New Coffee Varietal to Compete at HCA Cupping Competition

June 26, 2012, 2:33 PM HST
* Updated June 26, 8:30 PM
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Big Island coffee growers will compete for the title of “Grand Champion of Hawaiian Coffee during a statewide cupping competition at the upcoming 17th Annual Hawaii Coffee Association (HCA) Conference.

The event will be held July 19-21 at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu.

Howard Dicus will serve as keynote speaker for the conference, which will include HCA’s annual meeting and elections, workshops on roasting and cupping, farm tours and updates on legislative initiatives.

Of particular interest to coffee farmers will be a special workshop on preventing and controlling the coffee berry borer taught by officials from the University of Hawaii, state Department of Agriculture, and US Department of Agriculture.

The event will also include the fourth annual statewide cupping competition. More than 117 entries will participate in this year’s competition with the Grand Champion title being awarded in two categories: commercial and creative. Top coffees from each growing origin will also be recognized.


According to a leading coffee expert, this event has been responsible, in part, for a boost in overall quality in Hawaii-grown coffee recent years.


“There are more, better coffees, than ever. Bravo to the HCA,” says cupping panel leader Paul Thornton, of Coffee Bean International in Portland, Oregon. “[The Hawaii] industry has once again, captured the gist of what improved quality is all about.”

Among those competing in the cupping competition will be Greenwell Farms, which recently released its Jeni K 100 percent Kona coffee. Tom Greenwell, a fourth generation Kona coffee farmer and president of the Hawaii Coffee Association, first started developing the Jeni K coffee varietal five years ago when he planted 20 acres in Kealakekua at an elevation above 2,000 feet.

“After reviewing and analyzing the Jeni K Kona Coffee cherry for two years, we were so pleased with the product we planted an additional 20 acres,” says Greenwell.

The farm has high hopes of a win at the cupping competition with its new varietal, which is the first release of its new Greenwell Farms Signature Series.

For more information and a schedule of events, visit

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