California native and Carta Coffee founder Scott Burr is a third generation grape grower and winemaker who grew up tending vineyards with his family in the agricultural heart of Northern California. There, he developed an appreciation for the art of farming, eventually earning a B.S. in Enology and Food Science from Fresno State University. Through travels to the islands of Hawaii Scott fell in love with the region of Kona and its coffee, which thanks a uniquely consistent climate, allows for the production of some of the world’s richest and most flavorful beans. When a run-down 6-acre coffee farm there came up for sale, he jumped at the chance to grow coffee on Hawaii’s Big Island.
On Kona, tradition and family is key. Many of the approximately 600 local farms in the region are family-owned, creating a strong and cohesive sense of community. Just like the generations before them, these families are passionate about creating the purest and most delicious coffee possible –from picking to sun drying and roasting– each step is done by hand. At Nolyssa Farm (named after his children Nolan and Alyssa), Scott produces his small batch, 100% Kona coffee expressions for his Carta Coffee Merchants label using the most sustainable farming practices available.
At Carta Coffee we believe care begins first with the nurturing of the soil, then the plants and cherries, and finally the beans. We draw on our passion to craft a supremely delicious cup of 100% Kona coffee – from our farm, to your cup!
– Scott Burr
As a Kona producer with a rich wine industry background, Scott is a champion of establishing stronger regulations for the Kona coffee region – mirroring the paths which many wine growing regions around the world have taken, including Napa and Sonoma, where Scott was deeply involved. Currently, unless Kona coffee is explicitly labeled 100% Kona Coffee, producers are allowed to present blends which contain as little as 10% Kona beans – an important detail lost on many consumers. Assisted by local Kona coffee expert and farming consultant, George Yasuda, Scott relies on his own experience as a farmer, grape grower and winemaker to establish the highest possible caliber of production standards for his own Carta Coffee, with the hope that the Kona industry will move in the direction of consistent quality for all coffee produced in the region. Until then, he will continue to label his coffee 100% Kona as a testament to the quality of the beans in the bag.
RICHNESS IN A CUP
The Kona coffee tasting experience is complex, more like that of wine than the average coffee. Smell Kona coffee before you drink, and you may notice fruity, nutty, caramel, chocolate or floral aromas, depending on the roast. As a former winemaker-turned-coffee-farmer, flavor is paramount in Scott’s approach – any decisions made around farming, harvesting and processing are based with flavor in mind. To date, Scott has enjoyed presenting customers with side-by-side tastings, employing different processing and roasting techniques (i.e. same beans but dried differently), in addition to harvesting and producing from specific plantation plots, of which he says, “I want people to have fun learning about coffee, while enjoying the best possible cup of Kona coffee they can get their hands on”.
As Nolyssa Farm grows, Scott’s coffee expressions comprise a blend of estate-grown coffee as well as beans from neighboring Kona farm partners. Current Carta Coffee Merchant beans include a Scott’s signature rich, dark roast, Captain’s Roast; the Latitude Line, which features beans processed in two ways, Traditional (washed) and Natural, allows people to try each process individually, or side-by-side – an opportunity reminiscent of wine tasting. While last, but by no means least, the vibrant, bright and sweet limited edition Kona Peaberry lends itself to complex notes of citrus blossoms, roasted almonds, caramel and honey.
Kona Coffee: Terroir At Its best
Each small batch of hand-harvested coffee reflects the flavors and culture of Kona, Hawaii giving you a taste of the superlative coffee farming craft and tradition on the island. Nolyssa Farm is located at 79-961 Kealaola Kealakekua, HI. To find out more about Carta Coffee Merchants, please visit cartacoffee.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow them on social media too, via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.