Honey, toasted sunflower seed, caramel, malt, brisk lemon tea (think Snapple), slight floral hints emerge as it cools a bit, light and silky body, delicate, long lasting sweet aftertaste. The coffee is not intense. It's persistent yet subtle. City to City+.
Rusty's Hawaiian is the name of a seminal farm in the Ka'u district on the big island of Hawaii. Ka'u is a highland region on the southern coast of the big island, Hawaii. If you drive through the Kona regions on the west coast, eventually you will wrap around on a gentle south-southeast heading and Ka'u will be on the plateau above you. It's about 30 miles from Kailua Kona as the crow flies, but 70 miles by the road. Rusty and Lorie Obra started planting coffee on this old, 12 acre abandoned sugar cane farm in 1999. Rusty organized local farmers to form the Ka'u Coffee Growers Cooperative, to help sell their coffee together and to get the word out: Kona was not the only coffee from the Big Island. Sadly, Rusty passed away in 2006. Lorie decided the best tribute to his legacy was to continue with the plan they had made to put Ka'u coffee on the map, to refine their unique quality control procedures, and to promote the Coop. Rusty's picks ripe cherry, sorts the cherry before pulping off the skin, re-sorts the parchment coffee while it dries on raised screens. All this results in a cleaner cup. Rusty's uses dry fermentation method, meaning that they let the coffee ferment without adding water, to achieve a vigorous and even fermentation throughout the batch. Along with Lorie, R. Miguel Meza has been working with Rusty's and Ka'u farmers to hone their process, separate and cup each harvest batch, and experiment with processing and roast to bring the most out of the coffee. This lot is 100% Typica cultivar.
The dry fragrance from the ground coffee has toasted barley malt quality, hazelnut, mild honey and a hint of honeysuckle. These scents are most clear in lighter roasts, City to City+. Each slightly different roast level has a unique aroma. My lightest roast has honey and toasted sunflower seed, while just a shade darker has caramel and malt. Light roasts have a brisk lemon tea (think Snapple) flavor that gives the cup a nice, refreshing quality. Slight floral hints emerge as it cools a bit; hawthorn seems the nearest floral descriptor. The body is light but I find a really pleasant, silky, mouth-coating quality in this coffee. It delivers a delicate and long lasting sweet aftertaste. The coffee is not intense. It's persistent yet subtle.