Kona, Ka`u Coffees Shine In Cupping Competition

July 22, 2014, 6:36 AM HST
* Updated July 22, 9:57 AM
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The 6th annual Statewide Cupping Competition sponsored by the Hawaii Coffee Association was held July 18-20 at Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay, where Kona coffees won six of the top 10 spots in the Commercial Division of the competition.

Aloha Hills Kona Coffee and Maui Grown Coffee tied for the top spot with a score of 87.3 out of 100, while the second spot went to Kona’s Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation with a score of 87.0.

The HCA divided more than 82 entries from across the state into two categories: Creative and Commercial. Qualifying for the Commercial division means that at least 1,000 pounds of the entered coffee is available for sale as of April 15.

In the Creative Division, four of the top 10 coffees were from Ka`u, including the top two. Ali`i Hawaiian Hula Hands Coffee earned the top score of 88.7, followed by FL Farm of Wood Valley with a score of 88.5.

The HCA also presented awards to the highest scoring coffees entered from each of the eight growing districts from across the state, including Hamakua, Hawai‘i, Ka’u, Kaua‘i, Kona, Maui, O‘ahu and Moloka‘i.


Complete results can be found at


“I am very impressed with the quality of the coffees coming out of all of the districts. It just keeps getting better”, said David Gridley of Maui, HCA’s Cupping Committee chair. “I applaud all the coffee farmers of Hawai‘i for their remarkable efforts.”

Coffee cupping is a combination of art and science where coffees are evaluated and scored based on subtle characteristics including, flavor, aroma, ‘mouth-feel,’ acidity, sweetness and aftertaste, Gridley said.

Veteran cupper Warren Muller added,“The competition was very close,” noting an overall increase in scores among a broad spectrum of coffees. “But some just jumped off the table.”


It was the Hawaii Coffee Association’s 19th annual conference.

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