Dr. Andrew Hetzel talked about many defects that can degrade coffee beans. He talked about sour beans, withered beans, immature, broken and chipped beans all being detriments to holding onto a reputation for specialty coffee. Defects can come from farming, harvesting, processing, transportation and storage methods. All of these have to be handled with the utmost care to keep coffee reputation and prices high, he said. He encouraged farmers to frequently cup their own coffee and those of other farmers and coffees from around the world and to learn to detect defects and how to prevent them.
|Andrea Kawabata encouraged farmers to methodically|
manage CBB to save Ka'u's excellent reputation.
Andy Newbom, a coffee buyer from San Diego, talked about tough competition in pricing, with excellent coffee coming from countries where there is cheaper land and less expensive labor than in Hawai'i. He said this makes it all the more important for Ka'u to preserve the highest of standards and to share the farmers’ stories that connect with coffee drinkers and also to distinguish Ka'u from Kona coffee. He shared his saying, “Never give customers what they want. Only give them what you do best.” He said it is not reasonable to think that a coffee business can be sustained by riding on the fame of Hawai'i as a visitor destination. “You have had it easy,” he said.
|Chris Manfredi (left) urged farmers to keep up quality. Andy|
Newbom (right) spoke of tough competition in coffee pricing.
Chris encouraged farmers to keep up with treatments for Coffee Berry Boerer. “Don’t wait. The bugs don’t know that the grant is coming.” He suggested strip-picking at the end of the season and to spray early. He also talked high prices. “For us to sell Ka'u, we need the quality.”
Farmers were urged to become involved with the Hawai'i Coffee Association’s annual convention this summer. See hawaiicoffeeassoc.org.
To learn more about the Ka'u Coffee Festival events visit our website at kaucoffeefestival.com.