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K’au Coffee Festival Names Presenter Lineup for Annual Coffee College

Leaders in the specialty coffee industry present a host of educational opportunities for island coffee farmers at the annual Ka‘u Coffee College 9 a.m.-pau Sunday, May 28 at the Pahala Community Center.

“This year’s college offers a number of hands-on workshops.  The first is on how to breed the flat bark beetle to make the insect act as a biological control to fight the coffee berry borer,” explains long-time festival organizer Chris Manfredi. “Second is an introduction to the science of coffee fermentation and we cap it off with a workshop on how to maximize efficiency and quality of your wet mill.”

Courtesy photo from the 2016 Coffee College

The Ka‘u Coffee College has proven to be a place of learning, sharing and networking—and has featured some of the industry’s leading professionals from around the globe. The 2017 program follows in this tradition with the theme, “Boosting Coffee Quality and Profits.”

The Ka‘u Coffee College is part of the ninth annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival through May 28.

The college opens with “Rearing and Releasing Flat Bark Beetles on Your Farm” presented by Andrea Kawabata and Jen Burt with the University of Hawai‘i CTAHR cooperative extension service. Working out of the Kona Research and Extension Center, Kawabata is an associate extension agent who provides outreach to the coffee, tropical fruit and nut industries. She has been coordinating coffee berry borer integrated pest management recommendations to statewide growers and conducts research applicable to farmers.

Also located at Kona’s Extension Center, Burt provides technical support to the Areawide Mitigation and Management for Coffee Berry Borer and Flat Bark Beetle Projects.

Dr. Peter Follett presents “Flat Bark Beetle Predators-Behavior in the Field and Next Generation Breeding Stations.” Follett, a research entomologist with Hilo’s USDA Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, studies integrated pest management, biological controls and postharvest technology in support of Hawai‘i’s tropical fruit and coffee industries.

“Understanding the Science of Fermentation,” by Dr. Shawn Steiman, delves into the science of coffee fermentation and its importance. A coffee scientist, consultant, entrepreneur and author, Steiman’s research has focused on coffee production, entomology, ecology, physiology, biochemistry, organoleptic quality and brewing.

If you’re wet-milling coffee, you won’t want to miss “Getting the Most Out of Your Wet Mill” presented by Diego Botello, which will be followed by a field visit for a hands-on demonstration of wet milling equipment. Botello is with Penagos Hermanos y Compania S.A.S., a leading manufacturer of agricultural processing equipment. Penagos wet mills are used globally—including in Ka‘u.

“This wet mill presentation affords a rare opportunity to meet first-hand with the manufacturer—to achieve the best possible results from their equipment—from an efficiency and quality perspective. Even if you’re not using Penagos equipment this is must-see event if you’re wet-milling coffee,” notes Manfredi.

Admission to the Ka‘u Coffee College is free, though donations are appreciated.

All activities at the Ka‘u Coffee Festival are open to the general public; some require a fee. Find details at www.KauCoffeeFest.com. Call 808-929-9550 or visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.

Ka‘u Coffee Festival: Founded in coffee traditions hailing to the 1800s—plus the hard work of former sugar plantation workers—Ka‘u coffee burst onto the specialty coffee scene by winning numerous coffee quality awards. These accolades highlight the unique combination of people and place that makes Ka‘u coffee a favorite across the globe. The festival’s mission is to raise awareness of Ka‘u as a world-class, coffee-growing origin.

Ka‘u Coffee Festival vendor and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information and festival updates, visit kaucoffeefest.com, follow Ka‘u Coffee Festival on Facebook and @kaucoffeefest on Twitter, or call 808-929-9550.

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