Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee – Grand Champion Red Bourbon September 25 2015


Rusty’s Hawaiian CoffeeGrand Champion Red Bourbon

This coffee epitomizes our craftsmanship. From harvest through roast, we coddle these beans — and they treat us very well in return.

To understand this coffee’s promise, let’s go back to 2008. Miguel discovered Red Bourbon on our farm, and Lorie was curious enough to harvest and process it separately. When they tasted it the following spring, the results seemed impressive enough for Coffee Review.

For its July 2009 issue, Coffee Review would compare bourbon coffees from around the world. Lorie had never submitted an entry and was nervous. Miguel offered to help, but he forgot about the deadline. By the time he called to remind her, it was almost too late — and he was out of town.

“How am I supposed to roast it?” Lorie said, flustered.
“However you see fit,” Miguel said.

Miguel had taught Lorie how to roast, but she still was unsure of herself. With only one shot to get it right, she chose a medium roast and hoped for the best.

What happened next literally made her cry. She scored 95 points, beating out all of the other coffees – including ones from Kenya and El Salvador.

“An absolutely mind-blowing coffee,” said Andy Newbom, the former owner of Barefoot Coffee and a judge in the review.

“A paradigm-breaking experiment,” said Ken Davids of Coffee Review. “This impeccably harvested and traditionally processed Hawaii Bourbon out-Kenya-ed most Kenyas.”

That entry in Coffee Review set the standard for our Red Bourbon. To this day, only a few people are allowed to pick our crop. With only about 120 trees, we can’t afford to lose any of the beans to improper harvesting.

Lorie still is as meticulous with her processing methods — and has had impressive results. She combined our washed Red Bourbon and washed Typica to win the Hawaii Coffee Association’s 2010 statewide cupping competition. Our Kenya-style Red Bourbon won the same contest in 2011.

Here, we are offering the Kenya-style beans. This processing method, popular in Kenya, is modified for our climate.

We carefully select ripe Red Bourbon coffee cherries, then pulp them to release the seeds, or coffee beans. We ferment the beans in water, then drain and rinse them. Then we add fresh water for another round of fermentation before laying the coffee on racks to dry.

The dried beans must rest to balance the flavors before roasting. The result: a clean, elegant and bright coffee that starts off with flavors of lemon and turbinado sugar, then shifts to blackberry, red wine and chocolate as it cools.

Awards and Recognitions:
Winner of the Hawaii Coffee Association’s (HCA) 2011 statewide cupping competition
Winner of the HCA’s 2010 statewide cupping competition (a blend of Red Bourbon and Typica)
95 points in Coffee Review. Best in a review of bourbon coffees, July 2009

Taste: Molasses, berry and chocolate, with citrus and floral notes
Roast: Medium
Varieties and Processing Methods: Red bourbon, Kenya-style washed and sun dried
Altitude: 1,900 feet (580 meters)
Stories: “Our top coffees are profiled in Wine Spectator”

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