Ka‘u Coffee: Now Serving... in Starbucks?

Small Hawaiian Farms Go Big

Ka‘u Coffee: Now Serving... in Starbucks?

With the harsh news of droughts and other plights on the farmers and ranchers of Hawai‘i's Big Island, we welcome some positive news from that community. Thanks to some entrepreneurship paired with good environmental practices and dedicated farming, select Starbucks locations will carry Ka‘u-grown and harvested coffee under their special "Starbucks Reserve" program. The effort will continue through November. 

 

For those unfamiliar, Ka‘u coffee is grown on the opposite side of Hawai‘i Island (also known as "The Big Island") from Kona. The region has garnered a steady rise in attention over the last few years, with Ka‘u beans placing (multiple times) in the top ten SCAA Coffee of the Year Awards, Grand Champions of Hawaii Coffee in 2010 and 2011, as well as a few international blind cupping engagements. 

 

These are all small, family-run farms that span the southeastern flanks of Mauna Loa at elevations that hover in the 1,500-foot range. A combination of deep, fertile volcanic soils, morning sun, afternoon precipitation and cool evenings has proven a winning combination for the second-generation farmers that till this land—and reap the cherries it bears. 

 

Starbucks will brew cups to order of the specialized Ka‘u coffee. 

 

Chris Manfredi, rancher and president of Ka‘u Local Products shares: "We are pleased to see that customers are discovering the fresh coconut flavors with sweet caramel and citrus notes that are distinct characteristics of the Ka’u cup."

The region has garnered a steady rise in attention over the last few years, with Ka‘u beans placing (multiple times) in the top ten SCAA Coffee of the Year Awards, Grand Champions of Hawaii Coffee in 2010 and 2011, as well as a few international blind cupping engagements.