Hula Daddy located in at the Northern start of Hōlualoa was started in 2002 when Karen and Lee bought a eleven acre cow pasture. Soon after they contacted and hired a local agronomist about planting coffee. Within the next year they cleared the eleven acres and planted 7000 trees. Their first crop was in 2005 and in 2007 where the placed as one of the top six coffees in the world and where given a 90 by the coffee review.
In 2008 they brought in a soil consultant from napa and with the new information changed from planting to roasting six months later. They also conducted an in house study about what cherries to pick. With their new information they changed their picking form the standard of picking.
Later in September of 2008 Karen and Lee bought another twenty acres of land on the slops of Hualalai Volcano at an elevation of 2500 ft. They planted at their new location in late 2009. In November of 2011 they harvested from there new location and has to be constantly picked when in season from this location.
During the years of there newly acquired land in 2008, Hula Daddy brought in master roaster Miguel Meza to help them bring there coffee to a higher level. In December of 2008 Miguel helped Hula Daddy score a 97 on coffee review, one of only four to ever score so high, with their Kona Sweet. It was during this time that Hula Daddy also brought in Laura Ross to learn and study from Miguel. Around mid 2010 Miguel left and Laura became Hula Daddy's new roaster. After the first harvest of their new farm Laura created a new roast for Hula Daddy and in April of 2012 Laura's Blend received a 93 from coffee review.
Hula Daddy now has planted over thirty-one acres with over 17,000 trees and is the only plantation I know of on the island who pays the puckers by the hour rather then by the cherry or pound. With this they have been able to have the same crew for the last five years and pick the cherries they want specifically. They also have the pickers gather the cherries once a week during the session.
Hula Daddy fertilizes organically and collects green wast from local restaurants and mixes it with wood chips and coffee pulp. In 2011 they made 50 tons for their plantation.
They are not a wet mill or pulp but do dry their own beans.They send their beans to pulp in Captain Cook area. Their drying racks are located at the Kona International Airport. Their drying times depends on their type of coffee they are making. The traditional usually takes seven to ten days while their Oli two weeks and their Kona Sweet takes two months ( more about those later.)
Hula Daddy sits at an elevation of 1400 and is perfectly placed to get the morning sun the afternoon shade and rain. Once you arrive at there plantation you notice their beautiful visitor center with a view of the Kona coast. They have a full kitchen where they show different styles and coffee makers throughout history. After you look at the view and try some coffee you are taken on a farm tour. They start by showing you the front and tell you about Hula Daddy. From there you go down stairs to there coffee trees. They explain how they pick and show you ripe cherries and if you like you can take one off and suck on the seeds to taste the parchment and silverskin of the cherry. While you are in the trees they also tell you about the wild Jacksons Chameleon they have and usually have a cone out for where they where last seen. Then they take you to their sorting table and when they have cherries usually Karen and or Lee are out there sorting with their crew. They are always welcoming and willing to teach you how to sort and you can join in if you like ( it does sound easy but it is acutely hard to do but it is very worth it to see how it is done.) After you go through the trees and watch them you go to the roasting room. In the roasting room you will meet Laura Ross their roaster. Your tour guide explains the types of roasts and explains that they roast between 410 and 430 degrease. Your guide will show you their sizing screens ( all are the standard 19/64ths ,18/64ths, 16/64ths , and 8/64ths x 3/4 od) and a collection of what coffee beans look like as they roast. While in the roasting room you will usually be able to see Laura roasting or cupping the batch she had just roasted. She is always willing to explain what she is doing and is able to answer almost any question you want to know about coffee. After yo go back up the stairs and to that phenomenal view. IF YOU ARE NOT CAPABLE OF WALKING DOWN A STRAIGHT LONG FLIGHT OF STAIRS I WOULD NOT GO ON THE TOUR.
Hula Daddy has two natural coffees Oli and Kona Sweet,
Their Oli is milled and they keep the outer mucus (silver Skin) on then they dry the beans and roast. Their other is Kona Sweet, they dry the whole cherry the get it hulled.
They do produce Peaberry but that only accounts for 0.5 of 1 percent of their crop.
Hula Daddy's Oli has " Dark chocolate flavors, Raisin, and soft earth notes.
Their Kona Sweet has "Soft but powerful acidity with and apple cider nuance, delicate, and subtle milk chocolate" While I was their Laura was cupping their peaberry and explained " it has a citrus and black current flavor with plum and apple after notes"