Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kona Joe Coffee

This year Linda, Fred, LuAnn and most of us on the Roach Ag Tour of Hawaii got to visit Kona Joe Coffee.  Kona Joe developed the idea of planting coffee trees on trellises like is done for some fruit production.

I was watching America's Heartland, a program I record weekly and there was a tour of Kona Joe's just like we took.

"Deepa Alban and her husband Joe were planning to retire on a lovely piece of paradise on the Big Island of Hawaii. That is until they began sharing the coffee beans that were growing on the tropical landscape. Friends and family raved about the coffee and a family farming operation quickly got underway.

The Alban farm sits on a swatch of ocean front soil known as the “gold belt” of the Kona coffee district, one of the richest coffee growing regions in the world. The Albans planted a few coffee trees and began enjoying their home brewed beverage. To improve their crops and get better yields, the Albans began planting coffee plants on trellises, just as you would for grape fines. The results provided a 30% jump in productivity, just by treating coffee like wine. Soon they had a business that they named, “Kona Joe” coffee.

Many farmers have been enjoying trips to Hawaii to break up the winter and get some summer sunshine in the dead of winter.  If you go, I would recommend a trip to Kona Joe Coffee, even if you don't like the drink!

Ed Winkle

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