International Jury Cupping Score



Ka‘u District,
Hawaii Island


1,600-1,700 feet
above sea level

Estimated Lot Size

142 pounds (2 bags of 50 lbs, 1 bag of 42 lbs)

Winning Bidder


Rusty's Joan

Started by Lorie and the late Rusty Obra in 1999, Rusty’s Hawaiian is one of Hawaii’s leading specialty coffee producers and a longtime collaborator with Isla Custom Coffees’ Miguel Meza. (Rusty’s owners — Lorie Obra, her daughter Joan Obra, and her son-in-law Ralph Gaston — co-own Isla with Meza.)

Among Rusty’s awards: 2010 Outstanding Producer from the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe, 2010/2011 Grand Champion of the Hawaii Coffee Association’s statewide cupping competition, and top 10 of the 2012 Roasters Guild Coffees of the Year competition. In 2011, Rusty’s provided beans for Pete Licata’s 2nd-place finish in the World Barista Championship. In 2014, Rusty’s provided beans for Asli Yaman’s 3rd-place finish in the World Brewers Cup. Rusty’s coffees have multiple 93+ scores from its own roastery and others in Coffee Review.

In 2016, the Rusty’s team took over a young, 6-acre farm on the southern slope of Mauna Loa. Planted primarily with Guatemalan Typica and Old Hawaiian Typica, this farm also has Bourbon, Caturra and Maragogype varieties. Its yeast-fermented, anaerobic natural Typica took fifth place in this auction.

Yeast-Fermented, Anaerobic Natural Typica

Joan Obra led the yeast selection and processing experiments that resulted in this auction coffee. This lot was hand harvested on November 11, 2020, at the peak of the harvest season, and processed at Rusty’s mill. After harvest, the coffee cherries were inoculated with a wine yeast known to draw out fruit flavors and complex aromas. The coffee was fermented in an anaerobic environment, then initially sun dried on raised wire screens. Drying was finished on wooden racks. It rested as whole, dried cherries for about a month before milling and screening to 16+ size.