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Big Isle coffee farm wins international honors

A Big Island coffee farm is among 10 in the world to win the distinction of “Coffees of the Year.”

Kailiawa Farm was the only coffee producer in the nation to get that title from the Specialty Coffee Association of America and Roasters Guild competition in Houston, West Hawaii Today reported Friday.

The farm is on the Big Island’s southern tip known as the Kau district, which in recent years has been gaining recognition among coffee aficionados. Coffee in neighboring Kona has long been well-known.

Bull Kailiawa of Pahala told the newspaper he believes his family farm’s location in an area called “Cloud Rest” is key to producing quality coffee.

“The rain plays a big part,” he said. “It brings energy and we’re thankful for being on that belt line.”

This is the second time the farm received the honor.

More than 121 specialty coffees were submitted from 17 countries. The coffees were judged on fragrance, aroma, taste, flavor, aftertaste and body.

Kailiawa said growers in Kona are partners, not competition, and that together the farms prove Hawaii coffees are among the best in the world.

A festival later this month highlights Kau coffee, where the district’s small family owned farms will showcase their products at the Pahala Community Center.

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