Aloha Kona Coffee Lovers!
Our Summer is slowly waning away, the kids or grandkids are back in school and we slowly resume our routine. For us, we have started the new crop harvest and despite the rains, it is going well. The cherry is large and the trees are bending with the heavy beans. Speaking of rain, we have had over 10 inches so far this month which is good for the coffee trees but difficult to sun dry our beans. However, we have had morning sun and we are successfully getting the beans dried. We are into our second pick so far and expect to have 6 rounds this year. Remember that our harvest is relative to the number of flowerings we have in the winter. Each time during our dry season, that we get a little rain from a storm or gracious clouds, the coffee blooms with beautiful ,fragrant, gardenia like flowers and thus become the beans for the next harvest. What a beautiful event and worthy of a visit and free tour. Please just let us know in advance as we can be quite busy this time of year. We would like to offer our hope and prayers for safe passage of some of the rain and fire storms that has plagued the rest of the country. What a year!
The battle for the coffee berry borer beetle is slowly turning towards control. We currently use a natural fungus that consumes the bug and organic garlic spray as a deterrent. But the State of Hawaii dept. of Agriculture has released a flat bark beetle that is a natural predator which seems to help especially on the wild or unkept coffee. Our damage is about 5-8% of the crop which is still high but better than previous years. Before the bug, we averaged about 2% loss to natural causes. Since we hand pick, we also will lose another 1% to dropped beans or birds & rat damage. The ripe cherry beans are very sweet and the animals love to just eat the skins ( natural antioxidant ) leaving the beans to fall to the rocky ground.
I will finish with a nice coffee story; I just couldn’t resist sharing.
A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her – her husband had cheated on her and she was devastated. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, ‘Tell me what you see.’
‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.
Her grandmother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The grandmother then asked the granddaughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.
Finally, the grandmother asked the granddaughter to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked, ‘What does it mean, grandmother?’
Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain.. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level?
How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
Mahalo for all your support,