The Hawai'i Coffee Association (HCA) will celebrate Hawaiian Coffee and offer educational, awareness and networking events at its 17th Annual Conference and 4th Annual Cupping Competition July 19-21 at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu.
In addition to hosting HCA's annual meeting and elections, the event plays host to the fourth annual statewide cupping competition. This year's cupping features more than 117 entries assembled from Hawai'i's diverse origins vying for the coveted "Grand Champion of Hawaiian Coffee" title in two categories: commercial and 'creative. Top coffees from each growing origin will also be recognized.
This signature event has become increasingly popular and has been responsible, in part, for a boost in overall quality in recent years, according to a statement from the Hawai'i Coffee Association.
Cupping panel leader Paul Thornton, of Coffee Bean International in Portland, observes, "Your industry has once again, captured the gist of what improved quality is all about. There are more, better coffees, than ever. Bravo to the HCA."
Entries will be available for blind tasting and comments will be tendered from attendees. A new feature of the event will be a coffee store operated by the Maui Coffee Association, offering competitor entries for sale. Knowledge about how to properly sample and score coffee has become increasingly important to farmers, processors, roasters, wholesalers and retailers in a competitive international marketplace.
Consistent with the HCA's educational mission, this year's conference features a series of hands-on roasting, cupping and grower workshops; farm tours; updates on HCA's legislative initiatives; grower's reports from across the state; and industry news from researchers and regulators.
The University of Hawai'i, Hawai'i Department of Agriculture and USDA are teaming up to host a free and critically important workshop focusing on preventing and controlling Coffee Berry Borer, a harmful invasive beetle. Howard Dicus of Hawai'i Public Radio will serve as keynote speaker.
For more information and a schedule of events, visit www.hawaiicoffeeassoc.org.