When I was eleven years old, my dad would take me to the restaurant around the block for a weekend dinner treat. The best part was getting to order dessert. It was a single scoop of vanilla ice cream. My father would order a cup of coffee to go with his and we would joyfully spoon the steaming brew over our frozen delicacies. It was a magical invention he shared with me.
After dessert we would stay and enjoy the sounds of Uncle Kalei’s Hawaiian music. I would, on occasion, be called up to dance a hula. The flavor of coffee mingled with the dance of Hawai’i. These moments I hold dear in my heart.
I suppose that is, in part, what has compelled me to roast coffee. The smell is magic. It is a deeply ingrained memory that connects me with my ancestors. My great great grandfather moved to Hawaii to farm the land. I really don’t know all the crops he farmed back in the 1800s, but I imagine that coffee could have been one of them.
Connecting to the land, our ‘āina, has brought me into this journey of coffee. Tasting the flavors of far away places has led me to be a Q arabica coffee grader. It is an honor that I do not take lightly to respect those who came before me who developed this gift, this cup of coffee.