ABOUT KONA COFFEE
The best-known growing region in Hawaii and one of the best-known in the world, is the Kona region on the Big Island (“Hawai’i Island”). Kona coffee is one of the most prized on the planet.
Real Kona coffee is only grown in the “Kona coffee belt”, a narrow strip 20 miles long by only 2 miles wide which runs through the districts of North and South Kona on Hawaii Island parallel to the coast line and lies between 700ft and 2000ft elevation along the fertile slopes of the Hualalai and Mauna Loa volcanoes.
The elevation, the temperature, the amount and distribution of rainfall, the weather of sunny mornings and cloud or rain in the afternoon, little wind, and mild nights, and the porous, mineral-rich volcanic soil all combine to create ideal coffee growing conditions to produce a very unique, highly aromatic, mellow, yet limited annual crop of the famous ‘Kona Typica’ beans.
In addition, the farming techniques dictated by the land greatly contribute to the flavor: The steep slopes often ensure that Kona coffee can only be raised and harvested the traditional way: by hand. The region has been farmed for 200 years, mostly by small family farms lining the two winding roads.
Only coffee from the fabled Kona coffee belt can be described as "Kona".
Coffee grown anywhere else in the Hawaiian Islands – even elsewhere on the Big Island – cannot be called Kona coffee. Nor can so-called Kona coffee “blends” which typically contain mostly inferior beans from elsewhere and very little Kona coffee, if at all. (Beware!)
Legislation on the island now means that any Kona blend must state the quantity of coffee from Kona on it, and the use of the “100% Kona” trademark is carefully controlled.
To experience the true unique flavors of Kona coffee, always only buy 100% Kona coffee from a trustworthy farm
Forty years ago, my parents left Ann Arbor, Michigan and moved to the Big Island of Hawaii.
They had enough of snowy winters, my father Ray resigned his professorship at the University of Michigan - and off they went to start a small macadamia nut farm.
Located at 1200 ft above the Pacific, on the slope of Hualalai volcano, the site had to be hewn from lava rock.
Land was cleared, trees were planted, a house was built.
Over the decades, the Tek Farm became an oasis of peace and calm among surrounding development.
My parents are both gone now but the farm they created remains a "little island on the Big Island”.
The farm happened to be located in the tiny microclimate and geographic location of the "Kona Coffee Belt", where Kona Coffee may be grown, ideal for producing some of the best and most exclusive coffee on the Earth.
There was enough acreage to spare, so we began the task of digging holes and planting seedlings in 2014.
We combined our family name with our location and thus was born "Tekona Coffee".
Anne and I hand pick and select our coffee, keeping only the best cherry. All of our processing is done by hand by ourselves right here.
We grow, pick, pulp, ferment, sun dry, and hull. Sorting happens during each of these steps. Then we roast and package as orders come in.
This makes our coffee a true “Estate Grown” 100% Kona Coffee. The tasting profile of our fresh roasted coffee contains all the unique nuances of our orchard.
We are a small farm, we don't have a shop or give tours. We don't store roasted coffee, we prefer to roast to order. It is as freshly roasted as possible when you buy it.
We've left our home in Australia to be here, and when we are not out on tour or in the recording studio, Anne and I are likely to be found out in the field. It's hard work, but we enjoy it, and find it very satisfying to be able to offer this great coffee.
Deniz and Anne Tek
THE STORY OF OUR LOGO
On August 20, 2017 we hiked up to a gorgeous lake at about 9000' elevation in the Wind River mountain range of Wyoming. With our friend Evan Buchan, we had planned this trip for over a year. Evan chose the site to be dead center in the band of totality of the next day's total solar eclipse. We made camp there, and slept under a billion stars.
The next morning we awoke to a bright clear day, happy that the weather had cooperated with our plans. At a little past 11 am things got a little dim - not dark, but colors were subdued in a strange way. We observed the moon sliding in front of the sun with a telescope and sun filter, to check the progression. Even as the eclipse approached 99% it was dusky out, but still daylight. I'm thinking, that's kind of cool, but not hugely impressive...
At the moment of transition from 99% to 100% it was as if a giant switch had been flipped - instant dark night, with stars out, and a black circle with a blazing white ring where the sun had been. We were completely unprepared for the shock. It was profound. The rational brain, even understanding the physics behind the event, did nothing to lessen the impact at our most primal and emotional level. Totality lasted about 6 minutes. Anne snapped a photo, and we shared a shot of old single malt that Evan had hauled up the mountain for the occasion.
It was the most astonishing, mind bending experience.
It is Anne's photo taken that day, that graces our coffee labels. (The small white dot visible to the lower left of the sun is not a flaw in the printing process - it is the star Rigel, captured along with the eclipse)