By Alison Akau
I'm traveling a short 169-mile flight away from Oahu's bustling Honolulu city, to where Honolulu Coffee's farm resides. Our 80-acre coffee farm, purchased in 2011 on the Big Island of Hawaii, is the foundation for our Farm to Cup journey. My first step onto the rich volcanic soil, conducive for growing the best possible Kona coffee, triggers a smile that beams from within me as I slowly exhale, “Aahhhhhhhhh...”
More than 25,000 Typica Arabica coffee trees blanket the rolling hills with a 2,600-foot elevated view of the dark blue Pacific Ocean. During this particular time of season on our Kona farm, farmers begin their day in the early morning by trimming extra growth at the base of young trees to allow only the strongest three branches to flourish. Another group of farmers, at the top of the farm, transplant new seedlings into the fertile earth. Can you imagine that these young trees will take three years to produce its first harvest? Throughout those years, a daily ritual of the bright morning sun will warm up the farm and provide energy to the trees. Later in the day, the afternoon shade from the colossal Ohia Lehua forest and incoming clouds will dance over the lush trees. It's this high elevation coupled with afternoon cloud cover and rain that helps to create the perfect environment for producing an optimal ripe Kona cherry.
This afternoon, while facing Mauna Loa, I watch the clouds crawl slowly down along the farm that start to enshroud the coffee trees ever so lightly. The grey clouds darken the Kona trees, but the sun still manages to glisten from behind. It's a wonder how I manage to gather myself from the trance of this magical moment to take this photo.
Just before leaving, I take one last deep breath of our Kona farm's pristine air. This breath not only gives me a deep reverence for nature, but for our passionate farmers who provide arduous care for Honolulu Coffee’s Kona coffee trees.