August 20, 2019
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October 2017 – The Independent Voice

The Independent Voice
“Best Agricultural Newsletter in Hawaii”
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association                         October 2017
PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA


National Coffee Day/World Coffee Day
Farewell to Lisa Corker
Kona Coffee Cultural Fest Cupping Competition
Coffee Fermentation with Yeast Workshop
Coffee & Art Stroll Booth Volunteers
NRSC Sign-Up Deadline – October 20
Lessons from Puerto Rico
Coffee Trivia
Hawaii Ag Conference 2017
Salute to Supporting Business Member: Ashe LLC
Recipe: Tiramisu
Write to Us

Editor – Clare Wilson

National Coffee Day/World Coffee Day 
A bit confusing but apparently National Coffee Day is on September 29th and World Coffee Day is on October 1st. That means that the United States gets to celebrate twice! Krispy Kreme seems to be taking advantage of this opportunity by calling for National Coffee Weekend.
Coffee roaster and Viennese coffeehouse culture ambassador, Julius Meinl, is promoting poetry on World Coffee Day. “Noting how in today’s world, people don’t have the headspace to truly disconnect, the brand hopes to inspire people to say the unsaid things to their loved ones via poetry, all in exchange for a complimentary coffee.”
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Farewell to Lisa Corker

 Lisa with newborn grandson William

Lisa Corker, dear friend and fellow coffee farmer, passed away on September 5th in Seattle surrounded by family.
Lisa and Bruce moved to Rancho Aloha in 2001. In 2006 she was a founding member of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association. For a number of years, Lisa was Co-Chair of the Social Committee and organized member dinners, excursions, cruises, and other KCFA social events. She was a longtime member of the Kona Art Center and organized many shows and exhibitions of her batik artwork and clothing.
Here is some interesting information about Lisa from a Seattle Memoriam. She was an artist and batik fabric designer, teacher of English as a second language and a passionate appreciator of Italian food. For many years Lisa owned and operated the Batik Workshop/Bima in Cambridge, Seattle and Kona. She taught English as a second language in Colombia, the University of Washington, and China.
Lisa is survived by Bruce, her husband of 45 years, daughter Jamaica, son Zachary, and grandchildren William and Isla.
She was so delighted to finally have grandchildren and was able to spend several months with them in Seattle this year.
–Submitted by Clare Wilson

Kona Coffee Cultural Fest Cupping Competition

The 2017 Kona Coffee Cultural Fest’s annual cupping competition is coming up fast.  Get your submissions ready! The website address is  On the website, the official rules, entry form, and pertinent information are all available.  There’s a new format this year, with new rules, spearheaded by Shawn Steiman.  Sample submission is similar to what it has been in previous years.  However, the scoring and judging system of the competition is new.  Part of the new system required a group of competition stakeholders to define two profiles to be used for the artisanal (formally known as the classic) division.  Entrants must choose a profile on their entry form for the artisanal division.
Shawn’s hope is that the new format will facilitate the competition to be as transparent as possible.  While he’s prepared a great deal of material and put it on the website, he recognizes that may have missed something or not written it as clearly as possible.  If you have questions about the process, email Shawn directly at 
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

Workshop on Coffee Fermentation with Commercial Yeasts

A second workshop on Coffee Fermentation with added yeast has been scheduled for Tuesday 10/10 at the CTAHR offices at 4pm. It will be led by Kevin McHale of Scott Labs and there will be a demo with pulped coffee.
Fermentation is a key part of the pulping process.  Properly done, many experts feel it can beneficially add to a cupping score.  Improperly done, it can ruin your coffee.  On small farms, getting the process right can be a challenge because of the many variables, including small lots, cool temperatures, equipment, water quality and a host of other reasons.  Other regions around the world have begun to control this process through commercial yeasts that guarantee a consistent and controlled fermentation, not unlike the wine and beer processes.
Adding commercial yeasts shortens the ferment process (to only 4 hours).  Any additional time in the tank (up to 30 hours) will allow the yeast to interact positively with the sugars inside the bean.  KCFA advises that Scott Labs is selling a product.  However, there is no obligation to buy and the information has a general benefit.
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

Volunteers Needed for Coffee & Art Stroll 

The Holualoa Coffee & Art Stroll will be held on November 4th.  KCFA supports this event by making all the arrangements for participating Kona coffee farmers. In addition, KCFA has a booth to sell coffee and logo items. Volunteers are needed to man this booth. If interested please contact  Karen Zulkowski at
Mahalo for your help.
 –Submitted by Karen Zulkowski

NRCS Sign-Up Deadline is October 20, 2017

2018 Farm Bill Program Sign-Up Deadline is October 20, 2017

Is your irrigation system wasting water?  Are you hand-watering your trees?  Could you use a simple and efficient irrigation system?

Do you need organic matter to improve your soil?

Could your trees use some shade?

Then contact the USDA NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service)!

We provide the technical and/or financial assistance to help you help your land.  We work with you to make your farm the best it can be!
Sign-up deadline for the 2018 EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) is October 20, 2017.
Contact Jessica Schmelz at or at (808) 322-2484 ext. 109.

An Equal Opportunity Provider, Employer, & Lender
–Submitted by Jessica Schmelz

Hurricane Losses: Lessons from Puerto Rico

From all reports, Puerto Rico has entirely lost its coffee crop, and possibly its industry from Hurricane Maria.  In the few areas where reports have been able to come out, steep coffee hillsides had extensive erosion causing many growers to lose their trees. In other places, trees remain but cherry, leaves or branches are gone. This is a tragedy and our hearts go out to them.
Kona’s coffee lands have been blessed to date.  But should we have a storm, there are ways to prepare.  The 2014 Farm Bill expanded the Non-Insured Crop Assistance Program (NAP) to include higher levels of protection. Beginning, underserved and limited resource farmers (most Kona farmers qualify here) are now eligible for free catastrophic level coverage, as well as discounted premiums for additional levels of protection. The deadline to sign up is December 1, 2017. To learn more about NAP and NAP Buy-Up plan visit or call the Hilo USDA office at 933-8381 x2.
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

A bit of Coffee Trivia

I bought a home roaster years ago and the suggestion was to use Simple Green to clean it after roasting. I did some research as to whether Simple Green was appropriate.
The Simple Green® story began over forty years ago, long before “environmentally friendly” products were mandated by law. Bruce FaBrizio and his father developed a safer alternative to the toxic cleaners then being used to remove tannic acid, a by-product of coffee roasting, from roasting machinery.
So, it seems so.
–Submitted by Mark Shultise

Hawaii Ag Conference 2017

The Hawaii Ag Conference was held on Oahu in late August. Held every five years, this session had 600 attendees present, with a heavy emphasis on Oahu growers, as well as governmental and NGO entities.  KCFA’s Suzanne Shriner was in attendance, as a guest of Kamehameha Schools.
The meeting served as a call to action for growers in the islands.  With the message of “Our world is changing and we need farmers to shape its future”, growers were asked to commit to shepherding issues key to our industry, such as ag labor, worker housing, food safety and technology.   Discussion groups were generated from the commitments, with a promise made that this conference would not “end” but keep working to make Hawaii more ag-friendly. If you have an interest in committing, all are welcome to join at
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

A LEAN Farm: How to Eliminate Waste and Free Up Time

The keynote speaker at the Hawaii Ag Conference was Ben Hartman, author of “The LEAN Farm”.  A lifelong farmer, he’s adapted Toyota’s noted LEAN management system to his small plot in Indiana.  Using the LEAN methods of eliminating waste while focusing on value to the customer, he’s able to maintain a sustainable income on less than one acre of produce.  It was a fascinating look at how to cut through the non-essential clutter that can fill up a farm day (and a barn!).   From simple techniques, like keeping tools close to where they are used, to more complex customer management systems focused on value to the customer, there is a lot within the LEAN system that could apply to a small coffee farm.  Info on Ben’s adaptation of LEAN to farming can be found online in interviews and podcasts The LEAN system is widely documented on the web as well.
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

Salute to KCFA Business Member – Ashe LLC 

Many of us are familiar with the Ashe fluid bed coffee roaster developed by Ken Sheppard, former coffee farmer. Dave Hart as the current owner of Ashe has continued to develop the roaster for higher throughput, chaff collection  and has even designed a roaster for cacao.

From their website:
“ASHE was founded in 2005 initially to provide coffee roasting equipment to meet the needs of the coffee grower, coffee processor, and the coffee roasting professional. Electric roasters have a refined fluid bed coffee roasting process suitable for small scale (10 lb roast at a time, 50 lb an hour flow through) and custom roasting needs. A version of the electric roaster has been specifically designed for the unique requirements of roasting cacao beans. And the new ASHE chaff removal and collection system is now available for users who have an indoor roasting operation. More details of all our equipment are on our web site Products page.”

Please support our business members. Remember Dave has the spare parts for your Ashe coffee roaster.

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

Recipe: Tiramisu
In honor of Lisa, an Italian dessert

Adapted from

6 large egg yolks, room temperature
½ cup sugar
16 oz. mascarpone cheese
4 large egg whites
2 oz. Kona coffee liqueur
12 4” ladyfingers
1 ½ cups strong Kona coffee

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with half the sugar until pale and doubled in volume (the mixture will maintain a “ribbon” when folded over itself), 3 to 5 minutes. Add the mascarpone in 2 or 3 additions, whisking well to combine. Add the liqueur, if using, and whisk to combine.
In a clean bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and remaining sugar to soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture in two or three additions.
In a roughly 6-by-9-inch casserole or plate with a border, spread about one third of the mascarpone cream into an even layer. Soak each individual cookie in the coffee and arrange them very tightly on top until the cream is completely covered. Spoon the remaining cream over the cookies, spreading it into an even layer.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days to set the cream. Just before serving, dust the top with cocoa powder.

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