Kona Love Letters - Linda Boranian
Aloha! E komo mai!
I am very excited to be writing the first of many Kona Love Letters as my son Joshua launches the Kona Love Coffee Company website. It has been a labor of love to get our farm this far, and we are very excited to support our son as he begins to take the reins of our family-owned farm. As we look back over the past 30 years, we know the best is yet to come!
During my 30 years as a coffee farmer, I have been involved mostly as a picker. My first foray into picking the few trees that came with the land (maybe around 100 trees) resulted in the question of what to do with all the coffee cherries. I took my first five gallon bucket of beans down to the beach with a paper bag and a bowl. Joshua would play in the tide pools while I squeezed those beans out of the pulp by hand. I separated the pulp in the bag and the beans in the bowl. The beans were then soaked overnight and spread out to dry. Then I removed the hulls by putting them in a plastic bag and went over them a few times with a rolling pin. The first batches were roasted in a popcorn popper in very small batches, which led to using a pizza pan in the oven which resulted in cracking the glass on the oven door! Luckily, small pulpers were introduced along with washing screens and tables to make the process faster. New trees were planted yielding enough cherries to take to the mill. Throughout the whole evolution of our coffee process, I have grown to love picking coffee. I enjoy being outside, rain or shine, as well as the friendly competition among my husband and son. Year after year, I take the title as the fastest and most proficient picker! It’s such a zen activity that I thoroughly enjoy.
Throughout the years, all Kona coffee farmers have faced challenges of new pests. The community has really come together sharing the latest tactics of what works and what doesn’t. Also, I know that if we ever need help, we have a community who has our back and can help maintain the health of our trees. It’s been an incredible journey that we’ve been on and I look forward to where it takes us in the future.
A hui hou!