Hawaii’s no different from any other place in the country when it comes to coffee lovers: Step into any Starbucks and you’ll see — we’ve got lots of ’em. And yet, we’re not like everywhere else because we’re the only state in the nation that grows coffee.
Viewed from that perspective, those long lines at chain coffee bars with their non-Hawaii coffees seem nonsensical. Shouldn’t Hawaii people be drinking Hawaii coffee?
Thankfully, a host of venues in Hawaii do offer locally grown coffees.
But there’s a new shop, just 4 months old, that is taking Hawaii coffee to a whole new level on Oahu.
Beach Bum Café, run by owner Dennis McQuoid out of a storefront in the Executive Centre on Bishop Street, is cutting-edge in what it offers: a selection of 100 percent Hawaii coffees and a choice of five brewing methods.
He calls his place a “microbrew” coffee house, meaning he grinds beans upon order and brews one cup at a time. This ensures the freshest cup possible.
McQuoid offers eight single-estate coffees at any given time, and he keeps just a two-week supply to ensure freshness.
McQuoid also offers a generous helping of customer service. He starts by helping patrons make selections based on their preferences. Continue reading
In case you needed one, here’s another possible reason to have that cup of coffee in the morning: Men who regularly drink coffee appear to be less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, especially the most lethal kind, according to new research.
Lorelei Mucci of the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues analyzed data collected from 47,911 U.S. men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, a large, ongoing examination of a variety of health issues for men. As part of the study, the men reported their coffee consumption every four years between 1986 and 2008. During that period, 5,035 cases of prostate cancer were reported, including 642 fatal cases.
The men who consumed the most coffee, which was defined as six or more cups every day, were nearly 20 percent less likely to develop any form of prostate cancer, the researchers reported in the May 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
But, most strikingly, the heavy coffee drinkers were also 60 percent less likely to be diagnosed with a lethal prostate tumor. Those who drank between one and three cups a day were 30 percent less likely to develop a lethal case.
The risk was cut regardless of whether the men drank decaffeinated or regular coffee, the researchers reported. Continue reading
The first infestation of the coffee berry borer in the Kau district of the Big Island has been detected at a farm in Pahala, state agricultural officials announced today.
Infestations of the beetle, which threaten Hawaii’s $27 million coffee-growing industry, have been concentrated in West Hawaii.
The coffee berry borer, a small beetle native to Central Africa, bores into coffee beans and lays its eggs, its larvae feeding inside the bean.
State officials said they’re still assessing the extent of the infestation in Pahala and that farmers in the region are asked to inspect their fields and report any suspected coffee berry borers.
The state in February approved the use of the fungus Beauveria bassiana to control the spread of the coffee berry borer.
A Big Island coffee farm is among 10 in the world to win the distinction of “Coffees of the Year.”
Kailiawa Farm was the only coffee producer in the nation to get that title from the Specialty Coffee Association of America and Roasters Guild competition in Houston, West Hawaii Today reported Friday.
The farm is on the Big Island’s southern tip known as the Kau district, which in recent years has been gaining recognition among coffee aficionados. Coffee in neighboring Kona has long been well-known.
Bull Kailiawa of Pahala told the newspaper he believes his family farm’s location in an area called “Cloud Rest” is key to producing quality coffee.
“The rain plays a big part,” he said. “It brings energy and we’re thankful for being on that belt line.”
This is the second time the farm received the honor. Continue reading
The U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission announced today that it filed lawsuits in Hawaii and Washington state against Global Horizons Inc., a Beverly Hills-based farm labor contractor, and eight farms, including six in Hawaii.
The agency said Global Horizons brought more than 200 men from Thailand to work on farms in Hawaii and Washington, where they were subjected to severe abuse.
The EEOC contends that Global Horizons engaged in a pattern or practice of national origin and race discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Hundreds of additional potential claimants and witnesses are expected, the EEOC said.
The agency said the Thai workers were assigned to work at these farms in Hawaii: Captain Cook Coffee Company, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Kauai Coffee Company, Kelena Farms, MacFarms of Hawaii and Maui Pineapple Farms.
The Washington state farms named in the lawsuits are Green Acre Farms and Valley Fruit Orchards.
The lawsuit follows criminal charges brought against Global Horizons last year. The U.S. government in September indicted Global Horizons owner Mordechai Yosef Orian and others with exploiting about 400 Thai workers in forced-labor conditions from May 2004 to September 2005. Continue reading
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is proposing to make it easier to import a fungus used to control a type of beetle that is a major threat to Kona’s coffee bean farms.
The Department of Agriculture said in a news release yesterday the proposal seeks to remove the fungus from the list of restricted microorganisms.
Agriculture officials in February approved using pesticides that contain the fungus only with a permit. The department is proposing to remove the permit requirement but the pesticide would still need to be registered with the state.
The fungus is contained in pesticides Kona coffee farms use to control an infestation of small beetles known as Coffee Berry Borers. The beetle has destroyed 60 to 70 percent of coffee crops at some farms.
KAILUA-KONA – A beetle smaller than a sesame seed is boring its way into Kona coffee beans and threatening the nation’s only coffee-growing region’s premier crop.
More than 600 farmers in North Kona and South Kona, on the west side of the Big Island, are preparing to coat their fields with a suffocating fungus and are taking other measures to save their livelihoods and protect the world famous Kona coffee brand. While they’re confident they can limit the damage, they acknowledge they face a long fight against a beetle that will almost certainly reduce harvests and force costly chemical treatments and other work.
”It definitely has made growing Kona coffee more challenging,” said Tommy Greenwell, owner of Greenwell Farms. ”Once the beetle bores into the coffee cherry, it digs out a home and lays its eggs. That bean is no longer useable in coffee products. ”
The beetle, a bug known as Hypothenemus hampei that is native to Africa, was formally identified in Hawaii in September, but farmers have reported spotting it for two years. No one knows how it arrived in Hawaii, but growers said they’re not surprised because it’s seen in other coffee-growing regions throughout the world.
”There are 101 theories about how it got here. All we know is it got here from another country and it’s a very, very good hitchhiker Continue reading
Two mainland investment firms have combined to purchase a 9.9 percent stake in Honolulu-based Alexander & Baldwin Co., according to a regulatory filing today.
New York-based Pershing Square Capital Management LP, led by activist hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, bought an 8.6 percent stake and San Francisco-based Marcato Capital Management LLC, led by Richard McGuire, acquired a 1.3 percent stake.
An affiliate of an Italian beverage company has completed its acquisition of Kauai Coffee Co. operations from Alexander & Baldwin Inc.
The deal, announced in December, involves a subsidiary of Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group buying the Kauai Coffee brand, retaining all employees, leasing the 3,000-acre plantation and distributing the coffee through its global sales channels.
Financial terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.
Massimo Zanetti expects to expand recognition of the brand, which will be added to its collection of green coffee operations in Brazil, Costa Rica, Honduras, Vietnam and Indonesia.
“We are excited to welcome Kauai Coffee into our portfolio of prestigious brands,” John Boyle, chief operating officer of Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA, said in a statement. “It’s a wonderful new entry point for us into the growing super-premium coffee segment.
I wrote in Thursday’s paper about the challenges that Colombian coffee growers face from climate shifts on their mountaintop farms, and how Cenicafé, the national coffee institute, is doing research to breed coffee plants to better resist warmer, wetter weather.
Most everything at Cenicafé’s lush mountain campus in western Colombia is coffee-centric. There are chemists who analyze the brew’s chemical content to understand what mix of molecules makes for great flavor. There are gardens filled with coffee plants from all over the world for breeding new heartier variants. There are geneticists studying the coffee genome.
But Cenicafé scientists are also studying a little bright blue bird whose plight has gained widespread attention in the United States: the cerulean warbler.
The cerulean warbler is on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s “red list” of threatened species. Once plentiful in the United States, its population is decreasing faster than that of any other eastern songbird.
A big part of the problem is that much of the cerulean warbler’s breeding ground in states like West Virginia and Tennessee has been destroyed by forest-felling and mountaintop coal mining. Conservation groups are fighting to save the species, and its plight features prominently in Jonathan Franzen’s latest novel, “Freedom.”
So what does this have to do with Colombian coffee? It turns out that the cerulean warbler winters in Colombia and other countries in the northern part of South America. And it seems to prefer the forest canopy of its mountain coffee-growing regions.
So scientists are working to better understand the warbler’s winter habitat, and to make sure it is preserved. Continue reading