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Peaberry Coffee – Great or Blah?

Peaberry Coffee - Great or Blah?   One of the coffees we offer at Hula Daddy is peaberry. We only harvest a limited amount, so we don't always have it available. There are peaberry people and non-peaberry people. Peaberry people are passionate about peaberry coffee. They claim that the beans are sweeter and more flavorful. We have had peaberry people get angry when we told them we … [Read more...]

Grinding Coffee for a Great Cup

My grandmother used to get up at 4 am, take down a five pound can of Hills Brothers ground coffee and start the percolator. She didn’t worry about grind size because the can told her this was the perfect grind for percolators. It must have been the right grind because the coffee kept my grandfather going all day long. Visitors to the Hula Daddy Kona Coffee farm often ask us what grind to use … [Read more...]

How Hula Daddy Produces Karen J Red Bourbon

In 2010, we planted an arabica coffee variety called Red Bourbon on our Waiono Farm at 2200 ft ASL We planted from seed that we picked ourselves. It took one year in the nursery and three years in the ground to create a commercial crop. Today, it is one of our most popular coffees. In 2014, Karen J won the Kona Coffee Festival Cupping Competition as the best Kona Coffee. In 2015, it won the Hawaii … [Read more...]

How to Make a French Press Coffee

The French Press is the ultimate in gourmet coffee brewing. Brewing a great cup of coffee with a French Press isn't hard. It just requires the right equipment and a little effort. The major benefit of a French Press is the total immersion of the grounds. If you do it right, all of the coffee grounds are totally surrounded by water. Compare that to the standard Mr. Coffee style brewer where the … [Read more...]

Are You Drinking Coffee Picked by Children

A recent report by the U.S Department of Labor states that child labor is a major component of foreign coffee imported into the United States. Coffee farmers in many foreign countries are paid so little that they have to put their children to work to survive. A typical Central American farm child will go to school through the first or second grade and then be pulled out for farm work. The … [Read more...]

Why You Can’t Get a Great Cup of Coffee at a Restaurant

We recently went to an upscale restaurant and noticed a Kona Coffee on the menu from a farm we admired. We ordered a french press of the coffee for $14.00. We could watch the waitress through a glass wall brewing the coffee. She put pre-ground coffee into a french press and then poured in heated tap water. She then immediately pushed the plunger down and brought it to our table. We asked her about … [Read more...]

How Hot is Your Coffeemaker?

  My grandmother, every morning, used to open a can of Hills Brothers coffee, put the ground coffee in a percolator and place the percolator on top of a wood stove. After the coffee had finished “perking” she pulled it off the stove and served it. My grandfather loved it; it was hot, black and gave him a jolt to start his day. She then put the percolator back on the stove and let it boil … [Read more...]

Coffee Cupping Competitions – Real or Random Chance?

There are coffee cupping competitions all over the world ranging from the rigorous to the ridiculous.  Placing well in the competitions has a major effect on coffee farm profitability. However, there are serious questions which should be addressed about all of these competitions. How accurate are the scores?  What criteria are being used? How effective is a judge's palate when she has to taste … [Read more...]

The Five Pillars of Coffee

If you want an outstanding cup of coffee you need to pay attention to five critical elements: beans, grind, water, temperature  and extraction time. Failure of any one of these elements is fatal to great coffee. Beans You cannot make a good cup of coffee with bad beans. Not all coffee beans are the same. There are dozens of varieties of arabica coffee, each one of them has it own flavor … [Read more...]

Things to Know Before You Buy Gourmet Kona Coffee

All Kona coffees are not alike. Saying that all Kona coffees are the same is like saying all wine from Napa is the same. There are bad, average, good, and extraordinary wines in Napa. The same holds true for Kona coffee. … [Read more...]

Freezing Coffee Beans Keeps them Fresh

Recently articles quoting two respected coffee professionals stated that roasted coffee beans should not be frozen because the water trapped inside the bean will freeze, expand and crack the bean. Starbucks Expert: How to Brew Coffee, Avoid Common Mistakes (quoting Major Cohen)  http://go65g6Boo.gl/; Don't Freeze Coffee, and Five Other Tips for Treating Beans (quoting Sherri … [Read more...]

Throw Out Your Coffee Grinder

Brewing coffee is all about extraction of the flavors from the bean. However, there are good flavors and bad flavors in a coffee bean. If you over-extract coffee, it will taste acidic and bitter. If you under-extract, the coffee will be weak and sour. If the grounds are uneven some of the grounds will over-extract and some will under-extract. Acidic, bitter and sour flavors do not cancel each … [Read more...]

The Origin of Coffee

There are a lot of stories about how humans first discovered coffee. All of the stories are  apocryphal no one really knows when coffee drinking started. However, that doesn't make the stories less entertaining. Our favorite story is a variation of the dancing goats story. Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a land we now call Ethiopia, there was a goatherd named Kalidi. Every day he took his … [Read more...]

Breaking the Dark Roast Paradigm

For years, specialty coffee has been stuck in the dark roast paradigm - roast coffee beans until they are dark and oily, brew the coffee and then add sugar and cream to kill the taste. Even better add sugar, cream, flavoring, give it a fancy Italian name and sell it for $6.00. Fortunately, coffee roasters are learning that while you can sell over roasted coffee to all of the customers some of the … [Read more...]

The Perfect Coffee Pot

The best way to brew gourmet coffee is still by hand in a french press, siphon or a pour over. However, automated coffee brewing methods are getting better. The perfect automated coffee brewer besides brewing a fantastic cup of coffee should be fast, convenient, easy to clean, always brew at 200 degrees F and provide a four minute extraction. So far no coffee pot meets all of those criteria. If … [Read more...]

Coffee Fraud

  Recently, a farmer in Napa was caught labeling Lake county wine as Napa, selling inferior wine as Cabernet and stealing grapes from other growers. He has been arrested and probably will go to prison. Could the same thing happen with coffee? Of course, the answer is "Yes." Any place there is money, there are people willing to cheat to get it. Fraudulent coffee occurs … [Read more...]

Match Your Coffee Grind to the Filter

  There are a number of different ways to filter coffee. Some of the more common types of filters are paper, metal, cloth, plastic and glass. Some filters are very porous while others - even of the same material - are very fine. Whatever type of filter you use, you should match your bean grind to that filter, Failure to use the right size grind can result in a clogged filter or a lot … [Read more...]

Are You Drinking GMO Coffee?

Genetically Modified (GM) food is a hot topic today. Proponents laud GM foods as a way to combat food shortage, drought and plant diseases. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/remind-me-again-who-wants-gmo-labeling-082514.html. Anti-GM groups attack GM foods as frankenfood (as in Frankenstein*). They argue that you cannot mess with Mother Nature and that changing the DNA of plants can cause human … [Read more...]

“What Color is Your Coffee Roast” by Karen Paterson

Visitors to the Hula Daddy Kona Coffee plantation ask us do we have dark roast, medium roast, or light roast. The answer in each case is “It depends on what you mean by dark, medium or light roast.” There is no standard definition for coffee roasts. One roaster's french roast is another roaster's medium roast. In most cases, the roast name on the package is the marketing name that the roaster … [Read more...]

Sweet Coffee by Karen Paterson

Most of the coffee sold and served in the world is bitter and sour. Yet, red ripe coffee beans contain natural sugars and have a sweet taste. Not the sweetness of a candy bar or a soft drink but the subtle sweetness of a ripe fruit. At the Hula Daddy plantation we let visitors pick red ripe beans and taste them. They always expect an acidic bitter taste, they are surprised when they find the fruit … [Read more...]

“Throw Out Your Drip Coffee Brewer!” by Karen Paterson

Manual pour over coffee is hot.  Coffee shops all over the United States are offering manual pour over cups of coffee starting at $5.00 a cup. A well done pour over coffee is significantly better than a cup of automatic drip brewed coffee. The difference is that the coffee is pulsed into the brew basket slowly to extend the extraction time. You can make a manual pour over yourself but you have to … [Read more...]

“Roasters Getting Rich Selling Buggy Coffee” by Karen Paterson

Some Kona Coffee mills are buying buggy beans from farmers at roadside platforms, dark roasting the coffee, grinding it and selling it in local big box stores. Customers who buy the coffee are looking for Kona coffee at the cheapest price. The customers are getting exactly what they pay for - cheap, bad tasting coffee. Meanwhile, the bug coffee mills are getting rich by destroying the reputation … [Read more...]

“The Mystery of Kona Coffee Rings!” by Karen Paterson

We noticed at Hula Daddy Kona Coffee that coffee cups leave a ring on the counter while other beverages do not. We never knew why that occurred. Our question has now been answered by an elite group of scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, who were taking a break from predicting TEOTW.* These boffins wanted to know why coffee always creates distinctive rings when it spills. After much … [Read more...]

Change Your Coffee Brewer, Not Your Coffee Beans!

If you are tired of your coffee, one way to change the flavor is to change your brewer. At the Hula Daddy Coffee Tasting Room we brew coffee for our guests usindifferent methods to demonstrate the flavor changes. Our guests are amazed at the difference in flavor using the same coffee in different kinds of coffee brewers. The taste of coffee is a combination of coffee quality, grind, water … [Read more...]

Siphon Coffee Brewers Suck! by Karen Paterson

Siphon coffee brewers, aka vacuum pots, were very popular in mid-century America. Every coffee shop had a Silex or a Cory. The waiter would fill a pot with cold water, seal another pot on top of it filled with ground coffee and then put it on a hot plate. After the water got hot in the lower pot, it was forced by steam pressure into the upper pot where it mixed with the ground coffee. After the … [Read more...]

AeroPress – an Ugly Way to Brew Coffee by Karen Paterson

Imagine a romantic dinner followed by a spectacular cup of coffee brewed right at your table. The waiter brings a siphon brewer - how interesting; or a french press - how elegant; or a pour over filter - how special; or an AeroPress - how ???.  There is nothing elegant about an AeroPress. The AeroPress was created by a toy company which may explain its lack of elegance. I have always resisted … [Read more...]

Hawaii Magazine Readers Pick Hula Daddy as Top Kona Coffee

The March 2014 issue of Hawai`i Magazine named Hula Daddy Kona Coffee the top Kona coffee in the  "Best Of The Best:" 2014 Readers' Choice. Karen Paterson, owner of Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, commented : "This is an amazing honor for us. The fact that Hawai`i Magazine readers included Hula Daddy Kona Coffee in its selection of  "Best Of The Best: 2014 Readers' Choice" signals that our constant … [Read more...]

Before You Buy an Automatic Single Serve Coffee Brewer by Karen Paterson

Single serve coffee brewers have eclipsed traditional automatic drip brewers. Instead of an automatic drip coffee brewer, more and more families make coffee using a single serve pod or capsule.  Pod and capsule brewers typically make better tasting coffee than drip coffee brewers but are not as good as french press or manual pour over brewers. In an April 2015 article Ken Davids points out why … [Read more...]

How to Brew Kona Coffee Using a Pour Over Filter by Karen Paterson

Manual pour over coffee brewing is the "new rage." Gourmet coffee shops all over the USA and Canada have converted to "slow bars" where every cup of coffee is individually brewed. This gives the customer the ability to pick the beans they want brewed instead of having to take whatever is in the airpot. The trade off is that instead of a $1.50 cup of coffee, each cup now costs $5.00 and up.   We … [Read more...]

7 Easy Steps to Become a Gourmet Coffee Taster by Karen Paterson

At Hula Daddy Kona Coffee we show our guests how to taste coffee and how to identify the differences between coffees.  Learning to differentiate coffees isn't hard. You don't have to "cup" coffees like the professionals. You can learn that later.  Cupping is easier if you learn the basics of tasting coffee first. 1. Brew two different coffees. For the first time try to get coffees that are … [Read more...]

A Grim Fairy Tale – “The Best Apples in the World”

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a small village named Tölpelhaft in Germany that grew apples. The apples tasted very good and were sold throughout the nation. Every year they had an apple festival to celebrate. People came from all over Germany to attend. One day Hermann Widemann, a salesman, came to the town. Hermann called a meeting of all of the apple farmers and told them that … [Read more...]

Storing Fresh Roasted Hula Daddy Kona Coffee by Karen Paterson

 Hula Daddy Kona Coffee is one of the world’s finest coffees. However, to keep tasting the subtle flavors of our coffee you need to keep it as fresh as possible. Hula Daddy Kona Coffee beans are sold in a flavor seal bag that will keep the coffee fresh for weeks However, once the bags are opened the beans are exposed to air, strong odors and moisture and begin to lose the subtle flavors that make … [Read more...]

Hula Daddy Kona Coffee * Coffee Review Top 30 Coffee for 2013 by Karen Paterson

http://www.coffeereview.com/review.cfm?ID=3342 … [Read more...]

How to Brew Coffee with a French Press by Karen Paterson

        Here are 9 steps to brewing Hula Daddy Kona Coffee with a French Press: Press Size Pour water into a French Press to the bottom of the top ring (or some permanent mark near the top of the glass). Pour the water out into a measuring cup to find our the liquid volume of your press. Remember that number for future brewing. Filter Look at the filter at the bottom of the plunger. The … [Read more...]

Laura Ross, Hula Daddy Kona Coffee Master Roaster is Hawaii Retail Employee of the Year

The Retail Merchants of Hawaii have awarded Laura Ross, Hula Daddy Kona Coffee Master Roaster, the Ho'okela Award as Retail Employee of the Year. This award is given annually to an outstanding retail employee in Hawaii. "We have always known how special Laura is, we are glad to see other people recognizing her too." said Karen Paterson, owner of Hula Daddy Kona Coffee. … [Read more...]

COFFEE BURNS by Karen Paterson

Each year thousands of people are burned by hot coffee, tea and water. Hot tap water is the most frequent cause of scalding burns. The most frequent victims are persons over 65 or under 5. While we all know that hot liquids burn, many people do not realize that everyday hot liquids can inflict serious third degree burns.   The most famous case of coffee burns is the New Mexico lawsuit of Liebeck … [Read more...]

More Myths About Coffee by Karen Paterson

We have hundreds of visitors to our farm each year. They share some of the myths they have heard about coffee. The most popular are: Coffee Increases the Risk of Heart Attack Heart patients, especially those with high blood pressure, are often told to avoid caffeine. But in 10 studies of more than 400,000 people there was no increase in heart disease among daily coffee drinkers. Cardiologists at … [Read more...]

Lessons Learned Being a Coffee Farmer by Karen Paerson

Being a farmer changes your perspective on so many things.    Rain - I used to hate rainy days. Then four years ago we had a drought that lasted for two years. Since then our annual rainfall has been cut in half. It costs us $4000 a month to irrigate our lower farm. Now, I love rain. I check the weather radar every morning hoping for a storm system.    Going Fast - I used to time myself on the … [Read more...]

How Bees Get Buzzed on the Best Kona Coffee by Karen Paterson

After spring rains our coffee trees have millions of blossoms. Instantly, we have bees in our orchards gathering pollen. We have often wondered why we get so many bees when there are so many other plants they could visit. A recent article in Science magazine answers our question. Coffee flowers have a caffeine content equal to the caffeine in brewed coffee. Caffeine is a memory enhancer for … [Read more...]

Myths About Dark Roast Coffee by Karen Paterson

We recently had a visitor to our farm complain because our coffee didn't taste burnt. We were shocked. Laura, our roaster, spends hours each week checking each roast for over-roasted beans. If she finds one, she throws it away.  This visitor made us realize that there are a lot of myths about dark roasted coffee. Here are some of them: Dark Roasted Coffee Has More Flavor.  A true statement … [Read more...]

Crimes Against Kona Coffee by Karen Paterson

Coffee from the Kona District of Hawaii has a outstanding reputation built on the integrity and hard work of its 600 coffee farmers. However, there are always a few individuals who damage the hard work of others.  The quality and reputation of Kona Coffee is being abused by the "coffee crimes" of a few people. Some of their activities are: 1. Describing Kona Coffee as a Homogeneous … [Read more...]

Are Coffee Roasters Eroding the Pure Kona Coffee Brand? by Karen Paterson

Consumers tend to judge coffee by region rather than by grower. So, for example, a consumer will comment that they like or don't like Jamaican coffee without differentiating that there are some excellent, some average and some poor Jamaican coffees. Oddly, this only happens in the coffee industry. Other gourmet beverages, such as beers and wines, are judged based on the grower or the bottler. Even … [Read more...]

Check Your Water, Before You Brew Your Coffee

We get a few calls every year from customers who say that their Hula Daddy Kona Coffee doesn't taste as good at home as it did on our plantation. While we like to think that the ambiance of our plantation adds to the flavor of our coffee, it isn't really true. The difference is not the geography, it is either the brewer or the water. We always start with the water. Ninety-eight percent of a cup … [Read more...]

Getting to Ripe Coffee at Hula Daddy Kona Coffee by Karen Paterson

During the first harvest on the Hula Daddy Kona Coffee coffee farm we noticed that the pickers were picking green, yellow, red, purple, brown and black coffee fruit. When we asked our manager why the pickers were picking fruit that was under and over-ripe we were told everyone did it and that the pulping process would remove the bad fruit. When we went to the coffee mill we found fruit from other … [Read more...]

Which Coffee Filter is Best for Hula Daddy Kona Coffee? by Karen Paterson

My grandmother used a coffee percolator with a metal filter to brew coffee for my grandfather. She didn't choose the filter, that was the way the coffee pot came. The coffee was black, bitter and made your hair stand on end. But it kept my grandfather working the farm until he was 86. Today, if my grandmother went to the store, she would have to choose between a steel filter, gold filter, plastic … [Read more...]

How Typica is Your Kona Coffee? by Karen Paterson

When we planned our first coffee orchard we read all of the University of Hawaii publications on growing coffee. One of the recommendation was that we should plant a Guatemalan Typica coffee tree that they called “Kona Typica”. When we were ready to plant we relied on local experts to pick the trees for us. Later, after our orchard matured we noticed that some of the trees looked different. No one … [Read more...]

Kona Coffee Farmers at a Crossroad by karen Paterson

The Kona coffee industry is at a crossroad. One road is the traditional path where Kona coffee farmers maintain the status quo until they are driven out of business by higher costs and foreign competition. The other path is the creation of top quality coffee grown in a renowned tourist destination. … [Read more...]

Twenty-five Steps to Creating Premium 100% Kona Coffee by Karen Paterson

Ten years ago we began the Hula Daddy Kona Coffee farm in Kona, Hawaii. When we started, we followed traditional Kona Coffee planting, harvesting and processing methods. Our coffee was good but we felt that there had to be something more we could do to create premium Kona Coffee. We asked various experts in Kona what we could do to create a great tasting Kona Coffee. Most of the answers were … [Read more...]

Are Your Brewing Bad Coffee Beans? by karen Paterson

If you want high grade gourmet coffee you have to look at the beans before you grind them. A coffee farmer who doesn’t care about quality can put all of the beans from his trees, good, bad and ugly into a bag and sell them as gourmet coffee. A roaster who doesn’t care about quality can roast bug eaten, spoiled beans put them in a bag and sell them as gourmet coffee. If you don’t look at the beans … [Read more...]

How to Make Better Tasting Coffee

Here are seven suggestions that can improve the taste of your coffee: Water 98% of a cup of coffee is water. Coffee brewed with chlorine or other hard chemicals will be flat and have a bitter, harsh taste. Make sure your water comes from either a high quality filter or quality bottled water. … [Read more...]