Here at Holualoa Inn, we grow, serve and sell our own 100% estate Kona coffee which is rich, smooth, low in acid and delicious. Located on the western slope of Hualalai volcano at 1,300 – 1,400 feet above sea level, the rich volcanic soil, seasonal rainfall and afternoon cloud cover provide the ideal growing environment for our 4,100 Arabica coffee trees. Our trees are fertilized, pruned, picked by hand, roasted and lovingly maintained by Brian and Amy Axelrod of Lehuula Farms.
Coffee bean production begins with the early rains of January and continues through April. The trees flower several times over these months with a gardenia-fragrant bloom, known as Kona snow. These blooms are then pollinated and develop into fully ripe coffee cherry beginning in August. If you’re on property during this time, don’t miss a walk through our coffee orchards to experience the beauty of Kona snow.
Harvest season lasts from August to January, and, as the coffee does not ripen all at once, each branch of each tree is hand picked several times during harvest. Fully ripened coffee cherry has a deep red “cherry” color and is surprising sweet. As we hand pick each tree, only the ripest beans are selected, leaving the bitter-tasting green cherry on the tree to fully ripen. One hundred pounds of coffee cherry produces only 17 pounds of roasted coffee and each tree produces about two pounds of roasted coffee per year.
To prevent fermentation, the coffee cherry is pulped within 24 hours of picking. Pulping is the process whereby the outer fleshy parts of the cherry are removed and the beans are spread out on large concrete slabs to dry in the sun. These beans are manually raked 3-4 times per day to ensure even drying. Once dry, the beans are called parchment.
Dry milling is the process of removing the parchment “skin” and processing it through a gravity table which removes lower quality beans. The result is “green” coffee beans which are then ready for roasting. Our beans are roasted for 8-10 minutes, quickly cooled and immediately bagged in airtight foil bags which protect the coffee from air and light.
Holualoa Inn coffee includes only the top three grades of bean – Extra Fancy, Fancy and Number One. These are combined to create our “Estate Grade” coffee, which is only roasted to order. This means all the coffee we serve and sell at the Inn is FRESH, roasted within a couple of weeks of serving. Coffee which is three weeks or older is donated to our troops oversees!
We can ship our half or one pound bags directly from roasting to your home of office. We also have gift baskets available which make wonderful holiday gifts. Our Brew Club provides regular shipping based on your desired quantity and dates. You can even design your own label for that special occasion! Click here to place your order.