Awards and Press

We have one of the 10 best coffees in the world!

2012 Coffees of the Year Winners' Logo

After five years of trying, we finally earned a top spot in the 2012 Roasters Guild Coffees of the Year competition — the largest annual contest for green coffee. The chances of winning were very slim this year: Coffee producers from 26 countries submitted more than 250 entries from the 2011/2012 crop. Experienced judges cupped … Continue reading

Pete Licata’s winning tree-to-cup journey in Hana Hou

Pete Licata in Hana Hou Magazine

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 … Continue reading

Obsessive and meticulous? Wine Spectator has us pegged.

Wine Spectator

We’re looking forward to the Dec.15, 2011 issue of Wine Spectator. It’ll have a nice story about Big Island and Maui coffees from Mark Pendergrast, author of “Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World.” The article already is online. Mark had a lot to say about Rusty’s Hawaiian, as well … Continue reading

Lorie Obra has top score in the HCA’s 2011 competition

Lorie Obra with 2011 HCA award

For the second year in a row, we took the top score at the Hawaii Coffee Association’s statewide cupping competition! The winning coffee: Our Kenya-style Red Bourbon. We’re delighted — and relieved — that Lorie’s experiments with Kenya-style processing paid off. This method, popular in Kenya, is modified for our climate. It took a year-and-a-half … Continue reading

Roast magazine’s primer on coffee processing


It’s too bad, really, that few coffee lovers understand the work behind their favorite drink. We’re not talking about roasting and brewing coffee. Rather, we’re talking about the transformation of coffee seeds into beans ready for roasting. So we thank our friend, Shawn Steiman, for writing this article in Roast magazine. He explains coffee processing … Continue reading

Miguel sings for Sprudge at the 2011 WBC

R. Miguel Meza

This is Miguel at his finest: international consultant, coffee savant … and aspiring singer.  He’s even got fans — including the folks at  And wouldn’t you know it, both Miguel and the Sprudge folks were in Bogota, Colombia for the World Barista Championship in June. Once they met up, it was only a matter … Continue reading

The 2011 USBC: A win for Pete Licata and Hawaiian coffee

Team Hawaii celebrating with Pete Licata

Days after Pete Licata’s big win at the 2011 United States Barista Championship, we’re still smiling and hugging. After all, Pete wasn’t competing just for himself. As the first to prevail at any national barista championship using 100% Hawaiian coffee, he also upheld the state’s honor. We couldn’t be happier for Pete. His second-place finishes … Continue reading

Meet Pete Licata, winner of the 2011 SWRBC


When you see Pete Licata, what comes to mind? ‘Dat local kine’ barista guy from Kansas? ‘The Beard?’ Not me. I think of a quiet drive up to Rusty’s Hawaiian farm in March. That’s when I tagged along with Pete to get a peek behind the prep for the 2011 U.S. Barista Championship. Pete was … Continue reading

Kaʻu coffee inspires Alan Wong’s “The Blue Tomato”

cover of Alan Wong's cookbook, "The Blue Tomato"

Of all the ideas in Alan Wong’s sweeping new cookbook, the quote above stands out to us. We can attest: Alan practices what he preaches — and we’re grateful he’s a friend to Hawaiian agriculture. Flip through the book, and you’ll learn how Kona Cold Lobsters pampers its products before sending them to Alan. Or … Continue reading

Lorie Obra wins the 2010 HCA cupping competition

Winner: 2010 Hawaii Coffee Association's statewide cupping competition

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 … Continue reading

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