Brazen Hazen

Posts tagged "harvest"

Meet the Roaster

Meet the Roaster


At Brazen Hazen, we believe that coffee is an art form and strive to provide you with an experience with each cup of coffee. This standard is only achieved through precise technique, refined expertise, and commitment to excellence. That's where Brazen Hazen's roaster, Brian Axelrod, comes in. Brian has gone by many titles; "Roaster," "Chief Roast Master," "Master Roaster," and at one time his LinkedIn profile even said, "Head Bean Wrangler."

Brian and his wife, Amy, provide "tree to cup" services for Big Island coffee farms, including Brazen Hazen. From harvesting, to pulping and separating, to soaking and rinsing, to drying, to hulling and grading, to roasting, to packaging and shipping, Brian manages every step of the process.

Brian's is one of only 3 or 4 operators on the Big Island that offer "tree to cup" coffee. Most farmers lack the equipment to do every step of the process themselves. By keeping all the production in-house, Brian has complete control of the quality of the product he provides. He says as soon as the coffee is picked, it starts deteriorating. His job is to preserve the coffee and remove imperfections so that the final product reaching the customer is the best that it can possibly be.

Brian has been honing his craft as a master roaster since 2007. When he and Amy came to the Big Island from Ohio, they fell under the tutelage of Bob Nelson, the then-owner of Lehuula Farms. He shared the fruits of his more than 20 years of experience running a coffee farm, eventually passing the reins and selling the farm to Brian and Amy. Building on that foundation, Brian toured other facilities on the island and conducted extensive research on best practices to perfect their process. The result is the cultivation of a true standard of excellence.

"If I'm putting my name on it, I want it to be the highest quality it can be," he says.

That meticulous level of scrutiny makes it to the final product, meaning Brazen Hazen always offers only the highest-grade beans.

Read more about Meet the Roaster...
The Perfect Cup of Coffee

The Perfect Cup of Coffee


We already think our 100 percent Kona coffee beans are some of the best in the world, but we get a lot of strong opinions about the best WAY to prepare and enjoy our coffee. Coffee is an artisanal beverage, and variances in the brewing process can provide vast differences in the final drinking experience. So how does one brew the perfect cup of coffee?

The perfect cup of coffee must start with perfect beans. Brazen Hazen beans, grown on the lush slopes of the Big Island of Hawaii, have a unique flavor profile that Brazen Hazen owner and coffee connoisseur David Duron is proud to share with his customers.

"I find 100 percent Kona coffee to be much smoother than coffee grown in other regions," says David.

In addition to the perfect coffee-growing climate, David says some of that distinct Kona flavor can be attributed to the quality regulations and heritage farming practices employed to grow it. Kona beans are always hand-picked, never with machines, ensuring only perfectly ripe cherries get harvested.

With the finest beans, David weighs in on his favorite way to turn them into the perfect cup of coffee.

"I love this conversation because flavor varies so much depending on how the coffee is prepared," says David. "Even within a given preparation, the taste can vary with grind size, coffee/water ratio, water temperature, etc."

Roasting is a critical part of the flavor process and requires precision and timing. The difference between perfectly roasted coffee and a ruined batch can be a matter of seconds. At Brazen Hazen, coffee is always roasted in small batches to ensure freshness and consistency of flavor.

"Generally, I would describe our coffee as being rich and nutty with notes of chocolate and fruit," says David who offers both medium and dark roasts of his beans.

But what's the difference? Like the name suggests, dark roasts spend more time in the roasting process, making for bolder flavor and less acidity. However, more time in the roasting process can also mean more uniformity in flavor resulting in less nuance and fewer individual or distinct characteristics of the beans prior to roasting. So, for more subtlety or complexity, there's an argument to be made for medium roast.

This choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and David has his.

"While I enjoy both roasts, I am partial to the Dark Roast," he admits. "I really enjoy the flavors that pop as a result of the roasting process. To me it is robust but of both worlds."

Not sure which one to try? David has come up with the perfect gift idea.

"I'll send friends who haven't tried my coffee yet the Mixed Roast Gift Basket. That way they get the wonderful presentation of the gift basket and our two different roasts so that they can try each and determine which flavor best suits them," he says.

Read more about The Perfect Cup of Coffee...