For Publicity and Information


Kona Coffee Council’s

Ninth Annual

Cream of the Crop Coffee and Dessert Tasting



On Saturday, August 11, 2012, from 9:30am to 1:30pm the Kona Coffee Council will be holding its Ninth Annual Cream of the Crop coffee and dessert tasting competition in the Hoku Amphitheater at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu.  Admission is free.

To the sounds of a Hawaiian band playing island music in the beautiful Haku Amphitheatre, visitors will be able to sample some of the finest coffees and desserts available anywhere in the world.

Twenty-one select Kona coffee growers will each have booths in the amphitheater providing sample cups of their brewed coffee along with education about coffee growing and processing in the Kona region of the Big Island of Hawaii.  Each coffee grower will have their own roasted coffee beans for sale.  The competition is divided into three categories of coffee growing:  Organic, Estate and Open – which allows all growers an opportunity to participate in the event. 

To complement the delicious coffee, there will be chefs from local restaurants and resorts as well as amateurs offering desserts made with Kona Coffee as one of the ingredients.  Visitors may sample all of the desserts.

Visitors to the event will be encouraged to vote for their favorite coffee in the three categories.  Local chefs will be voting for their favorite coffees as well, so visitors can see how their votes compare to those of professionals.  The desserts will be judged by a expert panel of chefs and the results of the voting will be announced before the end of the day.

Interspersed with the coffee and dessert booths will be a number of local artists demonstrating and selling coffee related arts.  These artists will be showing their skills at bringing the coffee story into everyday life.

The event is being sponsored by the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu, Kamehameha Schools and the Kona Coffee Council. Last year over 800 people attended the eighth annual Kona Coffee Council Cream of the Crop Event.



Click HERE or the Cover Flow Above to visit PART 2 of The Kona Coffee Online Mall

NIH Study: Coffee Really Does Make You Live Longer, After All

MAY 16 2012, 6:15 PM ET 18

Caffeine addicts, rejoice: all the coffee you're downing over the course of a day could be lengthening your lifespan. For real. 

According to research published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, people who drank four or five cups of coffee a day tended to live longer than those who drank only a cup or less. The benefit was more pronounced for women, but men also stand to gain somewhat from pounding joe.

Coffee-drinking men cut their risk for death by 12 percent after four to five cups of java, according to the study, which was led by the National Institutes of Health's Neal Freedman. Women who drank the same amount had their the risk of death reduced by 16 percent.

Freedman and his team drew data from the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study, a 13-year assessment. They found that coffee drinkers progressively cut their risk of death the more they drank. The sweet spot appears to be between four and five cups of coffee a day -- any more than that, and the effect wears off somewhat.

There is a catch: people who drink coffee tend to die sooner than non-coffee drinkers. That's because coffee consumption is often linked with other unhealthy behaviors like smoking. So, to add the most years to your life, the next time you're down at the diner, double down on the coffee, but leave the cigarettes out of it.

Update: Although the study may offer coffee drinkers some peace of mind when it comes to their habit, it's important to remember that this is an observational study only, not a clinical trial. As Freedman told Bloomberg News, "we don't know for certain coffee is having a cause and effect," and that coffee has more than 1,000 compounds that ought to be tested.


















Study: Coffee may help you live longer

A large U.S. federal study concludes people who drink coffee seem to live a little longer. Researchers saw a clear connection between cups consumed and years of life. Whether it was regular or decaf didn't matter. The results are published in the Thursday, May 17, 2012 New England Journal of Medicine. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

A large U.S. federal study concludes people who drink coffee seem to live a little longer. Researchers saw a clear connection between cups consumed and years of life. Whether it was regular or decaf didn't matter. The results are published in the Thursday, May 17, 2012 New England Journal of Medicine. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Researchers have some reassuring news for the legions of coffee drinkers who can't get through the day without a latte, cappuccino, iced mocha, double-shot of espresso or a plain old cuppa joe: That coffee habit may help you live longer.

A new study that tracked the health and coffee consumption of more than 400,000 older adults for nearly 14 years found that java drinkers were less likely to die during the study than their counterparts who eschewed the brew. In fact, men and women who averaged four or five cups of coffee per day had the lowest risk of death, according to a report in Thursday's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The research doesn't prove that coffee deserves the credit for helping people live longer. But it is the largest analysis to date to suggest that the beverage's reputation for being a liquid vice may be undeserved.

"There's been concerns for a long time that coffee might be a risky behavior," said study leader Neal Freedman, an epidemiologist with the National Cancer Institute who drinks coffee "here and there." "The results offer some reassurance that it's not a risk factor for future disease."

Coffee originated in Ethiopia more than 500 years ago. As it spread through the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, its popularity was tempered by concerns about its supposed ill effects. A 1674 petition by aggrieved women in London complained that coffee left men impotent, "with nothing moist but their snotty noses, nothing stiff but their joints, nor standing but their ears," according to the book "Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World."

In more modern times, the caffeinated beverage has been seen as "a stimulating substance, a commonly consumed drug," said Rob van Dam, an epidemiologist at the National University of Singapore who has investigated the drink's health effects but was not involved in the latest study.

"People get somewhat dependent on it," van Dam said. "If you try to rapidly reduce coffee consumption, you get headaches or other symptoms."

The National Coffee Association estimates that 64 percent of American adults drink coffee on a daily basis, with the average drinker consuming 3.2 cups each day. To get a deeper understanding of the risks and benefits of all that joe, the National Cancer Institute researchers turned to data on 402,260 adults who were between the ages of 50 and 71 when they joined the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study in 1995 and 1996. The volunteers were followed through December 2008 or until they died _ whichever came first.

When the team first crunched the numbers, coffee seemed to have a detrimental effect on longevity. But people who drink coffee are more likely to smoke, and when the scientists took that into account (along with other demographic factors), the opposite appeared to be true.

Compared with men who didn't drink any coffee at all, those who drank just one cup per day had a 6 percent lower risk of death during the course of the study; those who drank two to three cups per day had a 10 percent lower risk, and those who had four to five cups had a 12 percent lower risk. For men who drank six cups or more, the apparent benefit waned slightly, with a 10 percent lower risk of death during the study compared with men who drank no coffee.

The relationship between coffee and risk of death was even more dramatic in women. Those who drank one cup per day had 5 percent lower odds of dying during the study compared with women who drank none. Those who consumed two or three cups a day were 13 percent less likely to die, those who downed four or five cups were 16 percent less likely to die, and those who drank six or more cups had a 15 percent lower mortality rate.

The effect held across a number of causes of death _ including heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke and diabetes _ but not cancer, the researchers found. And the link was stronger in coffee drinkers who had never smoked.

The correlation even held for people who mostly drank decaf brew, the researchers found.

"If these are real biological effects, they seem to (have) to do with the substances in coffee that are not caffeine," van Dam said. Other compounds in the coffee could be linked to the lower death rates, he said _ or there could be no causal relationship at all.

And, van Dam added, the researchers didn't make distinctions between different types of drinks. Unfiltered brews like Turkish coffee or Scandinavian boiled coffee have been shown to raise cholesterol and could present very different results from the current study if examined separately, he said.

To prove that coffee deserves the credit, researchers could study each of the 1,000-odd compounds in the brew and test them on subjects over time to see if they reduced inflammation, improved the body's sensitivity to insulin or caused any other useful biological effects, he said.

A Caffeinated Fix at Coffee Talk

Get over jet lag with a little java and a lot of caffeine – I’m talking coffee. At Coffee Talk in Kaimuki, caffeine can come in the form of a cup or a baked good. You’re sure to get a buzz off of one of the menu items or at least buzz off of the vibe inside. A nice mix of college students, old timers, tourists and everyone in between (like pets) create a laid-back environment for studying or just plain chillin’ before a long day of exploring the island. 

Mocha Muffin at Coffee Talk Hawaii

Muffin, mocha, mocha…doggy treat. Coffee Talk in Kaimuki welcomes everyone.

A cup of mocha java and a chocolate chip espresso muffin always wake me up. Everything’s made fresh and has a real homey feel to each bite. A display of strawberry scones, fudge brownies, banana bread and carrot cake have customers drooling as soon as they walk through the doors. A Red Eye cup of coffee can be intense. Watch out! With two shots of espresso, it will have you bouncing all over the island. 

When traveling to a new place, it’s always fun to explore the coffee shops. I do that wherever I go – most recently in New York and San Fran – and usually stumble upon some pretty great finds. It’s a cool place to meet some of the regular “Townies,” including a few four-legged ones. The pet-friendly café welcomes dogs and gives them pooch-tastic treats upon entering. I brought my Chiweenie, and he fit right in. 

Puppy at Coffee Talk

Pakala's neck doesn't seem to be long enough. Perhaps his tongue will add an inch or two.

Subtle hints of liberalism fill your peripheral vision. Look on the walls at hand-painted wooden signs that say stuff like, “I want to believe” or “OBAMA.” My favorite is one that says, “Drink Coffee, Sleep Later.” Sit at the coffee bar, outside near the street or inside, where jazzy tunes and the smell of freshly brewed java dance in the air.

Stop here for something other than coffee, too. They’ve got a fresh menu with reasonable prices – pesto bagel sandwiches and veggie burgers with avocado…yum! Plan the next stop of your island tour while enjoying a quick bite with your old friend, Cup-of-Joe. 

Coffee Talk’s one of those rare surprises. From the outside, its dark tinted windows and plain-looking sign make it seem pretty ordinary, but the inside speaks for itself. Talk coffee at the Coffee Talk, and fit right in. 

COFFEE TALK / Open Mon-Fri 5am-10pm, Sat-Sun 6am-10pm / 3601 Wai‘alae Avenue, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96816 (Map) / 808-737-3444 / Free wi-fi, Metered street parking; Near bus stop

Posted by Alyssa S. Navares Follow me on Twitter @Uamalie87   


Entry Filed under: Dining,Local grindz,Oahu

December 2nd, 2011

Cat-butt coffee: A critical review

By  at 8:44 am Monday, Dec 5

Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world. At my local specialty coffee bean store, it sells for $420 per pound—or $10 for a 10 oz. brewed cup.

Kopi Luwak is very different from that cheap, gauche coffee you and I drink every day. This is because each hand-harvested bean of Kopi Luwak has been artisanally shat out of the digestive system of a small Indonesian pseudo-cat.

Yesterday, my husband and I split a cup of Kopi Luwak in an attempt to figure out whether having cat butt all over your coffee beans really did noticeably improve the flavor, or whether this was all just an elaborate practical joke on the part of Indonesian farmers.

The Asian Palm Civet is not really a cat, per se. It's a viverrid, a family of animals not found in North America. Viverrids belong to the same suborder as cats, so they are related. But, if you're not from Asian or African tropics, these animals will probably look a little weird to you. Imagine what might happen if the bastard love child of a ferret and a lemur had babies with your house cat. That's an Asian Palm Civet.

And Asian Palm Civets, as it turns out, really like to eat the fruits off of coffee plants. Although the civet can digest the fruit itself, the same can not be said for the bean at the center. Coffee beans pass through the civet whole. But they don't leave unchanged. Enzymes in the civet digestive tract break down proteins in the coffee beans. We know this because researchers at the University of Guelph actually did a detailed analysis in 2002, comparing Kopi Luwak and normal Columbian coffee beans. (You will be pleased to note that the same study confirmed that Kopi Luwak is safe to drink.)

Civets poop out coffee beans. This can happen on farms, or in the wild. Either way, once the pooping is done, somebody comes along to harvest the "processed" beans, cleans them, and roasts them. And then you have Kopi Luwak.

Here are the two things you need to know about the taste of Kopi Luwak:

• There is a difference in flavor. Kopi Luwak is noticeably not bitter. Swallow a sip, and it's like you just drank some water. There's no sting or heavy flavor left in the back of your throat. That makes sense. Proteins are part of what is responsible for the bitterness of coffee. Kopi Luwak beans have fewer whole proteins than normal beans. So they're less bitter, but still taste good. As my husband put it, "Everything that is wrong with cheap gas station coffee is right about this."

• That difference is totally not worth the price. Again, to quote my husband, "If I were a Russian oligarch or an investment banker or something, and $420 a pound represented a much smaller amount of my time worked, I'd probably drink this. As it is, not worth it."*

Cat-butt coffee: The coffee of the 1%?

Interestingly, Wikipedia tells me that Kopi Luwak originated during Dutch colonization of Indonesia, when Indonesians were banned from drinking any of the coffee they worked to grow and harvest. Instead, they gathered beans from civet poop and brewed that. And they talked about how great this cat-butt coffee was. Eventually, the Dutch colonists got curious, tried it for themselves, and then pretty much took it over. That's how Kopi Luwak became a luxury item. It's been expensive since the 19th century.

Of course, that history also lends a little more evidence to the theory that, somewhere, Indonesian farmers are having a good, long chuckle.

• • • •

Read more about Kopi Luwak in a 2010 New York Times story.

If you'd like a smoother brew at a more reasonable price, I'd recommend the Aerobie AeroPress. It's $30, makes a damn fine cup of coffee, and does not contain any cat butt.


Image: Kopi Luwak, Kaffee, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from ohallmann's photostream


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