Rusty’s Hawaiian coffee from Kau was named grand champion in the Hawaii Coffee Association’s second annual statewide competition last weekend in Kona.
Kupaa Farm on Maui took second place and Paradise Meadows in Kau won third.
Judges from outside Hawaii considered 67 coffees from across the state. They narrowed the field to 27, then 15, before deciding on the top 10.
The finalists competed in a five-round blind cupping elimination. The coffees were scored on flavor, aroma, "mouth-feel," acidity, sweetness and aftertaste.
"It was extremely difficult to rank the top 10," said judge Paul Thornton of Coffee Bean International, based in Portland, Ore. "All are exceptionally good coffees."
The rest of the lineup: Kuaiwi Farm in Kona placed fourth, followed by Kehau Coffee Farm in Kau, Konawaena Farms of Kona, Mauka Meadows of Kona, Moki’s Farm of Kona, Arianna Farms Ono Kona Coffee and Kau Coffee Growers Cooperative.
Lorie Obra, a one-woman operation who produces Rusty’s Hawaiian, was recently named 2010 Outstanding Producer by the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe.
Hawaii Coffee Association represents coffee growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers. Visit www.hawaiicoffeeassociation.com.