Exceptional artisan coffee
From Farm to Cup
At Sunshower Farms, we’re committed to creativity and quality at every step of the coffee process. We believe in third-wave coffee principles, from sustainable farming techniques to innovative processing and roasting methods.
Our Coffee Growing Process
Our coffee is grown on 8 acres at 2400 ft. elevation in the heart of the Kona Coffee Belt. Every afternoon, clouds and often also a thick fog rolls into the coffee orchard. Although not technically shaded by trees like orchards in other parts of the world, our coffee is in fact shade grown, on account of these features of our local climate.
The growing season is year-round, with harvest spanning from mid-August through April. Is is a long harvest season for anywhere in the world, Kona included, which is due mostly to our high elevation. In fact, our harvest season is so long that the coffee trees flower for the next year’s crop while beans from the current harvest year are still on the tree (sometimes on the same branch!). This long growing season allows our beans to mature more slowly and increases their natural sugars, which can enhance the flavor of the coffee.
As our coffee ripens during the harvest season, it is hand-picked, ensuring that only the ripest coffee makes it to the end cup.
After harvest, we process our coffee using two methods: washed process and natural process
Washed processed (also called “wet process”) coffee is what most people would consider “normal” coffee: it is where the skin and fruit of the coffee are washed off the bean before sun drying for at least two weeks.
Natural Processed (also called "dry processed") coffee is coffee that has been dried with the fruit and skins intact. It's referred to as "natural" because of its simplicity, and because the fruit remains intact and undisturbed, a bit like drying grapes into raisins. Our natural process coffee is much sweeter and fruitier than our standard washed processed coffee. That big difference in flavor is what makes offering a natural processed coffee worthwhile, as natural processing is very labor and time intensive. It takes double the drying time of our washed process and has to be hand sorted for defects. This year we produced only 250 pounds of natural—so order some before it's gone!
Our barrel-aged coffees are all our washed processed coffee that’s ‘aged’ in empty alcohol barrels before roasting. This year, we have three barrel-aged coffees: Hawaiian golden rum, Kentucky bourbon, and petit verdot. These coffees are alcohol free, as any trace amounts of alcohol are burned off in the roast. They do have quite a strong alcohol taste though, so we recommend them for after-dinner coffee or as pairing with specific desserts or other beverages. They are also great for holidays!
All of our coffee is roasted by me (Kate), and we roast to order for maximum freshness in a two pound Sonofresco Fluid Bed Roaster. We roast to order because freshness is so crucial for good coffee, and it’s important to us that all of our customers experience our coffee at its best. After roasting, we package our coffee in heat-sealed bags with a valve to release gas.
A great coffee can be elevated or ruined in the roast, so thoughtful and meticulous roasting is paramount to us. We have five roast profiles for our washed process, ranging from a light roast (just past the ‘first crack’) to a dark, oily Italian roast. If you are not sure which roast you’ll like best, we have a tasting gift pack so you can taste test them all!
Because our coffee is roasted to order, we can also custom roast. If you would like to order a roast we don’t offer, send me an email, and I will work with you to roast something you’ll love.
How soon will you ship my coffee after ordering?
Because our coffee is roasted to order, it takes us 1-3 days to roast and ship your coffee. We ship all coffee by USPS priority mail and you’ll be emailed a tracking number once your coffee ships. We also ship any orders over $100 for free with the code “ship100.”
What is “estate grown” coffee? Is your coffee estate grown?
Estate Grown Coffee is coffee that is grown, harvested, roasted and packaged all from one farm or “estate.” So, yes, when you buy our coffee, you are getting an estate grown coffee: a true farm-to-cup product and supporting a small family farm.
What is the difference between Kona coffee and 100% Kona?
Being 100% Kona Coffee means that we farm all of our coffee in the Kona Coffee Belt. Coffees simply labeled “Kona” are usually blends of Kona coffee with other coffees that are meant to mimic the flavor profile of coffee from Kona. This region is home to some of the best coffees in the world due to its tropical climate, well-drained and fertile volcanic soil, perfect rainfall and cloudy afternoons. The Kona Coffee Belt is about 25 miles long yet only about two miles wide. Only coffee grown in this specific area and above a certain grade is allowed to be called 100% Kona coffee.
What Grade is the coffee you sell under your label?
Kona Coffee has its own grading system that is different than other coffee grading worldwide. Here is a great guide to Kona coffee grading, but the concise answer is that only the four highest grades of coffee (Extra Fancy, Fancy, Kona #1 and Prime) can be labeled as “Kona coffee” due to labeling laws. For our standard washed process coffee, we sell our everything below Fancy grade to other coffee roasters. The coffee in our washed process bags is Fancy grade.
Our natural process coffee is a mix of Extra Fancy, Fancy, and Kona #1. Because we produce so little of it each season, our natural process has to be hand sorted and cannot easily be separated into each of the different grades. Even though it is very time consuming, hand sorting removes almost all of the defects from the coffee, resulting in a very consistent cup.
Is your coffee organic?
No, it is conventional. We are working towards being completely organic, and currently use only organic pest and weed control methods, but our fertilizer is conventional at this time.