Moki's Farm is near the town of Captain Cook on the Kona coast of the island of Hawaii. At 2000 ft, it's one of the higher altitude farms, located on the upper or mountain side of the highway that transects the Kona coffee belt. The elevation at Moki's assures the ideal amount of rain to water the coffee and sun to ripen and later dry the coffee while volcanic soils nurtures the coffee trees and provide great drainage for the roots. It has been a small privately owned family operated coffee farm for over 100 years. Unfortunately the widower of the coffee farmer was not able to maintain the farm and during the late 1980s and 90s the farm suffered from neglect. In January of 2000, Vivian and Roger Rittenhouse purchased the farm realizing their dream to own property in Hawaii and become part of its diverse culture and economy. Because of the condition of the farm and trees at the time of purchase, the Rittenhouse's made the difficult decision to remove most of the existing trees and replant. They were however, able to save approximately 50 trees that are 100 years old, to use as seed stock into the future. Roger's coffee is well-prepared, showing care in harvest and milling of the coffee. I became aware of this very small farm (just 2.1 acres) at the 2004 Kona Cupping Competition. It was a personal favorite, and upon returning to the mainland I contacted Roger to see if he was interested in offering us green coffee. We have been working together on shipping small lots of his coffee to California as they become "mature" (fully rested in parchment down to 12% moisture or less). It' s a bit pricey to deal with these small amounts, and ship a little at a time, but I cup each lot Roger sends and am really impressed with the consistent high quality. I guess that's why Moki's has consistently placed at the local competition.
We tested this coffee at a few different roast levels, flavors ranging from unrefined to table sugar, milk chocolate to more bittersweet types, and tea to fruited accents. There's a bit of dry coconut in the light roast fragrance, along with refined white sugar sweetness and a maple sugar accents underneath. To these scents, the wet aroma adds an even more convincing sweetness of waffle cookie and nutmeg are identifiable on the break. Full City echoes these smells, with an aromatic wood accent, like a cedar-lined chest and bittersweet cocoa tones. This is definitely another "up" year for Moki's in terms of cup quality. It has slight floral flavors in the light roast an attractive silky body. City to City+ boast a mild level of citrus-like, lemon and orange tea flavor, with acidity that cuts through grounding raw sugar bittersweetness, and a hint of clove spice in the back end. A tanginess remains at Full City, which accompanies layered chocolate notes verging on smokey roasted cacao nib flavor in the long finish.