Thursday, November 13, 2008

We have a Winner

The Devil Dog was there this afternoon when this years Gevalia Cup winners were announced at the Outrigger Keauhou Resort Hotel on the ocean in Kona where King Kalakau had a beach home in the 1880's and very near where King Kamehameha III was born .  56 classic entries and 12 Crown Estates (larger farms) competed to be the best of Kona Coffee, 100% Kona Coffee, individual estates where a farmer grows, processes, markets and sells his hand crafted product in much the way that great winemakers craft their wine in Napa and Sonoma.

The winner this year was Debbie Hoshide of Hoshide Farms in far southern Honaunau.  Debbie was overwhelmed by the victory, which was completely unexpected. You see Debbie doesn't even have a private label product. She sells all her product to Greenwell Farms, all 7000 pounds of it, where it was packed and sold along with Tommy's beans as Greenwell Farms. Well count this as a victory for Tommy as well for it speaks well as to the quality of his product.  But Tommy will soon be issuing a Hoshide Farms sub-brand, or Debbie will be putting out one herself, for demand will soar.  Congratulations to a woman with a fine plot of land that becomes the southernmost farm to win in the history of the Gevalia.

Second place went to Una Greenaway and her husband Leon and their Kuaiwi Farm, last years first place winner. Leon and Una are in Captain Cook, and their organic farm showed its chops again this year, but why not. These people are a rock of integrity in Kona Coffee, living in geodesic domes an 4 acres of sheer heaven up Koa Rd, and back into a corner of the mountain off Bamboo Road.
The third place finisher is actually one of my favorite coffee farms in all of Kona,  Kona Rain Forest Farms, and their owners Robert and Dawn Barnes, whose farms lies even further south than Hoshide frams, at mile marker 95. Though it is their first top three finish in the history of Kona Rain Forest coffee they have the distinction of having been chosen to be served on multiple occasions at special functions at the White House. Among other reasons....they roast on Monday and ship it to you Monday night. When you open that bag on Wednesday its like a special love delivery.  We'll visit them later.

The Crown title for larger farms, who will sell 3000 pounds of their coffee on Gevalia's website in a special co-branding, went to Kowali Farm, 10 acres of dedication farmed by Rita for the last 32 years, and a deserving  farm that is actually small by comparison to the size of its competitors in this category.

Congratulations to all the winners. The Devil Dog is thrilled to know two of these winning growers well, and will go further into the farms and environs of many of his favorite farmers in future posts.

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