A few weeks after the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe named Lorie its 2010 Outstanding Producer, more news arrived that made her gasp: She won the annual statewide cupping competition!
It took more than a week to select the winning lot of coffee. Lorie pulled samples from the best lots, then she and Miguel roasted them all. After cupping through them to select their favorites, they ended up with washed Red Bourbon and washed Typica.
Why not mix the two, they thought? So they did a second round of roasting and cupping. A debate over different combinations followed, until they both settled on a winner.
Here are more details from the Hawaii Coffee Association’s press release:
Earning a 91.1 score, Obra said, “This is for the legacy of my late husband, Rusty”. “It is a dream of mine, of his, for Ka’u to be up there with the elite coffees of the world. This is not just a victory for Rusty’s, this is victory for all of Ka’u, for the HCA and all of Hawaii….”
The top ten coffees were cupped through a 5-round elimination process by a diverse panel of expert cuppers using standardized procedures. To ensure integrity, the samples were blind cupped and no panel member is from Hawaii. “It was extremely difficult to rank the top ten”, said panel member Paul Thornton of Coffee Bean International located in Portland, Oregon. “All are exceptionally good coffees.” “We started with 67 coffees, systematically narrowed the field to 27, then 15, then 10. The top scorers were cupped several times. It is apparent that Hawaii producers are taking this competition very seriously and are employing a variety of processing methods”, said fellow panelist Shawn Hamilton of Java City Roasters of Sacramento.