Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Getting Real About Kona Coffee

If you like Kona coffee, chances are you've thought about choosing between Kona blend and 100% Kona coffee. Since blend is cheaper, why not save a few bucks and buy a bag? Here's why: That package of Kona blend you bought at the airport or gift store needs only to contain 10% Kona coffee in order to carry the Kona name. That's a far cry from Napa wine in California, for example, which must be 75% Napa.

Brazen Hazen 100% Kona coffee.
Due to lobbying interests and local politics, coffee producers in the state of Hawai‘i are allowed to use the Kona name even though their blend need only consist of 10% Kona coffee. The question is, what's in the other 90% of the bag? Well, the majority of the bag likely contains inferior beans from other countries that by law, must be fumigated with methyl bromide, a pesticide.

When you purchase a bag of 100% Kona coffee, not only are you are supporting the local Kona economy and the small farmer, you are drinking one of the premier coffees of the entire world. If you prefer your Kona coffee blended, you can always blend it yourself with beans that you trust.

At Brazen Hazen, our award-winning coffee is guaranteed 100% premier Kona coffee. We custom roast your order and send it out the same day, ensuring you the finest cup of pure Kona you'll ever have.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Which Roast Has the Most Caffeine?

If you are shopping for Kona coffee, you might wonder: what is the difference between light, medium and dark roasts, and which roast contains the most caffeine? The short answer is: the lighter the roast, the more caffeine; the darker the roast, the least caffeine. That's because the caffeine content tends to burn off slightly the longer the bean is roasted. But as you might guess, there's a lot more to the science of roasting than simple definitions.

Light coffee roasts are usually roasted under heat until the "first crack" of the bean. After the beans are roasted to the second crack, they obtain a darker and oily texture. Here at Brazen Hazen, we specialize in micro-custom roasting, which allows us to dial into a specific temperature degree beyond the generic medium and dark roasting standards. We measure the ambient air temperature as we are roasting. The first crack happens around 400 degrees.  For our medium roast, we go 50 degrees beyond the first crack.

All of our coffee is freshly roasted to order and shipped the same day. We do our roasting in a "fluid bed" roaster (as opposed to a drum roaster), in which all of the smoke is removed from the coffee as it's roasting. If you have a favorite roast, let us know and we can repeat the same roast over and over again for you. It's all about providing the best coffee experience for our customers!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Jenny Kalmbach, Top Female Standup Paddler in the World

Brazen Hazen is a proud sponsor of our friend Jenny Kalmbach, a Kona resident who was voted Female Standup Paddler of the year in 2011- ’12 by the readers of SUP magazine. Among Jenny's many accomplishments include an epic, long-distance paddling excursion across the Hawaiian Island chain, highlighted by an amazing 82-mile trek between O‘ahu and Kaua‘i that took 16 consecutive hours.

Known as Destination 3 Degrees, Jenny's long-distance journey in 2010 was sponsored by Brazen Hazen. In addition to accomplishing the feat, Jenny's mission was to help raise awareness and funds to benefit Algalita Marine Research Foundation in its effort to protect the ocean from plastics contamination. The adventure was chronicled in a documentary film, which will be released on DVD in the coming months — soon to be available on Amazon.com and via online downloads at Destination 3 Degrees.

Jenny continues to raise awareness about the plastics crisis taking place in our oceans, noting that plastic bottles and bags photo-degrade into tiny pieces that end up in the food chain. She also wants people to know about the health concerns associated with drinking water from plastic water bottles. Jenny supports the Plastic Pollution Coalition, whose mission is to "reduce, reuse and refuse" plastic.

This week (March 9 & 10), Jenny is in Punta Sayulita, Mexico, to compete in an international standup surfing competition: the Punta Sayulita Classic. You can follow Jenny on her blog and on her Facebook page.