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-southwest heading and Ka'u will be on the plateau above you. It's about 30-40 miles from Kailua Kona. This lot is from a 7-acre farm of Will and Grace Tabios, who have been gaining attention submitting their coffees to the Specialty Coffee Association of America's Roasters Guild Cupping Pavilion Competition. They won 6th place in 2007 among all origins ... not bad for a coffee grown at 1500 feet competing against those from 1500 meters or more! I panned Ka'u coffees years ago, when I received initial samples. They seemed mundane, a facsimile of mediocore Kona coffees. And the bias of the Kona farmers against any non-Kona coffees did not inspire further investigation with Ka'u producers. In fact, a lot of coffee is grown on other islands and other zones than Kona, and it rarely adds up to anything more than a flat, low-grown, insipid cup. So the samples from this particular Ka'u farm, Will and Grace (I know, it's like "Seinfeld Estate" or something), took me by surprise. They were well-prepped and sweet, with a rounded mouthfeel. It reminded me of the best of small farm Konas. Certainly, Ka'u has progressed. I will focus on the excellent wet-processed lot, but we have trace amounts of pulp natural and natural dry-process to offer on a very, very limited basis. The dry fragrance has a malt syrup and caramel sweet aspect, and some minor winey fruit hint to the cup. The wet aroma adds to this a nice, lush floral scent at C+ roast levels. It's a classic Kona-type coffee in many respects, with that intrepidly balanced flavor profile, the triangle of brightness-body-flavor in moderate and equal amounts. There are drying nut flavors (macademia, brazil nut), toasted bread, silky light mouthfeel, and a soft floral-tinted sweetness. As it cools, the roast notes get more chocolate-like and drying, with a somewhat minty sharpness At a slightly darker roast (FC - FC+) the coffee is pungent, peppery, with tangy dark roast bittersweetness. The body is a bit thinner as the roast progresses, but this can be offset by resting the coffee 24+ hours after roasting.