KEAUHOU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - It has been an article of faith among coffee aficionados that Kona coffee is sensational and other Hawaiian coffees are pretty good, but a blind taste testing has given top honors to adjacent Kau District.
The Hawaii Coffee Association set up the cupping competition with outside judges. Using the same scoring criteria they would use with any coffee in any locale, they awarded a very high 91.1 rating to Rusty's Hawaiian coffee of Kau, a satisfying achievement for Lorie Obra, who has carried on the business since the death of her husband.
"This is for him," she said at an awards ceremony Saturday night at the Sheraton Keauhou.
Kupaa Farm of Maui placed second with a rating of 89.65 and Paradise Meadows of Kau was third with 89.2. Two more Kau coffees made the top 10 and the other five were coffees from Kona.
"History was made tonight!" said Tom Greenwell, president of the Hawaii Coffee Association, whose family has been farming and ranching on the Big Island for generations.
His own farms are in Kona district but he was clearly elated that coffees from Kau and Maui performed well in the cupping competition, a sign that Hawaiian coffee has become more than Kona followed by footnotes.