Our coffee is hand picked at the peak of its ripeness and processed utilizing the wet (washed) method. The wet method consists of using a pulper to remove the outer red covering leaving a very slippery bean. The bean is then fermented in a wet bath for 12-16 hours which removes the mucilage from the bean. The beans are then washed and sun dried for up to two weeks until the moisture content of the bean is between 9-12%. Sometimes during the rainy season the beans have to be mechanically dried to get the moisture content down to acceptable levels.
At this point the coffee is in its "parchment" phase and can be stored in a temperature and humidity controlled room. The next process is the "dry milling" phase in which the outer layer/parchment is removed revealing the green bean. The green bean is processed further into different grades. The grading is essentially a mechanical means of sizing the coffee. Detailed information of the Hawaii Administrative Rules on the Standards of Kona Coffee can be found here.
- Type I beans (a bean which is produced two to a cherry and which is perceptively flat on one side and convex on the other) are graded by size and quantity of defects allowed into the following:
- Kona #1
- Anything lower cannot be sold as Kona Coffee.
- Type II beans (a bean which is produced one to a cherry and is generally oval in shape and round in diameter) are graded by size and quantity of defects allowed into the following:
- Kona #1
"Estate coffee" essentially means that our product from start to finish only uses coffee that originated strictly from our own farm. Our coffee is not mixed with crops from other farms and is roasted under our strict controls. Local Girl Coffee combines Extra-Fancy, Fancy, and Kona #1 in our Estate mix.
The roasting process of our signature product is as follows:
- The drum roaster is heated up to a set temperature.
- The green beans are placed into the roaster. The initial placement of the green bean causes an endothermic reaction which absorbs the preset heat from the drum. This reduces the initial temperature significantly for a short period of time.
- Once the beans and drum equalize in temperature, the drum roaster heats up to a specific temperature set by the person roasting the coffee for a specific roast profile.
- At a certain point in the roast, the coffee beans start to darken and become exothermic giving off heat. The chaff or silver skin slowly removes itself from the bean. The bean slowly grows in size and releases carbon dioxide from within its structure. This release of gases causes the bean to emit a sound like popcorn popping. This is the "first crack" of the roasting process. It is a very significant stage of roasting and lets the roaster know that very soon the beans will be at the color, size, and aroma profile of the desired roast. The first crack, depending on the roaster can take anywhere between 9-14 minutes. The signature medium roast of ours comes soon after this first crack and prior to the second crack.
- The second crack is when the heat in the bean releases the rest of the gasses and stored energy of the bean. Our signature dark roast is processed up to this point. If we go further into the roast, beyond this point, the bean becomes very very dark and loses the quality flavor of Kona coffee.
Roasting coffee is an acquired skill and art. It takes many roasts to get a good feel for the roaster combined with the type, size, and moisture content of the coffee beans that are being roasted.
Our beans are roasted in a traditional drum roaster as compared to the newer air roasters. We provide you with two options for purchase:
Our medium (city, city plus) roast is roasted to temperatures up to 400 degrees. This roast is after the first crack and prior to the second. After the roasting process is complete the beans are somewhat larger than when the process originally began. The beans become a beautiful chocolaty brown color and the surface of the bean has very little oiliness. This roast is the roast that I prefer due to its unique fruity flavor.
Our dark roast (full city, full city plus) is roasted to temperatures between 415 to 425 degrees, thus producing a dark brown to black bean that has a much stronger robust flavor.
- Grind your coffee prior to brewing. Use a good burr grinder for best results.
- Course grind for french press.
- Finer grind for drip.
- Use cold filtered / spring water.
- Use ~2 tbsp. of ground coffee per 6 oz. cup of water. Of course this can be changed based on personal preference.
- Serve immediately.
- Store coffee as whole bean in an airtight container and keep away from heat and light. The package that we provide is ideal for your coffee to be stored in.
- Best to keep your coffee in whole bean form until you're ready to brew.
- Store ground coffee in the freezer for longer life.
Coffee Fun Facts:
- It takes approximately 3000 ripe coffee cherries to make 1 pound of our signature roasted coffee.
- 6 pounds of coffee cherry at approximately 270 beans per pound processes down to 1 pound of green bean.
- 1.25 pound of green beans or approximately 2500 beans makes 1 pound of roasted coffee.