The Independent Voice
“Best Agricultural Newsletter in Hawaii”
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association
PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA
Welcome – the New Board of Directors
Protect the Name of Hawaiian Coffees from 10% Blends
Annual Pruning Workshop
KCFA Membership List to be Updated Soon
Biology of Coffee
Blockchain for Coffee Farmers
Long Term Preservation of Roasted Coffee
How Packaging Material Affects Green Coffee over Time
Flat vs. Cone Filters
Join the State Survey
The Fermentation Effect
What Do Coffee Roast names Really Mean?
Editor – Clare Wilson
Welcome – the New Board of Directors
KCFA members Eric and Suzanne, talking Kona coffee at the AGM
WELCOME to the new year of 2020, and to our new Board of Directors. After our annual election at the AGM some members have been carried over from 2019 through re-election or to continue their two-year terms and five new members have been elected to our Board.
Continuing members Cecelia Smith, Chet Gardiner, Jim Monk, Jeanné Kapela and Sandra Scarr join re-elected members Bruce Corker and Colehour Bondera along with our new elected Board members Barbara Anderson, Bill Dwyer, John Koontz, Tom Rayson and John Zulkowski. Allow me to welcome them to our ambitious, active and involved Board.
The Board elected a new leadership team that includes Colehour Bondera as President and Chet Gardiner as Vice President while Jim Monk continues as Treasurer and Bruce Corker will serve as Secretary.
Our Kona Coffee Farmers Association will keep up with our existing commitments, while also establishing new goals and work together harmoniously to achieve them.
While there has yet to be an opportunity for the new Board members to get together formally or informally as a group, Colehour’s primary goal as President of KCFA is to find ways that we can all respect one another and work together to achieve commonly held goals. His other important request of Board members is that we all have to share the workload and seek out ways to help one another.
Work continues in the Legislature on HB1886, the current version of the 51% blend legislation. We’re also working on approval of HB1861, extending the Coffee Berry Borer Pesticide subsidy for the purchase of beauveria bassiana to combat the Coffee Berry Borer.
We are also supporting passage of two other Bills; HB1897 extending labeling and advertising requirements to cover Ready to Drink coffee beverages and inner wrapping or packaging labels and HB1887 to prohibit the importation of unroasted coffee. We will turn to our legislative leadership (Bruce Corker with the help of our lobbyist Gary Hooser) to insure effective action in the Legislature this year.
Our newly elected Vice President, Chet Gardiner is active on the committee planning our upcoming 2020 Kona Coffee & Small Farm EXPO and urges members of the Board and all members of our Association to help out. A “Gala” fund-raising Dinner and Show will take place on the afternoon of Saturday, May 9th and our EXPO will take place on Sunday, May 10th as a special Mother’s Day Celebration. Save those dates and please volunteer your aid where and when you can to make the EXPO a huge success at our new location, the Honaunau Rodeo Grounds.
Colehour reports “As I stated at the Annual General Meeting on January 26, my leadership in 2020 will help us better support our organic farmers and further to acknowledge our need to have a place at the table both nationally and internationally, and maintain our memberships with American Origin Products Association and oriGIn where we continue to be heard and listened to as a representative group.”
We will work with other local and national non-profits and with HDOA, CTAHR and USDA to the extent that those relations are viable and allow us all to do as required and seek to take actions that promote and protect Kona coffee for our membership and more broadly as well.
We are looking forward to another active, successful year as a vital and active Association of small farmers engaged in growing and promoting our fine 100% Kona Coffee.
–Submitted by Colehour Bondera and Chet Gardiner
Big mahalo to Armando and Karina Rodrigues for making the delicious carnita and beans
At the request of KCFA’s Legislative Committee and with the support of our political consultant, former State Senator Gary Hooser, four sets of companion House and Senate bills have been introduced in the 2020 Session of the Hawaii Legislature:
(1) 51% minimum for Kona and other Hawaii coffee “blends”—HB 1886 and SB 3168;
(2) Continuation of the CBB subsidy program—HB 1861 and SB 2957;
(3) Fair Coffee Labeling for Ready-To-Drink and inner packaging products—HB1897 and SB 2955;
(4) Ban on entry of unroasted coffee to protect against introduction of coffee rust—HB 1887 and SB 2956.
We thank all the Representatives and Senators who signed on as introducers of these bills, especially the lead introducers–Representatives Creagan and Lowen; Senators Kanuha and Ruderman. To read the bills and written testimony submitted to the committees, go to the Legislature’s website www.capitol.hawaii.gov and enter the bill number in the “Bill Status” block on the home page.
GOOD NEWS: After a hearing on January 29, the House Agriculture Committee unanimously voted to approve HB1886 (51% minimum) and send the bill to then next committee. There was no opposition testimony given to the committee in writing or in-person at the hearing. To review the many written testimonies in support of HB 1886 from farmers and our supporters, go to the Legislature’s website. This is KCFA’s top legislative priority and we are pleased with this very positive first step in what may be a long process.
The House Agriculture Committee, also on January 29, heard and approved the CBB Subsidy bill (HB1861) and the Ready-to-Drink labeling bill (HB1897). The bill for protection against coffee rust, unfortunately, was “deferred” and is unlikely to proceed in the House. The Senate companion bill for coffee rust protection (SB 2956) remains pending for scheduling of a hearing before the Senate Agriculture & Environment Committee.
Thank You Again for Sending Testimony. Please remember that testimony does not carry over from one committee hearing to the next. Supporting written testimony is needed for each committee hearing. We will send out email calls for testimony to KCFA members and supporters as hearings are scheduled. Because of the Legislature’s rules, notices are often sent just 48 hours prior to the hearings. Your testimony can be brief, it can be the same testimony sent to prior committees, or it can be revised to address new and different points. Your voice to the Legislature is needed.
—Submitted by the Legislative Committee
Protect the Good Name of Hawaiian Coffee from 10% Blends
KCFA Board Member Sandra Scarr’s OP/Ed in the Star-Advertiser, 12/15/2019
What would you think if you saw a package that said “10% Macaroni and Cheese”? What about 10% Hawaii Guava Juice? What’s the other 90%, you might ask? Package doesn’t say….
In Hawaii, that’s exactly what state laws permit for some Hawaii-grown products.
10% Kona Coffee Blend? Hundreds of thousands of packages are sold to consumers who do not know that 90% of the bag’s contents are from India, Viet Nam, or Central America.
Using the good Kona name on the bag suggests consumers may smell and taste mellow, delicious Kona coffee. Not true. Even expert cuppers cannot taste 10% Kona coffee in a blend of 90% foreign beans. Consumers are left to believe what they taste is the real thing, when it’s not.
Coffee farmers across the state want honest legislation. We propose that any blend that uses our good names (such as, Kona, Ka’u, Maui, Kauai) must have at least 51% of the named coffee beans in the blend. And the origin of the other 49% should be identified on the bag.
Other states protect their premium crops. Idaho potatoes must be grown in Idaho, or the state will sue for fraudulent use of their good Idaho name. California wines are carefully protected by state laws that require nearly all of the named geographic origins of the grapes (Napa, Sonoma, etc.,) to be grown in that region. Or they will sue for fraud.
For several years we have tried to get the Legislature to pass labeling reform bills to require that all blends of named Hawaii coffees must have at least 51 % of that coffee in the bag, and to label the geographic origins of other beans in the blend.
Last session, such a law (HB144) passed the House but was killed in the Senate. Coffee farmers will back the same reform measure again in 2020.
Our proposed law protects both farmers and consumers. 750 Kona coffee farmers are losing millions of dollars in sales of 10% blends to innocent consumers who cannot know what they are getting is a fraud.
Blenders are making a fortune with their 10% blends and our good Hawaii names, while robbing farmers and consumers. Yes, blends are cheaper to buy than 100% pure coffees, but they are not proportionately cheaper.
Let’s make a 10% blend. Take 10% of $20.00/lb. green Kona beans, add them to 90% of $2.00/lb. foreign beans. The blender’s cost/lb. is less than $4.00. He can sell that blend for $12.00/lb. and make a 200% profit.
Take 100% Kona coffee. Farmers and upscale retailers sell it at $30 to $50/ lb. but it costs $25 to roast and bag a pound of Kona coffee. Profits on 100% Kona coffee are lower, but at least these profits are from an honest, legitimate Hawaii-grown product.
If blenders had to put 51% of the named coffee in the bag, they may raise their prices. Both farmers and consumers will benefit. Farmers will receive more money for their crops, and consumers will get a glimpse of how real Hawaii coffees taste.
We are proud of our 150-year history of growing world-class coffees in these islands. Let’s make coffee an honest, state-protected part of our heritage. Tell your Legislators to defend Hawaii’s premier coffees, farmers, and consumers from abuse. Make 51% the minimum standard for Hawaii coffee blends!
–Submitted by Sandra Scarr
Annual Pruning Workshop
KCFA will be hosting its Annual Pruning Workshop on Saturday, February 8, 2020.
Kona farmers Bob Nelson and Bob Smith will be presenting on both Kona Style and Beaumont-Fukunaga methods and will be joined by other contributors.
As always, there will be a lot of information for new farmers and experienced farmers as well.
well pruned old coffee tree
WHEN: Saturday, February 8, 2020
WHERE: Bob Nelson’s Farm (turn makai at the Kona Joe’s sign in Kainaliu. Drive down and park in big empty lot on right. Farm is just across.)
WHY: How to Prune your Coffee for Maximum Health and Yield
Registration opens at 8:30 and the class promptly starts at 9am at Lehu’ula farm, 79-7350 Mamalahoa Hwy in Kainaliu. All are welcome. Free to KCFA members, $10 to non-members (which can be applied to the $30 annual dues). Please bring a chair if you experience discomfort in standing.
See you Saturday!
Selecting Workshop, to Choose Best New Emerging Growth will be held on Friday May 8th, same place and time😊
Updating KCFA Membership List Soon!
Please renew now if you want to continue to get our KCFA important emails and alerts and our monthly “The Independent Voice” newsletter- called the “Best Agricultural Newsletter in Hawaii”! If you are an active member-your emails are delivered promptly into your email INBOX or Promotions. as soon as they. The Member email list will be updated on February 6, 2020, so don’t hesitate to renew-now! Help needed? email here
Biology of Coffee
Given coffee’s popularity, it’s surprising how much confusion surrounds how this hot, dark, nectar of the gods affects our biology…”
read entire article here: https://theconversation.com/the-biology-of-coffee-the-worlds-most-popular-drink-129179
–Submitted by Chet Gardiner
IBM Blockchain for Coffee Farmers
For those of you interesting in the possibility of utilizing blockchain in your coffee sales, here is an article explaining how it can work: https://www.comunicaffe.com/farmer-connect-uses-ibm-blockchain-to-bridge-the-gap-between-consumers-and-smallholder-coffee-farmers/
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith
Long-Term Preservation of Roasted Coffee
There has been a continuing argument on the topic of storing roasted coffee to maintain its freshness. However, that debate stops here! First, a primer on the state of freshly roasted coffee, whether in the form of whole beans or ground. The main culprit for the loss of coffee freshness is air, or more accurately oxygen in the air. Exposure to oxygen over a brief period of time degrades the freshness of roasted coffee, along with the desired attributes that are valued by savvy consumers. Yes, it is crucial to limit exposure to air to preserve the freshness. Fortunately, freshly roasted coffee emits carbon dioxide over several days post-roasting. When this fresh coffee is packaged in an air-tight container, preferably having a one-way exhaust valve, it will be preserved for many days, whether whole bean or ground. The carbon dioxide atmosphere in the package substantially limits air exposure by blanketing the coffee. So, the freshness problem begins when the sealed package is first opened, whence the carbon dioxide is exchanged for air. This moment is where future storage becomes a concern.
People have suggested that longer-term storage of freshly roasted coffee should be done with whole beans, as opposed to ground beans, with the roasted whole beans being kept in an air-tight container at room temperature, or in a refrigerator, or possibly in a freezer. Perhaps, a freezer ought to be avoided because moisture in the air can condense on the very cold beans when one is grinding them. Also, the properties of the bean matrix might be altered by ice crystals to adversely affect the grinding and brewing process. This approach is OK for a month or so, and certainly not useful for ground coffee, as its finely divided particles greatly increase exposure to air (oxygen). I recommend a different method that has been proven over time and is reasonably convenient.
Storing freshly roasted coffee should actually be done with the ground form, not as whole beans. As such, ground coffee from a newly opened bag is used for brewing and the bag is then vacuum-sealed, thus eliminating most of the harmful air (oxygen). Experiments with storing ground coffee in FoodSaver® vacuum-sealed bags, stored in a freezer around –15 °F for an extended period of time (years!!), were very successful in retaining the original flavor characteristics. From time to time, bags of 100% Kona coffee were opened for brewing and quickly vacuum-sealed, then followed over 3 years to access the taste properties. The resulting brew had virtually no time-dependent degradation/alteration relative to the initial flavor. (A vacuum-storage container could also be used in this context.) I highly recommend that people try out this storage method for themselves. However, another factor enters this picture. It was accidently discovered that low-temperature storage is unnecessary, and that protection from air is really the main issue. I discovered a vacuum-sealed package of ground coffee that fell behind a bookcase and was hidden there for 5 years at room temperature. I thought that this fine Kona coffee was doomed, but the vacuum was still perfectly intact. So, it was brewed by pour-over and tasted black. Surprisingly, this coffee was exceptional and virtually unchanged in flavor properties vs. earlier experiences with the exact same coffee (based on taste memory). This inadvertent “experiment” demonstrated that vacuum-sealing is much, much more important than cold storage. Nevertheless, with ground coffee it cannot hurt to use both vacuum-sealing and lower temperatures for long-term storage.
–Submitted by Bruce E. Maryanoff, Ph.D.
How Packaging Material Impacts Green Coffee Quality Over Time
above: high quality KCFA Burlap Bag, available in KCFA store 4$
“…Sensorial degradation in green coffee can represent significant financial losses for producers, traders, and roasters. Yet while a certain degree of degradation over time may be inevitable, the material of the coffee packaging can have a significant impact on the shelf life and quality of the beans. Jute, high-barrier, vacuum: which is really best? How much of an impact does the material actually have on the beans? And how can we measure this? Let’s take a look…” https://tinyurl.com/w59b4e3
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith
Flat vs. Cone Filters
Basket Shape is as Important as Grind Size in Drip Brew Coffee – 25 Magazine, Issue 8
“…One of the most reliable ways of starting a passionate argument, at least in a room filled with coffee aficionados, is to ask a simple question: What is the best shape for a drip brew filter basket?” The early results of an ongoing research project: https://tinyurl.com/v6eyzrl
Join the State Survey
The Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) is conducting a survey about Hawaii Place-Based Marketing. They have retained SMS Hawaii (www.smshawaii.com) to do the survey for them. Apparently the list of organizations to which SMS is sending the marketing survey is fairly short.
We need as many coffee farmers as possible to join the survey. The survey was sent to the Kona Coffee Farmers Association but not to very many individual farmers. It is very simple to get a copy of the survey. Each person that fills out the survey needs to have their own, unique identifier code.
Here’s how to get that code and do the survey. Click to email>>> firstname.lastname@example.org with the following words or something similar. He will send you a link that is specific to you that allows you to join the survey. It will take about five minutes to do the whole survey.
I am a Kona coffee farmer living on the Big Island of Hawaii and request you send me a copy of the survey you have been sending to others. I have not received a copy of it yet.
Please send it to my email address shown above.
Hersh Singer is very busy and keeps his emails very short, but he will respond with your personal link to the survey process in a reasonable period of time.
Please take these few minutes to help our coffee industry!
–Submitted by Jim Monk
The Fermentation Effect
“The journey of coffee is complex and fascinating.
SOPHIA JIYUAN ZHANG and FLORAC DE BRUYN share research findings amassed during a four-year research collaboration focused on creating a better understanding of the impact of post-harvest coffee processing on coffee quality across different geographic locations.
As we walk along this path through the seeds, fruits, green coffee beans, roasted beans, and, finally, a brewed cup, we can appreciate the effort that goes into each single stage of the entire coffee value chain. Not surprisingly, each of these stages is interlinked and can be optimized to deliver coffee of ever-increasing quality. Coffee quality is commonly evaluated at the level of the green coffee beans and the brewed cup. As the green coffee beans have all the flavor precursors locked inside them, their quality bears a close relationship to the final cup quality…” https://scanews.coffee/25-magazine/issue-10/english/the-fermentation-effect-25-magazine-issue-10/ …”
What do Coffee Roast Names Really Mean?
“…Roast Names Can Be Deceiving
You’ve probably heard a few roast names. Some concern the bean’s appearance (Cinnamon), the region it’s from (Viennese), or when it should be drunk (After Dinner).
Despite this, there’s little naming standardization. Some terms are used interchangeably, others can describe a range of roast levels, and the names don’t always directly reference the coffee’s flavours or aromas.
It’s often said that darker roasts have a higher percentage of caffeine. However, lighter roasts actually have a higher concentration of caffeine per bean – but those beans also typically weigh more, so there’s no real difference in the amount of caffeine that ends up in your brew…” https://tinyurl.com/urlefr8
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith
Recipes Wanted! If any of you have coffee recipes that you would like to share, please submit them to the editor: email@example.com
Kona Coffee Nanaimo Bars
For Valentines’ Day
reprinted from February 2015 “The Independent Voice”
Photo by Allison Cay Parker
Author Notes: The city of Nanaimo (pronounced “nuh-NYE-mo”) is known as “The Harbour City” of British Columbia. – Allison Cay Parker
Serves 16 squares
For the bottom layer
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup sugar tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped and lightly toasted
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
For the middle and top layers
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 3 teaspoons all-natural coconut flavoring (not oil)
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons Kona coffee, brewed to double strength
- 1/4 cup chocolate-covered espresso beans, coarsely chopped
- For the bottom layer: Melt butter, sugar, and cocoa in the top of a double boiler. Add egg and cook until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in graham cracker crumbs, macadamia nuts, and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8- by 8-inch pan and chill in the refrigerator before proceeding to the next step.
- For the middle layer: Beat together the butter, cream, cornstarch, salt, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar until well combined, light, and fluffy. Add coconut flavoring and mix thoroughly. Spread over bottom layer and chill again.
- For the top layer: Melt chocolate and butter, together with the coffee, over low heat. Cool to room temperature. Once cool, pour over the middle layer. Top with the crushed espresso beans and chill once more. When the top layer has set, cut into squares and serve.
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: info@KonaCoffeeFarmers.org with SUBJECT: Commentary.