November 13, 2009 – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
VIDEO by David Corrigan
Four honored judges wafted, slurped and spit their way through the signature event of the 39th Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, as they decided on the best of the best in Kona coffee.
The blind tasting was part of the Gevalia Kona Coffee Classic Cupping Competition and the Gevalia Crown Competition finals, held on Thursday at the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort.
Aficionados said this year was a great crop of coffee in Kona, and it resulted in what one judge referred to as “one of the closest competitions in years.”
15 finalists were named in the Classic Cupping Competition, which usually involves farms with less than two acres. Wolf Farms took the title.
The Crown Competition, which requires large estate farms to submit 3,000 pounds of Kona coffee for judging, was won by Kona Coffee & Tea Company. The farm, represented at the contest by Malia Bolton, is the first to win both competitions, having previously won the classic competition.
The judges with the discerning palette’s were Gevalia Master Taster David Holfve of Gevalia Kaffe, Sherri Johns with WholeCup Coffee Consulting, Masahiro Yamamichi with Ueshima Coffee Company, and John King of Harold King & Company.
Over 60 Kona coffee farmers entered the competition.
The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival comes to a close this weekend, with a Kamehameha Schools Kona Coffee Grand Parade scheduled for 9:30 am Saturday, marching from Royal Kona Resort to Makaeo County Pavilion.