Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Behind the Scenes at Brazen Hazen

From the picking of the coffee cherry to the roasting of the bean, the process of producing Brazen Hazen 100% Kona Coffee is scientific and precise. Every step along the way is carefully considered, including the drying of the parchment.

The parchment stage is one of the final stages before the bean is ready to be roasted. In simple terms, coffee beans are actually the seeds of the coffee fruit, which resemble red cherries. Beneath the pulp of the fruit, the bean is surrounded by several layers of skin. The coffee cherries must be pulped and the slimy layer of mucilage removed, to get to the thin parchment layer.  Underneath the "parchment" layer, the bean is covered in an even thinner membrane, the seed coat.

Brian rakes the parchment on the drying deck.
After being soaked in water during the fermenting cycle, the wet parchment coffee must be dried to remove a percentage of moisture from the bean. At Brazen Hazen, we utilize a combination of sun drying and mechanical drying to achieve what we consider to be the ideal moisture content of just under 12 percent. We spread the parchment in rows on the drying deck, where it dries in the hot Kona sun. Every hour, we rake the rows in different directions so that water doesn't stay trapped underneath. The drying deck has actually been used as a test site by the University of Hawaii/Manoa. We analyze the deck temperature with strategically placed temperature probes. Then we transfer the parchment into the mechanical dryer, where we "finish-dry" it at 116 degrees, which is actually a lower temperature than what we get from the sun.

The parchment skin serves to insulate the bean while it is being stored in our climate-controlled facility before roasting. And that, in a nutshell, is just part of a multi-stage process to bring you some of the best coffee in all of Kona: Brazen Hazen 100% Kona Coffee.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Welcome to Our Blog!

Here at Brazen Hazen Kona Coffee, we want to keep you updated on all the great happenings at our farm and in the Kona coffee community. Each week, we'll be blogging about topics of interest to coffee lovers. We'll take you on a farm tour, share details about the milling process, discuss techniques for roasting, and offer a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into producing our award-winning 100% Kona coffee.

We'll also introduce you to some of our favorite people, including our very own coffee experts, Brian and Amy Axelrod. From tending our farm to processing, roasting and shipping our coffee, Brian and Amy are involved in every aspect of Brazen Hazen Kona Coffee. You'll also meet Jenny Kalmbach, a champion stand-up paddler sponsored by Brazen Hazen. Named the world's female stand-up paddler of the year in 2011-12, Jenny competes internationally and here in Hawai‘i. We are proud to support Jenny in her athletic endeavors and awareness-raising campaigns about the environment.

Cassandra and Paul Hazen
On behalf of Paul and Cassandra Hazen, owners of Brazen Hazen Kona Coffee, we welcome you to our inaugural blog post and invite you to visit us again.