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The Story Of Kohana Coffee

Our Kohana Coffee Company is the brainchild of adventure in the islands, a great sense of smell, and buckets of tropical rain.

It has always amazed me the times in our lives when inspiration springs forth. And this crazy island morning was no different. My first time on the island of Oahu, we were driving mopeds from Waialua, a ruggedly local North Shore town, venturing to the world renowned surf spot at Sunset Beach.  It was pouring rain, a torrential squall made to wash the world. 

Struggling to motor through sheets of rain, unable to see the road ahead, we finally had to pull off next to the beach in Haleiwa. When we stopped, I could smell coffee drifting through the raindrops.  Looking for shelter, we pulled over to a little shack by Jameson’s with a crudely written sign that said COFFEE scrawled across it. No one was there, but the rich bouquet of roasting coffee was getting stronger. Dodging the rain as best we could, we followed the aroma down the way to a place hopefully named Coffee Gallery. 

Small and patched together, the ceilings were falling in, a little light was dangling from a tattered cord, rain pouring off the gutters and vines. We were drenched and freezing, but the coffee aroma was so enticing, a tapestry of promise. I closed my eyes, inhaled and ordered a coffee. The porcelain cup warming my hands, I was stunned how rich and smooth the coffee was. 

After that first cup, I went back every single day to relive that flavor, so different than bitter brew coffees I had in the past that burnt my insides with acidity. 

Just by chance I met John, the roaster. Bright and inspired, he had a Masters Degree from University of Texas and we soon became fast friends.  Quickly I knew I had to learn to roast in this island style, to bring this luscious coffee to the new restaurant and grocery store I had opened in my home back in Austin, Texas.

I set out to learn how to create the most delicious, honest and true coffee possible, rich and satisfying and personal for everyone who drank it.  Made in a fashion that was good and giving back to our earth.

In my journey to bring slow-roasted, beautifully blended coffee to all my customers, I learned about the Kohana, the small flower with long elegant white petals that unfolds to trumpet the arrival of the coffee bean.  I traveled to organic coffee farms to soak in the history and experience that creates the best raw beans in the most organic way. We watched and worked with the world’s finest roasters and processors, artisans large and small who roast integrity in every careful complex step. To the final rich cup.

We too became coffee artisans. And fell in love. With growing relationships with this planet’s organic farmers, people who are passionate about their coffee and giving back to the earth. We fell in love with how beautiful the coffee looks and all of the complex tastes and smells that emerge when you blend different varietals of beans.  We became the kind of people who roast coffee slowly, with obsessive care and an eye for the small details. It is a simple secret, and what makes a pampered bean into a great cup of coffee.

Kohana is born of the Islands. Where the water, the sun, the soil and the sea combine to create a unique universe of sensation and life.  And though we now source from around the Earth, that essence of the Islands is in every delicious cup. Come experience the inspiration with us at Kohana Coffee. And start your own coffee journey to the Islands, every day.