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Kona Coffee is Mountain Thunder's Specialty.

Mountain Thunder is featured on Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs.

Disovery Channel

Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs

Featuring Mike Rowe

Portrat of Mike Rowe

First aired on 10/14/05.

Recently, we were featured in a Dirty Jobs spot with Mike Rowe. In the summer of 2005 a three-man film crew of two cameramen and a sound technician, plus a producer and a producer's assistant arrived on the Farm. And of course, Mike Rowe was present to work on our farm for the filming. Mike is a very lively man, with a great personality that makes him so popular on the widely viewed Discovery Network. Mike starts off in the composting yard, where all of our coffee cherry is composted with wood chips, seaweed, and manure. It had rained the day before, so there were juicy pictures that showed where the ground was muddy. Mike makes a lot of jokes about our two Donkeys, which he rode to the coffee field. Mike rode our Donkey Lucy which likes to be an ass and kick you if you are not looking. Mike handled Lucy just fine.

The next segment of the show which was filmed last summer was coffee tree care. Mike learned how to spread fertilizer and compost around the coffee trees, so as not to burn the tree trunk. And our Tropical St. Croix sheep were really interested in Mike sitting down around the trees, which Mike, of course makes out to be a joke. I am sure that Mike was really humbled by our number one picker, Lolo, who can pick three hundred to four hundred pounds per day, opposed to Mike's humble effort of a few pounds. Really, it takes a lot of practice and experience to become a number one picker.

Next Mike Rowe went over to the wet mill, where the coffee is stripped of its outer cherry cover. Mike was wondering at this point how many steps there are to process coffee, and really there are quite a bit when you take the coffee all the way to a mocha latte, maybe eight or nine, depending how you look at it. Mike jumped in our huge fermentation pool, almost up to his knees to push the beans out of the pool. We put the beans into a rolling dump cart and Mike then raked the beans across our bright red drying decks.

Mike and Graysen switched over to a dryer batch of coffee on the deck and then scooped it up to make a few bags of coffee. Mike just couldn't believe that we were going to need to process the coffee one more time before we roasted the coffee.

At the dry mill, everything was a little complicated for the normal viewer, so we just hoped that "one of the buttons" were going to get him a little closer to a cup of coffee. Really, the coffee was milled, and stripped of its outer parchment covering, and then sorted by size, gravity density, and color. Yes, we have a color sorter, which sorts the beans based on their content of white, black, yellow, and brown. Six photo-sensing-filaments on the color sorter do the job, and it is really quite amazing to see the machine at work, because it works so fast and sorts every bean. Mike was happy to finally re-bag his beans into yet another burlap sack, where he then moved over to get his bag of coffee roasted.

To his surprise, Mike had to re-open the bag he had just bagged so he could roast the coffee. (We had to bag the coffee so Mike could move it from the milling room to the roasting room.) Mike finally got to work with Brooke Bateman. As Mike and Brooke go through the roasting process, Mike cracks jokes and gets excited to see the flame heating the beans to over 450 degrees in our Diedrich IR-12 drum roaster. Mike got to drop his first-ever batch of coffee at Mountain Thunder, and I am sure he will not forget how to do it.

Finally, Mike took his 1 Lbs. bag of roasted coffee to Lisa Bateman. When Mike asked Lisa if he could get a cup of coffee, Lisa said, " about fifteen minutes." Mike was tired of waiting so he went down into the coffee orchard, where we have a gazebo, and waiting while he was watching the sunset. After about twenty minutes, Lisa walked down with Mikes cup of Mountain Thunder 100% Kona Coffee and Mike, finally got to drink his cup "...a hour before bedtime".

  • This spot on Dirty Jobs will be aired on the Discovery Network over 60 times, so check your local listings for a chance to catch the Bateman's and Mike Rowe in action, while they make a cup of coffee.




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Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation is certified Kosher

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SIAL Coffee Cup Competition Cetified Gold Bean Award 2013

1st Place Classic Cupping Competition - 2013 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Cupping Competition

SIAL Coffee Cup Competition Cetified Gold Bean Award

SIAL Coffee Cup Competition Cetified Gold Bean Award

SIAL Coffee Cup Competition Cetified Gold Bean Award

Good Food Awards Winner 2011