Kona Rain Forest Farms is, without question, the Devil Dog's favorite Kona Coffee. This is casting no aspersions on the numerous other amazing coffee farms in Kona, which are abundant in quality and devotion to their craft, but Kona Rain Forest Farms, for the Devil Dog, has a significant qualitative twist that sets it apart....the roasting. Set in the far southern reaches of Honaunau, at mile marker 95, Kona Rain Forest Farms roasts its orders on Monday, and ships them out Monday night, so when you receive your order on Wednesday it practically leaps from the bag. The freshness and aroma when you open the bag is intoxicating, the taste is extraordinary, the quality speaks for itself. Kona Rain Forest came in third place this year in the Gevalia Cup competition, its first time finishing in the top three, though it has been a finalist several times. Most importantly, Kona Rain Forest Farms was selected from a number of estate coffees to be served at the White House on special occasions, the first time for the National Governors Conference three years ago. Since then the White House has ordered Kona Rain Forest Farms coffee another 10 times or so, and with Hawaii native Barack Obama taking office in January the Devil Dog sees no reason to expect it to change.
Owners Robert and Dawn Barnes have owned the farm since shortly after that first order, having been trained in its operation by original owners Howard and Stephanie Conant. Howard and Stephanie were ardent ocean going sailors, having taken numerous trips from Australia to California in their 51 foot aluminum sailboat before settling in Kona and carving out the coffee farm from the virgin rain forest. Robert and Dawn have continued their meticulous organic tradition and taken it to the next level, expanding the coffee acreage from 5 to 9 acres, instituting reforms in cultivation and processing, while maintaining an excellence and attention to detail that is unsurpassed in quality and consistency.
Kona Rain Forest Farms coffee can be purchased over the internet at www.konarainforest.com or by phone at 808 329 1941.
The farm itself is 20 acres or more, with a guest house on the property that is available for rental. Set at 2200 feet above sea level, the farm has coffee trees growing in several fields both above the main house on a rising peak and in a natural bowl, and below the mill and roasting house in a sloping extravaganza of extraordinary beauty. It truly feels like a different planet, an oasis of amazing beauty with a crop of incredible richness.
Last year Robert and Dawn sold almost 50,000 pounds of their coffee, an amazing feat in terms of keeping their quality so high while expanding their production. They had spent 18 years in Papua New Guinea learning and teaching indigenous languages, building and maintaining health clinics before returning to Seattle, building and selling several internet businesses, and then buying Kona Rain Forest from Howard and Stephanie. Howard would not sell to just anyone. He had built this from scratch and passed on his techniques to Robert and Dawn, effectively apprenticing them to assure the continued growth and success of Kona Rain Forest. He succeeded magnificently.
Above you see their Hashi Danna where the beans are dried before milling. Below is Robert and Dawn standing on the porch of their house as the Pacific Ocean stands ourt in the distance below.