HCA Hosts Statewide Coffee Cupping Competition

July 25, 2017, 11:00 AM HST
* Updated July 25, 8:17 AM
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Kona coffee beans. File photo by Kristin Hashimoto.

The Hawai‘i Coffee Association (HCA) hosted the 9th Annual Statewide Cupping Competition from July 19 to 22 at Maui Tropical Plantation. Participants and organizers noted that locally grown coffees are continually improving.

“Ninety-four coffees (88 percent) scored 80 and above,” said HCA’s Cupping Committee Chair David Gridley. “It’s amazing how the coffees keep getting better and better. I congratulate all the coffee farmers of Hawai‘i for their remarkable efforts.”

“The level of experimentation is such that we’re now seeing coffees that you wouldn’t expect from the Hawaiian Islands,” said cup participant Shawn Hamilton of Java City in Sacramento.

Coffee industry professionals from Hawai‘i Island’s Kona, Ka‘u, Hamakua and Hilo, as well as Maui, Kauai, Moloka‘i and O‘ahu, gathered for the event. The competition featured 107 entries in two divisions–Creative and Commercial–as well as workshops covering a broad range of topics related to coffee production, processing and marketing. Attendees also toured O‘o Farms in Kula.

Coffee varieties were scored based on subtle characteristics like flavor, aroma, acidity, sweetness and aftertaste. In the Creative division, the top-scoring coffee was a wet-ferment Red Catuai varietal produced by Olina Organic Farm rated at 87.4. Miranda’s Farm in Ka‘u took the Commercial division top spot with a wet ferment typica variety scoring 84.1


District honors were awarded to Hamakua’s Papa‘aloa Joe, Hawai‘i’s Second Alarm Farm, Kauai Coffee Company, Hula Daddy Kona Coffee LLC and O‘ahu’s Hawai‘i Agricultural Research Center.


For a full list of qualifying entries and scores, visit

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