The Dans Behind Kona Coffee & Tea
When we wanted to spotlight some of the amazing people behind Kona Coffee & Tea, we found ourselves in a pickle about who to choose. Between the farm, mill, roastery, café, and administrative office we have over 30 people working to purvey the best of 100% Kona coffee. We decided to arbitrarily start with a common name: Dan, Danny, and Dani.
Our first Dan is Daniel Bolton, Sr. the proprietor of Kona Coffee & Tea along with his wife, Janet. They are the ones who had the notion to plant the first coffee seeds to see what would happen. From there, the rest is history…or is it? Dan & Jan are also the owners of Bolton Construction – a construction company that has had its hand in numerous projects on Hawaii island for over 35 years.
In addition, Dan has a keen eye for business and for farming. He has been the number one catalyst behind the success of Kona Coffee & Tea’s Award-winning, 100% Kona coffee. He knows how to combat the beetle, the fungus and whatever else comes along that threatens his coffee trees, or his banana plantation, or his avocado or citrus orchards, or his cacao or `ulu plants. He is a renaissance man if ever there was one.
PHOTOS ABOVE: courtesy of the Bolton Family
DANNY B., MILLER & ROASTER
Behind every great Dad is a great Son…That’s where Daniel Bolton, Jr. comes in. He goes by the name “Danny” just to distinguish between him and his father. Danny has taken a firm hand in the milling process of the coffee company. He takes the cherry – the red skinned bean picked from the tree – and processes it through wet and dry milling. Just before it goes to the Roaster, Danny and his crew put it through the sorter to determine the size/grade of the bean. From there, he will either take it to the Roastery where, our roaster, Lani will roast it or to the café where does his own roasting.
He takes after his old man in several ways…His looks give away the family resemblance, but he, too, is a gifted individual. He’s worked for companies that test drive vehicles across deserts to see what it takes to make reparations when they break down. He built his own home for himself, his wife, Zulay, and their daughter, Zadie. He is also the owner and creator of one of the best t-shirt lines on the island, UTF (Under the Fiscus Tree). Danny has created many of the prints on these shirts and physically printed the shirts! The apple doesn’t fall from the tree in this family!
Then we have Dani Murri. When you walk into Kona Coffee & Tea’s café, the most angelically beaming face you will find is that of Dani! Whether she is on the bar, the cash register or any other place in the café, her smile will find you. She has been a part of our team since 2018 and finds the best thing about working at the café is the community that it has created for her. She says, “the friendships with both co-workers and regular customers make it feel like more than just a job”.
But what you see of Dani at our café isn’t necessarily what you see when Dani isn’t taking coffee orders. She moved to Kona in 2017 to train as a Midwife and has been “catching babies” (as she calls it) all over the island, for the past three years. Believe it or not, a 100% Kona espresso is not the only thing that can be delivered by this barista!
DANNY J., CUSTOMER RELATIONS MANAGER
Our final Danny is not necessarily our newest Danny. Danny Jesser has been coming to Kona Coffee & Tea as a customer for years. He, as a radio personality, has also talked about our single estate 100% Kona coffee for years. We finally decided that we needed him to not just come in for coffee but to join our team as well. Danny has become an ambassador in a sense. He is one of our latest hires and carries the title of Customer Relations Manager.
Danny’s world formerly & presently revolves around music. Prior to moving to Hawaii, Danny was a drummer in multiple bands in Southern California. But, being musically inclined, he also plays bass guitar. Besides being our Custom Relations Manager, Danny is a morning personality on LAVA 105.3 radio. Thankfully he can split his time between the two.
So, what’s in a Name, you ask? Dan, Danny, Dani & Danny as far as we’re concerned…
We look forward to introducing you to more of the people that work to get our 100% Kona coffee from our farm to your cup in the future. Mahalo to all of the people who work on the farm, at the mill, roastery, café, and administrative office to purvey the best of 100% Kona coffee.
Kona Coffee & Tea is family-owned-and-operated by the Bolton family in Kona, Hawai'i.
CONTRIBUTOR: KELLY DRYSDALE
FAVORITE TEA: Mint Mamaki
SPORTS IDOL: My Dad (Los Angeles Dodgers Hall of Fame pitcher)
I came to Kona Coffee & Tea having worn a multitude of hats throughout my career. Now I'm the Director of Logistics for Kona Coffee & Tea. I spent 15 years in Sports Television, coming into contact with many well-known names but none that left the lasting impression as that of Howard Cosell. Cosell, an attorney turned sports commentator, was also an English major and a grammatical genius. It was from this highly intelligent man that my love of words came to be. Now known as the "Wordsmith" for Kona Coffee & Tea, I edit whatever comes across my desk. I also enjoy representing this AWESOME, Family-owned and operated company.