Rusty's Hawaiian Coffee

Ka’u Oro Yeast Typica

Location: Pahala, Hawaii

Origin: Ka'u growing region, Big Island of Hawaii

Roast: Medium-Light

Est. Price: $28.00/8 ounces

Review Date: April 2018

Agtron: 56/78

Aroma: 9

Acidity/Structure: 8

Body: 9

Flavor: 9

Aftertaste: 8

Blind Assessment:

Deeply sweet, richly savory. Lemongrass, graham cracker, sassafras, roasted cacao nib, jasmine in aroma and cup. Sweet-savory structure, with round acidity; satiny-smooth mouthfeel. The short finish is resonant with notes of lemongrass and jasmine, rounding to cocoa and graham cracker in the long.


This coffee tied for the third-highest rating in a cupping of coffees roasted by women for Coffee Review‘s April 2018 tasting report. Ka’u is a newly emerged Hawaii coffee-growing district centered approximately 30 miles southeast of the famous Kona region. This coffee combines two small lots of the Typica variety that were processed using variations on the wet or “washed” method, one of which involved applying a yeast especially designed for coffee during the fermentation step (the Oro brand yeast developed by Lalcafe). This 100% Ka’u coffee was developed by Lorie Obra of Rusty’s, one of Ka’u’s best-known and most celebrated farms. Obra meticulously picks, processes and roasts her coffees using traditional methods and artisan attention. Visit www.rustyshawaiian.com or call 808-928-8916 for more information.

The Bottom Line: Innovative practices during the ferment step of fruit removal appear to have encouraged intensified aromatic originality and depth in this traditional Big Island Typica. Floral, richly herb-toned, deeply sweet.

This review originally appeared in the April, 2018 tasting report: Women in Coffee: Why It Matters That "She's the Roaster"

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