Daniel Gross sells Hawaiian Kona coffee in Zug
Many of the islands that make up Hawaii are known for their beautiful beaches, active volcanoes and large pineapple plantations. But coffee beans also grow here. Daniel P. Gross, who lived on the Pacific island for ten years, now sells Hawaiian coffee in Zug.
When Hawaii is mentioned, many people start to dream: Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, Pearl Harbour and Mauna Kea are just a few well-known names of places on one of the 130 or so islands that together make up the youngest US state.
Daniel P. Gross (68), who now lives in Rotkreuz, lived on the island of Hawaii, or Big Island, for ten years and knows many of these Hawaiian places of which may people can only dream.
Daniel Gross gained a taste for Hawaii through his many trips to the Pacific archipelago between 1990 and 2010. One you are there, you’re already in a different sphere in terms of time. When Hawaii starts work in the morning, the Swiss are already thinking about their bedtime story.
Considered the champagne of coffee
As chance would have it, Daniel P. Gross bought a house on the Big Island about 400 metres below a coffee plantation that belongs to the Kailua-Kona coffee belt. Over time, he says, he got into conversation with his neighbours living above. "At that time, I had no connection to coffee," Gross says of his approach to the special plant with its beguiling taste.
This created the link to the red coffee beans, ands Daniel Gross gradually acquired a deeper knowledge about coffee. The 50th US state is also the only state in which coffee is grown. The beverage that Gross came to know and love is also considered to be the champagne of the coffee industry.
Daniel Gross worked in various industries in his professional life, and he was always open to new things - he always had a lot of things on his plate. He ran a small bed-and-breakfast lodge in Hawaii,. His motivation: "I wanted things to be a bit quieter, but I couldn't simply do nothing either.
His coffee can be tasted on Bahnhofstrasse in Zug
Daniel Gross enjoys his work Photos: Maria Schmid
A piece of Hawaii saved for Switzerland
As he had done so often in previous years, Gross came to Switzerland on holiday at the beginning of 2020, and ended up in Rotkreuz. Then came the Covid pandemic. "Corona locked me out. When the situation hadn’t improved after half a year, I sold my house on Hawaii Island."
He said he then asked himself the question, "What can I take home from my stay in the Pacific that doesn't exist in Switzerland?" The answer was obvious: "Coffee".
The 68-year-old had already made first contacts with a producer when he was still living in Hawaii, and he’s now been in the business for more than two years. He enjoys drinking coffee with his changing clientele very much, as he says.
Daniel P. Gross normally serves freshly ground Kona coffee from Thursday to Saturday at Les Deux on the Bahnhofstrasse in Zug. This is one of the stronger varieties, and can wake up tired spirits. This coffee is also a rarity. The global coffee harvest in 2021 was around 9.3 million tons. The Hawaiian harvest, on the other hand, yields only about 4,000 tons of coffee per year.
Gross says: "I have saved a part of Hawaii for Switzerland with this new task”. But he never forgets the ten years in Hawaii: "Half of me is still there. It will stay that way forever."