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Grounds For Sustainability In Kona

Have you tossed your coffee grounds and thought to yourself, “I wonder if there is something more I could do with these grounds”, we did and we found some creative entrepreneurs in Kona who are making some unique concepts come to life.

According to Linda from our Kona Coffee Bar;

I met up with Geoff with Edible World Institute at their facility and garden on Friday.  They are using our coffee grounds for their community garden…neat organization; started as a Culinary Camp for kids and have been evolving by starting this community garden on a former dump-site/homeless hangout.  It’s one of the last undeveloped lots in Kailua and they will be tearing down the two structures on the property to build 8 bamboo condos which will be high sustainable.  In the end, it will be one-part growing space and one-part hangout place and a model of what can be done in an urban setting.  Pretty cool to be part of this even if in a small way. 

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The Edible Desert Garden is the result of a vital partnership between Edible World Institute and a neighboring landowner with a powerful vision for sustainable modern living. The garden will be a shared space, maintained in large part by EWI and its students enrolled in culinary camps and eventually by students taking part in one of two culinary school tracks (Preparation or Procurement).

The space will also serve as an amenity to residents of the eight bamboo construction condos soon to be erected at the top of the lot, the only ones of their kind in Kona, and I believe the only commercial bamboo structures in the state.

For more on the company that will be building the condos and to see just how gorgeous they will be, check out http://www.bambooliving.com/. The condos will be LEED certified, integrated with the garden using edible landscaping throughout.

In collaboration with elements of the local community, the garden and its adjoining residences will serve as a model for a cleaner, smarter, more energy and water efficient urban way of life connecting people with each other and their food on an intimate level.

This urban-desert regenerative food garden provides Edible World Institute with nutrient rich culinary ingredients, a creative permaculture based learning environment and a welcoming, interactive habitat for residents, students, community, visitors, wildlife, and staff.

 

Giving Through Brewing In Kona

When the San Francisco Bay Coffee Bar was conceived one mandate would not be compromised, give back. With that in mind the OneCup coffee station was born.

We interviewed, Linda Chock, from our Kona Coffee Bar to get more details.

So the coffee bar has a OneCup coffee station in a gourmet café. What’s up with that?

The idea behind the SFB Kona OneCup Coffee Bar is twofold; it’s an opportunity to introduce our OneCups to customers that might not be familiar with them as OneCups are a quick way to get a delicious cup of coffee or tea. They are a great option for home and even the office.  The neatest part of the OneCup Coffee Bar is that 100% of the sales is donated back to the local community.

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Oh that’s amazing! Which charity is the Kona Coffee Bar raising funds for right now?

Hope Services Hawaii, Inc., a statewide non-profit that provides a multitude of services to the homeless of Hawaii.

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Why did you choose, Hope Services Hawaii?

Sadly, homelessness in Hawaii is a growing epidemic and statewide up to 15,000 people are homeless during some point of the year with a growing segment including those with children.  Hope Service Hawaii offers emergency and transitional housing each and every day of the year along with homeless outreach, residential housing programs, homeless prevention and mentoring, just to name a few of the services they provide.

Can customers simply donate instead of brewing a OneCup?

YES!  At the SFB Kona Coffee Bar we have a donation jar that we welcome to be filled by either those grabbing a cup of coffee from the OneCup Coffee Bar or those wishing to support a worthwhile, local organization.

How have your customers responded to this incredibly generous program?

Most can’t believe that EVERY dollar that comes in from the OneCup purchases goes to a local charity.  It’s been exciting to spread what Hope Services Hawaii’s mission is and share some of the success stories that have come from those who have benefited from their assistance.   I’ve had customers ask that their change get added to the donation jar…each dollar adds up and to date more than $1,200 has been collected in just three months. .

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Anything else you’d like to add?

It’s been an honor and a wonderful opportunity to work at the SFB Kona Coffee Bar.  The staff is so welcoming and they always go the extra mile to make each customer’s experience a positive one by taking care in serving top-notch products with gracious service.  I’ve had so much fun getting to know the locals and tourists alike…it’s going to be bittersweet when it’s time to head back to home-base!

To learn more about Hope Services Hawaii, click below.

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Kona Coffee

The Spirit of Kona Coffee

By Jim Schuett

Each year Kona hold a Cultural Festival to celebrate their history, heritage and, of course, Kona Coffee. This annual festival is the foundation for the yearly Kona Coffee Cupping Competition which samples the region’s finest offerings from top coffee farms. For two days these elite beans are roasted, ground and brewed only to be “slurped” up in the unique tasting method known as “cupping”.

Kona’s coffee history is a rich and involved one that started over 100 years ago with the first generation of immigrants (mostly Japanese) starting on five acre parcels to work out a sustainable existence as coffee farmers.  What they found was that the unique conditions in Kona, with fresh volcanic soil and perfect greenhouse type weather, created a very flavorful crop. With extreme diligence and a hard working ethic they were able to establish a reputation that stood for quality and great taste.

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The next generation focused on ways to make coffee farming easier and more profitable. In the search for more efficient methods and a consistent relationship with world coffee buyers, Kona farmers developed techniques and standards that set them apart from the rest of the world and turned Kona Coffee into a legendary name.

The future generations found difficulties with many facets of coffee farming, from finding good labor to shady business practices, that threatened to tarnish the name. But with struggles come opportunities to excel and make new improvements. Like their forefathers, the farmers banded together and worked through the tough times; creating even stricter standards and higher levels of quality. Once again, Kona Coffee found itself the leader among all coffee varieties.

Today’s current generation of Kona farmers are watching as the world gets smaller and smaller. New challenges rise to the surface with plant-killing pests like the root devouring Nematode or the Coffee Cherry Bore Beetle which can decimate entire crops. Older generations are selling family farms and newer farmers are coming in with new ideas, good and bad alike. The whole industry is in a state of change but the one constant that remains: the high quality of Kona Coffee.

We know this first hand because we have been buying Kona Coffee directly from Kona Farmers for over 20 years and this last year we became Kona Farmers ourselves. Based in Lincoln California, our company, San Francisco Bay Gourmet Coffee, owns coffee farms and mills all over the world including Panama, Mexico, Rwanda and now Kona. This year we harvested our first full Kona crop and have built a coffee mill on site to process our own coffee.

We also submitted our first crop to the annual cupping competition just to see where we stacked up. The Crown division that we entered contains the biggest and best coffee farms on the island and quite honestly we were very surprised and pleased to place third. As we gear up for another full season of quality production we will take Tramadol on the shelf next to the empty spots that will hopefully contain our future first place medals. That is the spirit of Kona Coffee Farmers, always looking to improve, overcome and most importantly make the best coffee anywhere.

 

Kona Coffee Bar Opening Soon

At the end of this month our very first coffee bar will be opening on the Big Island of Hawaii in the Kona District.

The grand vision for our coffee bars is to create an industrial/cozy environment that screams coffee and entices customers to stick around not only for the coffee, but for the vibe.

To bring this vision to life we worked with Grass Valley locals; wood worker Monica of Naked Tree Woodworking and metal wrangler Sally of The Funkyard.

From renovations to innovations in interior design and furnishings, Monica and Sally collaborate with you to create your unique space. Monica wrangles and whittles wood (preferably reclaimed), and Sally tames and teases metal (or other obtainium) for warm-and-rustic, industrial, modern and truly one-of-a-kind designs that are environmentally responsible.

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What do you think of the joint? Tell us in the comments.