Winter Newsletter 2006 – 2007
New planting includes papaya and gliricidia and look out Cuba... a Kauai cigar is born!
Winter is staring us down here in Kauai. This may sound a bit far-fetched coming from someone living in the subtropics, but winter makes itself felt in Hawaii with the arrival of heavy rains, a dip in daytime temperatures into the 70’s, the return of the humpback whales, and wild thundering surf rolling into the north shore.
As we turn the page from fall to winter here in Hawaii, the coffee harvest is not quite over yet. One more large round of coffee remains on the trees. All in all, this has been a very early and short year for coffee, both at Blair Estate and in Kona on the Big Island. After last year’s record breaking yield, we’re enjoying a much more manageable harvest this year.
We are once again happy to announce the availability of Blair Estate Organic coffee, which has been sold out since early summer! Thank you for your patience. We urge you to act now and secure a batch of these truly amazing beans.
Another exciting bit of news is that Blair Estate will add more acreage to our organic farm, courtesy of the State of Hawaii and a 30 year lease. We plan to expand our coffee orchards next year and have planted a crop of sunrise papaya trees in the interim. We are also wrapping up construction on our permanent wet mill. We’ve faced some challenges in the processing and drying of coffee at the farm, so we’re excited about having a new building to house our coffee pulping and sun drying operations.
In addition to papaya trees, we have also planted gliricidia on both farms. These high nitrogen fixing shade trees are doing very well and appear to be thriving in their new home. In our ongoing attempt to become less reliant on commercial organic fertilizer, we are striving to diversify the crops we grow on our land. By creating natural habitats for all of our plant and tree species, as well as for the coffee, we hope to generate an overall more self-sustaining eco-system.
In addition to the augmentation and diversification of our farm land, we have also launched a new venture. Several years ago we began experimenting with a number of prized varieties of tobacco, with the goal of crafting Hawaii’s first home grown cigar. We are happy to announce that our attempts to make a prized cigar were successful. Kauai Cigar Company is now the only Hawaii-based company growing tobacco for cigar production. Island visitors, locals, and several well-known aficionados, including island residents Pierce Brosnan and Craig T. Nelson, have been enjoying the rewards of our labor. Our cigars, which are available for direct purchase only in Kauai, can also be ordered through our online store at coffeetimes.com. As our inventory builds, we will be expanding our sales to other locations throughout Hawaii. For more information on how we produce these remarkable cigars, please visit kauaicigar.com. This page is due to be online soon. I promise you plenty of photos and words on the subject of cigars and tobacco.
Finally, as an added feature to our coffee roasting operation, we have expanded our inventory to include many wonderful Fair Trade coffees from around the world. Due to the heavy demand from local coffee shops, we decided to import quality coffees to supplement our fine, smooth-tasting local product. We are happy to be working with these businesses, and these beans have opened doors to new tastes and experiences.
We look forward to a very busy end to 2006, as I’m sure many of you will be stocking up on the world’s best Hawaiian coffee beans. We view you, the customer, as ohana and we would like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season! And as thanks we are giving away a free lilikoi butter to anyone who purchases five pounds of 100% Hawaiian coffee from now until January 1st, 2007. Thank you again for your support and business.
A hui hou.
Les, Gigi and Jessica