“I was able to cup these coffees multiple times, and each time I had my eyes opened for what was possible in Hawaiian coffee,” Scott Conary, the head judge of the competition and owner of North Carolina’s Carrboro Coffee Roasters, said. “These unique process coffees exceeded my past experience of Hawaiian coffee and will delight your senses and change your mind for what you thought was possible on the Isles.”
The quality competition and auction program is part of ACE’s ongoing Private Collection series, which launched in 2019 and features partnerships with origin-specific green coffee producers focused on quality focused production. While these small auctions are separate from the ACE long-running Cup of Excellence competition and auctions, both have the goal of supporting farms and farmers who work to create & increase quality in the industry as well as celebrating innovation and connecting farmers to buyers.
Three-quarters of the winners, with scores ranging from 85 to 88, involved controlled yeast fermentation in the processing phase.
Among the winning lots in the Hawaiian competition were five different coffee varieties or cultivars, six different processing methods ranging from aerobic natural to fully washed, two organic offerings, and 11 winning farms from either the regions of Kona or Ka’u on Hawaii’s big island.
The top-scoring coffee was a washed-process SL34 variety produced by Kraig and Leslie Lee of Kona Farm Direct Coffee. The coffee was fermented with a wine yeast strain chosen to enhance acidity and fruit flavor, according to the producers.
As ACE gears up for its full 2021 Cup of Excellence schedule, it’s also planning to run more Private collection auctions this year including a new one with Nicaragua’s Fincas Mierisch (May 11) that Scott Conary will also be the Head Judge for.