It’s again (!!) time to testify on behalf of Kona coffee

This was the start of an email received on Sunday from the Kona Coffee Farmers Association (KCFA):

Urgent: Your KCFA Testimony needed on Kona Blends! HB 2298

It’s again time to testify on behalf of Kona Coffee!

From a 1/29/24 press release shared on the right side of KCFA’s website, “For over three decades [emphasis added], the debate over the required percentage of coffee originating from the geographic area to qualify as Hawaiian coffee has persisted, with existing regulations set at a minimum of 10%.” Only ten percent (10%) Kona coffee is required for coffee to be marketed as a Kona blend. Here’s what the KCFA’s website currently says about 100% Kona.

I personally have been writing testimony to this theme since 2019. The bill has been kicked around, rewritten, the issue sent for study, etc. Now the January 2024 bill language has been amended back from 100% to 51% origin required, and the phase-in period is suggested to be ten years! I don’t have the temperament for this. I feel so disheartened and discouraged, and emotionally it feels like the State of Hawai’i essentially just doesn’t have the coffee farmers’ backs. Inhale… Exhale… I’m not “in a huff” about it, but like I mentioned, I don’t have the temperament, endurance, or patience required for the legislative process.

On another note, a new customer said he used to love Kona coffee for many years, but had been disappointed for the past few years. He decided to give it a try again with ours (new for him). I did touch base with him afterward. I think he kindly replied, essentially, that it still isn’t living up to his expectations. I had also given him some green beans to roast. Interestingly, he didn’t think what he roasted, although a bit lighter than the roasted coffee he bought from us, tasted all that similar to our roasted coffee. He did say this, “The beans were quite lively going into first crack! I think maybe Pele was saying hello.”

It reminded me of a period in our lives when we, my brother, and a few friends would have an annual blind tasting around the holidays. Every year we chose a different food item to blind taste. We did wine, vodka (multiple runs through a Brita filter were involved with one candidate), chocolate, and honey from the same hive, but different years and seasons. Because it was always nighttime, we never blind tasted coffee at these get-togethers. We had discussed tasting vanilla ice creams and butters, but thought we might feel gross with all that fat.

One time our friend played the trick of having Hubby and I taste two different wines (in the same type of glasses) because she ostensibly wanted our opinion on price-value of the two. She talked up each and had us taste and opine on them. They did taste different. Then she spilled the beans how they were the same wine. We all had a big laugh at that! The expectations influenced our taste buds and perception. Keeps us humble. The environment, situation, our moods, what’s going on in your life at the time, the company you’re with, etc. all affect what you taste.

Perfect time to share these articles:
“Does coffee taste different as you get older?”
“Does drinking from a wine glass change the flavour of specialty coffee?”
“How roasters affect flavour.” (We use a fluid bed roaster.)

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