Director of Operations at Kona Coffee & Tea, Malia Bolton Hind has been at the center of one of the world’s coffee Meccas for over a decade - maybe even longer if you count helping to plant her family’s first coffee trees while still in high school. She shares how her relationship with coffee has changed while being pregnant with her first child.
My husband, Leighton, and I are due to have our first baby this Fourth of July. This news came to us right in the midst of our busy coffee season here in Kona. After getting through the first phase of shock I started to feel the symptoms of extreme exhaustion. I felt as if I was slightly hungover; waking up in a daze and feeling fatigued. I would come home after work and pass out. My go-to drink pre-pregnancy was our 12oz. AmeriKona black, but as my sense of smell strengthened, I no longer wanted to drink coffee. SHHHH! That's not what a coffee producer/lover is supposed to say! But honestly, the roasted smell was too much. My relationship with coffee instantly changed its course.
I was told that a cup a day was OK...everything in moderation. But as previously mentioned, my senses changed, and I was starting to crave milky, sweet coffee. Not only did the way I drink my Kona coffee change, but my appreciation of the product started to shift.
DECAF KONA OR HALF-CAF
Our decaf coffee has been wonderful throughout pregnancy. It tastes just like the regular, caffeinated stuff without the caffeine. We have our coffee decaffeinated in small batches by a local friend, Mark. He uses a natural CO2 process combined with extremely high pressure to get 99% of the caffeine extracted. I started to enjoy a decaf Kona Latte after 20 weeks when I started to feel the baby do backflips and karate kicks. The movement was exciting, but it wasn’t good to feel at 10 pm when I was trying to go to sleep. There were mornings I wanted a little jolt to get my mornings started so if it wasn't 100% caffeinated, I ordered a half-caf shot of espresso. This is a great blend to make momma happy without making the baby go all Kung Fu-mode.
WALKABOUTS ON THE FARM
One thing I’ve had to learn to do while being pregnant is slow down. I have always been a go-go-go person but now I became exhausted so easily. I needed to slow down and smell the Kona Snow (coffee blossoms). My Malia Ohana farm is 13 acres and I really found my morning walks with my pup being beneficial to clear my mind and get the exercise I needed. It also was so nice during April when all the trees were in full bloom. To smell the sweet jasmine-fragranced flowers, (Kona Snow) was a memorable time.
I live in a cottage here on the Malia Ohana farm. The name “Malia Ohana” comes from my name Malia and the Hawaiian word for family. Waking up on the farm, the sun takes longer to brighten this side of Hualalai volcano. Once the sun reaches our fields, you hear the sounds of birds, pigs, and turkeys waking up too. Towering eucalyptus trees shade the coffee groves and a few acres of citrus trees grow among the coffee.
KONA LATTE SOAP
I’ve used our Kona latte soap throughout my pregnancy. It’s made with our dark roast beans and goats’ milk. It not only smells super yummy it has ground beans to exfoliate your skin. I love using this soap for my swollen feet and tight calves. It’s said that the caffeine in the coffee helps stimulate the blood flow making your body feel fresh and energized.
To top off my love and appreciation for Kona coffee, I combine it with our sweetest product which is our own Kona Snow Honey. Our honey was harvested this spring during the Kona Snow blooms. It is a beautiful golden color and has a richness that makes everything taste better. I add this to my lattes, to my Cream of Wheat or toast. I love to give the honey away as gifts. Even at my baby shower, the Party Favors were bottled honey. Who doesn’t love honey???
We wish Malia and Leighton all the best in their new journey as parents. Mahalo Malia for fitting in writing this before going on maternity leave.
CONTRIBUTOR: MALIA BOLTON HIND
HOW I LIKE MY COFFEE: 100% Kona Americano
FAVORITE SPORT: Ironically, it’s snowboarding, because I have to travel out of Hawaii, unless I get over my altitude sickness and go to Mauna Kea. My favorite slopes are Tahoe and Whistler.
I was born and raised here in Kona. I guess you could say that the coffee trees and I grew up together on my family’s Waiono Meadows farm. While in High School, I helped plant our first coffee (with a fair bit of complaining). I came home from college during summers to work as a barista at our first café. For the over a decade now, I’ve managed our Farm to Cup operation here in Kona. I feel honored to play a role in cultivating a community around Kona coffee and hope you can taste the Aloha in every sip.