Ms. Waters to state during discussion that is it critical for us to stay strong and continue with our presence at this important event each year; seeking to have us more effectively get the truth out to the public, to which the response was that we will sincerely attempt to so engage!
Slow Food is such a well recognized, healthy movement at all levels, at the local, County, State, national and international levels.  Lets’ keep Kona coffee strong and continue to support!
–Submitted by Colehour Bondera

Recipes Wanted! If any of you have coffee recipes that you would like to share, please submit them to the editor:

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! >> Write to us. We welcome Letters to the Editor up to 150 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length.  Include your name and email address >> Email: with SUBJECT: Commentary.