I am working with a couple from California who wanted a vacation getaway. The congested resorts and condos are not for them. I suggested a small Kona coffee farm.Â Coffee farms here in Kona can often sell for the price of a condo or small home elsewhere. For this couple a small coffee farm sounded just right.
There are plenty of local companies that will manage the farm for you. At the end of the year you have a well groomed farm and a niceÂ check to boot. You can even package up some coffee with your own label for friends and family.Â Not a bad gift as Kona Coffee often sells for $20 a pound or more.
For those who want to get their hands dirty I asked my friend John of Kona King Coffee what was up at his coffee farm this time of year. “We are in day 5 of our largest-yet-this-season coffee cherry pick on the Kona King Coffee Captain Cook Farm. Thus far during this pick we have picked over 9000 pounds of coffee cherry (the we in this statement is the coffee pickers that we employ, between 6 and 12 each day). Of the coffee cherry picked, roughly 6000 pounds we have processed through our pulping machine, a process which removes the outer pulp from the cherry and leaves the green coffee bean encased in parchment and covered in a mucoid film. Once the pulp is removed the beans are sent to the fermentation vats where the mucoid film is broken down through a bacterial process which takes 12-18 hours. Any immature beans and overripe beans float to the surface and are removed during this phase of the process.
Once the fermentation process (the icky goo phase) is complete the beans are thoroughly washed and placed on one of the two drying decks. The coffee at this point is referred to ‘parchment’ and is dried to a moisture content of 9-12%. We installed a solar powered fan this year on one of the drying decks and it has reduced the drying time about 30%, it’s great to see the fan turn on every time there is even a hint of sunshine. I must sign off now the icky goo is calling…”
Whether you are a hands on or hands off type there are a wide variety of farms on the market from under $100,000 to several million.