Third time is a charm for Barista and Coffee Roaster Brooke Bateman of Mountain Thunder Coffee as she steamed and her way to the top barely breaking a sweat with her Italian themed drink, Citrus Twist, brewed with 100% Kona coffee from her family farm, prepared as espresso, blended with velvety milk and orange zest. This was the 3rd annual Kona Signature Cup held during the 37th Kona Coffee Festival.

The 2007 Kona Signature Cup, November 10th, hosted by ‘Kona’ Joe Albin and wife Deepa, former Miss Hawaii, was a fundraiser to support Green Source, the Kainaliu Exchange, dedicated to keeping Hawaii green. Kona Joe stated “Each year we select a nonprofit organization to highlight. Green Source was a natural fit for us. It was the biggest Signature Cup yet and the first zero waste event” featuring cups made from cornstarch. Dinner, wine tasting, traditional entertainment and a silent auction accompanied the Signature Cup.

Lt. Governor of Hawaii Duke Aiona joined more than 125 attendees to watch the Baristi prepare and present an espresso drink of their own creation to a panel of discerning judges. Baristi were evaluated on drink taste, technical skills and presentation. Time was a critical factor with a mere 10 minutes to prepare four identical drinks.

Emcee Danny Johns of WholeCup Coffee Consulting presided over the Kona Signature Cup with his lively commentary and introductions as audience members enjoyed the show and cheered for their favorite barista.

“We are very pleased with the results of the Kona Signature Cup,” commented Albin. “This event is an annual tradition raising funds and awareness of not only our featured cause, also raising awareness of quality baristi and recognizing it takes the barista real skill to expertly prepare the fine coffees we grow. We are already planning for a bigger and better 2008 event.”