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Volume 1 - Harvest

mountain thunder gazette volume 1

This is the first edition of our Mountain Thunder Gazette. We know you are a coffee aficionado, or you would not be caffeinating with the “Best of the Best” 100% Kona Coffee. Periodically we will offer you some tidbits of information about what is happening at the farm, our mills, and the roastery. Hope you enjoy.

Our first cherries of the 2020-2021 harvest were picked on June 4th ... almost a full month earlier than last year. Why is the crop earlier, perhaps the rains were earlier, perhaps the lack of  emissions from Kilauea Volcano, perhaps it was just Mother Nature. In any case the quality looks at least as good as last season, time will tell as the rest of the crop
ripens over the next several months.

Remember the coffee we love to drink is brewed by passing hot water over ground, roasted coffee beans – the seed of a fruit, and those beans take quite a journey before coffee gets to your cup. The first step in that journey is to pick the fruit from the tree. Like most fruits, coffee tastes best when the fruit is picked at the peak ripeness. Obviously, we want to pick only the ripe cherries.

That is simple to say but difficult to execute! Coffee cherries are small, they are clustered tightly together, and it takes about the same amount of effort to get both ripe and unripe fruit off the tree. Unfortunately for the pickers, all the fruits on a tree don’t ripen at the same time, rather, the fruits ripen over several months’ time.

There are machines that pick coffee, but they are indiscriminate of ripeness, meaning you always get less tasty unripe cherries in the harvest. Most Kona coffee is grown on irregular ground not suitable for mechanical pickers. The only way to harvest perfectly ripe cherries and nothing else is to pick them, painstakingly, by hand! Since we care so much about quality at Mountain Thunder, we only pick by hand and we do our best to only pick ripe cherries. And, as every cherry matters, we re-visit each tree many times over the course of the harvest season, returning when there are new ripe cherries to pick.

Once picked, we get the ripe cherries to our wet mill as quickly as possible. It is in the wet mill where we separate the seed from the fruit. But, that’s a story for another edition of our Mountain Thunder Gazette.