(BIVN) – The Hawai’i Coffee Association recently wrapped up its annual conference, which was held virtually, and named the winners of its statewide tasting competition. From the HCA:
The Hawaii Coffee Association hosted its first virtual conference on Thursday. and Friday June 24 and 25. The statewide industry nonprofit has indefinitely postponed its 25th annual conference and statewide cupping competition to 2020 due to COVID restrictions. The 12th cupping competition was held remotely and the winners were announced at the culmination of today’s conference.
The program featured pressing topics related to COVID relief and responding to the introduction of coffee leaf rust to Hawaii. The HCA has made significant strides in serving its members in the virtual space. To this end, the organization has launched bi-weekly multi-agency coffee leaf rust conference calls between HDOA, USDA, APHIS, UH CTAHR, HARC, state and federal lawmakers, international partners, leaders of the industry and other stakeholders.
“We have a duty and an important role in responding to these crises on many levels,” HCA President Chris Manfredi said in his opening remarks. “Our response is timely, well planned, coordinated and effective. Our members are positioned throughout the supply chain including farmers, processors, wholesalers, retailers, cafes and the many companies and organizations that supply and support the industry.
Manfredi continued, “While our primary focus has recently been on recovering COVID and coffee leaf rust, the underlying issues with regulation, marketing, quality assurance and traceability remain. The virtual platform allowed us to easily connect with participants in El Salvador, Africa, Ukraine, China, United States and Hawaii. “
Keynote speaker Emilio Lopez is a 7th generation coffee grower and the Managing Director of Odyssey Coffees, an agro-industrial organization based in El Salvador. He shared his experience in a segment titled “Living with Coffee Leaf Rust” and highlighted the importance of healthy trees and pruning techniques.
The conference program also included updates from HDOA, USDA PBARC and UH CTAHR, as well as the election of a new board of directors; usually an annual event, but postponed to 2020 due to the pandemic.
The results of the 12th Statewide Hawaii Coffee Association Cupping Competition were announced today. A total of 70 entries were judged at the inaugural HCA Remote Suction Cup event.
The top rated coffee was produced by Olinda Organic Coffee of Maui with a washed red Catuai variety receiving a score of 86.63. Awards were also given to the best coffees produced in cultivation regions recognized by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and located on all islands, and the top 10 top-rated coffees.
The most notable entries from the participating growing districts were the SL34 washed variety of Hula Daddy Kona Coffee and the Ka’u District Miranda Farms with a natural red Catuai variety. Each of these coffees got an equal score of 86.60.
The Hawaii District’s top honors went to Waimea Coffee Farm with a washed Guatemala Typica / Jamaican Blue Mountain hybrid winning 84.50. Sakoman Farm ranked first in the Hamakua District with a Washed Caturra variety posting 81.38 and Waialua Estate Coffee was Oahu’s only entry with a Washed Typica earning 81.00.
“This year’s competition featured a wide selection of varieties and processing methods with the highest scores we have ever seen in this competition,” noted Brittany Horn, Chair of the HCA Cupping Committee. “Complex and unique entrees from across the state are represented at the top rated coffees and we also recorded the tightest scores, making 2021 a very competitive competition for growers. “
Kona-based Pacific Coffee Research ran the competition using a jury of local accredited Q workbooks led by PCR co-owners Brittany Horn and Madeleine Longoria Garcia. Horn is a Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Certified Trainer in Coffee Sensory Analysis, Green Coffee, and Sustainability. Longoria Garcia, who served as Chief Judge for HCA Cupping, has competed in the US National Brewers Cup and educates baristas and local producers as a sensory specialist.
The judges included Marc Marquez of Savor Brands, Honolulu; Max Maemori, coffee consultant, Hilo; and David Hall of Small Kine Coffee Consulting, Maui. In addition to Horn, the lab facilitators were Tyra Waipa of Savor Brands, Elijah Wright of Drift Coffee, and Mayu Maemori.
To deal with the cut from a distance, the entries were cut into three elimination rounds. The coffees advancing in the second and third rounds were organized into five “tables” or groups and shipped to the suction cups for analysis in their own suction cup laboratories. The judgment at each location was carried out simultaneously with the deliberations between suckers conducted via Zoom. The final scores of the winning cafes were determined by the average scores of the semi-finals and finals.
Commenting on the format of the virtual suction cups, Judge Marquez said, “Nothing beats evaluating coffee together in the same space, but the use of video conferencing and screen sharing technology has allowed the panel to deliberate and to communicate our scores and scores effectively with each other.
The panel used the Specialty Coffee Association’s standard tasting methodology and scoring format. Coffee tasting is a combination of art and science where coffees are evaluated and rated based on a variety of subtle characteristics: flavor, aroma, acidity, aftertaste, body, balance, overall cup experience, presence of softness, lack of defect and uniformity.
“This year’s entries were incredible as this competition represents the collective efforts of our local growers, scientists, researchers and professionals who continue to improve the quality of coffee grown here in the state of Hawaii,” Marquez added. “Our coffee community should be very proud. “
The HCA 2021 Virtual Conference and Cupping Competition is sponsored by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. Mahalo to additional sponsors Savor Brands, TricorBraun Flex, Monarch Coffee, Satake, Rural Community Insurance Services, Greenwell Farms, Kona Hills, Green Flash Coffee and Maui Grown Coffee.
The full results of the cupping competition are posted here. Watch the videos of the conference presentations here.
The mission of the Hawaii Coffee Association is to represent all sectors of Hawaii’s coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters, and retailers. The main objective of the HCA is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees. A major component of HCA’s work is the continuing education of members and consumers. Its annual conference has grown steadily, attracting international attention.