Kona Coffee Cupping Competition Winners Announced

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The 49th Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival has announced winners to the festivities Kona Coffee Cupping Competition.

Out of the 72 submissions, Hula Daddy won the Classic Division for Single Estate Farms; Hawaiian Queen Coffee took home the win for the Kona Crown Competition Division. The Heritage Award was given to Holualoa Kona Coffee Company.

Kona coffee farms competing in the competition entered in two divisions: Kona Classic and Kona Crown, separate single estate and larger farms. Kona Classic entries are single estate farms and the Kona Crown Division is set aside for larger farms and professional processing mills, including known brands sold to Kona coffee aficionados around the world. Both divisions share common rules for entering the Kona Coffee Cupping Competition.

All coffee entered must be 100% Kona coffee, grown solely in the district of Kona on the island of Hawai‘i. The state law requires that any coffee labeled as Kona coffee must be of grade Prime or better.


The submissions for the 2019 Kona Coffee Cupping Competition were marked with an anonymous number for a true blind taste competition.

“This year’s top scoring, highest quality coffees are a collection of unique varieties and some experimental processing methods. We saw the highest cupping score in PCR’s two years of running the cupping competitions statewide and in Kona at an 86,” said Brittany Horn, 2019 KCCP Cupping Competition Committee Chair.

These coffees are conversation provoking: complex, clean, sweet, and highly nuanced from the first to last slurp. Scores for the Classic and Crown division were determined using the globally accepted Specialty Coffee Association scoring system following tight protocol in a SCA/ Coffee Quality Institute certified cupping lab,” said Horn.“The Heritage Award was given to the coffee that fit the quintessential Kona Coffee – a traditionally processed Kona Typica variety that showcased a moderately sweet, medium bodied, low acidity and clean cup profile.


This coffee, Horn added, was selected through an objective scoring system based on an intensity scale for each of these characteristics. The coffee with the closest standard deviation to this profile, developed by Dr. Shawn Steiman, is the winner of this year’s Heritage Award.”

All winners are listed below:

Crown Division
1. Hawaiian Queen Coffee
2. Kona Organica
3. Kona Farm Direct


Classic Division
1. Hula Daddy Kona Coffee – Kona Mocca – 86.03
2. Kopiko Estate – Gesha – 85.25
3. Hala Tree Coffee – Red Bourbon – 85.04

“Congratulations to the winners of this year’s competition. Every year, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival looks forward to this important event that really helps Kona carry forward the legacy and culture behind our cup of famous brew,” said Valerie Corcoran, Kona Coffee Cultural Festival President. “Our coffee harvest is as unique as the many hands that grow it, and we are so proud to lead the harvest celebration.”

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