Known for its rich volcanic soil in the forests of Hawaii, Kona is an ideal location for coffee fields. Christine Coleman, owner of Buddha’s Sanctuary in Holualoa, has been growing Kona coffee beans since 2004, which has blossomed into Buddha’s Cup Kona Coffee.
Using biodynamic farming techniques, Buddha’s Cup uses low- and high-tech methods to create its own specific style of Kona coffee. As for low-tech, Coleman utilizes the region’s natural vegetation in her growing and production, and the beans also are hand-picked.
“Four of our five single-estate brands are native shade grown,” Coleman says. “As opposed to ‘sun grown,’ which often means clearing forests, destroying bird habitats, and using fertilizers to keep pests away, shade-grown coffee embraces diversity of taller trees like breadfruit, macadamia nut, avocado and Ohia, which are better for the soil.”
As for high-tech methods, Coleman treats beans with ultraviolet (UV) light that induces a photomorphogenic response to boost plants' defense against arthropods and help plants maximize their genetic potential in less time than in hot houses or open fields, she says.