Posted on November 15, 2011 by Rusty's Hawaiian

We’ve seen a lot of star barista Pete Licata on the ground this year…but earlier this month, he took to the skies.  Pete’s journey from Hawaii to the 2011 World Barista Championship (WBC) was featured in the October/November edition of Hana Hou! The Magazine of Hawaiian Airlines.

All patrons flying on Hawaiian Airlines learned about Pete’s win at the 2011 United States Barista Championship (USBC) and his second-place finish at the WBC. They also learned how it all started at our farm:

“No barista in competition, [Pete] says, had ever ‘honestly taken it from the source, from the beginning, all the way through to the final steps of actually serving that coffee.’

He knew he wanted to try — and because he’d just moved to the one part of the country where coffee actually grows, Hawai‘i, he was in a perfect position to do so. To begin he had to find the right farms. He settled on Rusty’s Hawaiian in Ka‘u, one of the Big Island’s most acclaimed coffee farms, and owner Laurie [sic] Obra welcomed him to pick fruit. ‘That gave me specific knowledge to really identify a lot of things,’ Licata says. ‘If you pick coffee cherries that are not quite ripe, or they’re too ripe, or whatever it is, then the sugars aren’t developed in the coffee bean as much. It’s not as naturally sweet.’ ”

The rest of the article is here.