Coffee Excellence at a Reasonable price
is the goal of every coffee producer at the
farm or at the retail level. Quality is also
what separates Specialty Coffee from
other coffees. Excellence and Cup Quality
is that perfect marriage of the many characteristics of coffee
that results in a cup that makes the consumer say “That is the
best coffee I have ever had!!”
At Kona Star, we have found that we can meet these two
objectives, Product Excellence and Price but only by very careful
attention to each stage of the coffee bean process, from the
tree to the bag. We have found that the only way we could do
this is to perform at Kona Star each step in the coffee process,
from the tree, to wet milling and to dry milling. We have made
the investment in processing equipment that allows us to
perform and thereby control each step in the process from wet
mill to dry mill.
For Example, in the dry mill process there is a machine called
a Gravity Table. This machine separates the coffee beans
by density. This is a complex process but running coffee for
multiple passes over the gravity table will result in a more even
bean density profile than could be obtained by a single pass.
Since this is our processing plant and our employees operating
the machines, we can afford to do it without impacting the
price of the coffee. This then is what we do and this brochure
will attempt to illustrate how we do it. This Brochure is primarily
visual since I believe that pictures are better than words.
Kona Star is a Farm where our prize winning Kona Coffee is
grown and processed and where our coffee is prepared for
shipment to Gourmet Coffee Roasters around the World. Kona
Star is an Estate, we only sell coffee that we grow and process
on our farm. We grow the trees, harvest the coffee beans,
process the beans into green coffee using our own processing
plants and finally ship those coffee beans to our customers
from our Air Conditioned Warehouse.
Our Goal is to produce the finest Kona Coffee available. We
accomplish this by controlling each step in the process. We are
considered the finest Kona Coffee available today and a fierce
attention to detail is how we do it. There are no shortcuts to
excellence. My home is located on the farm and I participate
and supervise every detail.
Coffee is Harvested generally from early August to Early
January, picking only the ripe coffee beans. Since our coffee is
harvested by hand and because ripe coffee beans will be found
growing next to unripe coffee beans there are 5 to 6 rounds of
picking where the coffee pickers start at the top of the farm,
pick to the bottom of the farm and then start again at the top.
Each round of picking takes about 21 days.
After each coffee harvest, the coffee trees are pruned to about
8 feet tall, the pruning remains are chipped and left under the
trees as compost. After pruning, normal maintenance including
fertilization and mowing is done while the cycle of nature
produces another crop of coffee beans. Coffee requires a close
attention to the characteristics of the ground. We fertilize
about every 4 to 6 weeks, about 2200 pounds of fertilizer per
acre is applied each year and we adjust the fertilizer as required
by the environment. We do not allow the use of any pesticide
on this farm.
In this brochure we show pictures from various stages of
production including pulping where the Cherry coffee bean
is separated from its skin and sun dried on a drying deck,
the dried coffee beans are called Parchment at this stage of
processing. The Parchment coffee beans are then final dried in
a tower dryer so that each bean is at the correct moisture level
and then placed into large bulk storage bags and stored in a
large air-conditioned storage room.
Finally, the stored parchment enters the final stage of processing
called the Dry Mill where various machines remove the inner
skin (silver skin), sort the beans by size and then, sort the beans
by density with a gravity table which removes the underweight
beans. The final step in processing is to place the coffee beans
into 100 pound burlap bags where the beans are inspected the
State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture. Only then is Kona
Star Coffee shipped to gourmet roasters around the world.
I plan to issue a revised version of these Pictures annually as we
change our processing plant and farm.