Ask anyone what exports are synonymous with the state of Hawaii and more often than not the top answers will be pineapple or sugar cane. Ask that same question of the Big Island of Hawaii’s Kona region and the answer will automatically be coffee beans. Known the world over as one of the top coffee bean producers, packages sold with just 10% Kona beans will come at a premium price. Buy a bag with 100% Kona coffee beans and you know that you are getting liquid gold. Pure Kona coffee comes from beans grown in the north and south regions of Kona. A cup of 100% Kona coffee is smooth and silky, with each sip lacking any bitterness. The cup brewed from Kona coffee beans is so pure that those who drink coffee with milk or sugar won’t need those additives to enjoy their cup of coffee.
A must for lovers of coffee when visiting the Big Island is a tour of one of Kona’s coffee farms. Even passive coffee drinkers, those who just have a cup of java every morning to get their day started, will find the tours informative and enjoyable. With hundreds of coffee farms in the Kona region to choose from it might be difficult selecting which coffee farms to visit. To help you decide on which coffee farms to visit we have written this article covering our two favorite coffee farms. Two of the best Kona coffee farms on the Big Island of Hawaii are Greenwell Farms and Holualoa Kona Coffee Company.
In the town of Kealakekua you will find Greenwell Farms off the Mamalahoa Highway. Greenwell Farms traces its history to 1850 and ever since has been growing and roasting coffee beans. As a long-standing fixture in Kona’s coffee scene the guided tours tell the story of the Greenwell family and the history of coffee on the Big Island. Tours are held everyday and offered throughout the day between the hours of 8:30am and 4pm. Once you’ve parked at Greenwell Farms head to the Greenwell Store. Tours begin at the Greenwell Store and from there the tour guide takes visitors past rows of coffee plants. Visitors lucky enough to be at the farm when the coffee plants are in bloom will see what locals call Kona Snow. When the coffee plants bloom the green leaves appear as if they have had snow fall upon them. After the rows of coffee plants you will pass by sorting equipment and bags full of coffee cherries. Plucked straight from the coffee plants, coffee cherries come in various shades of red depending on ripeness. Greenwell Farms takes those coffee cherries and turns them into the coffee beans we are familiar with finding in our stores and coffee shops. These coffee cherries are meticulously sorted and afterwards laid out on rooftops and dried by the sun’s rays. The tour includes a view of the processing equipment and the drying rooftops. As the tour concludes you will have a chance to sample the Greenwell coffee blends at the Greenwell Store. Be sure to buy the coffee brews you enjoy at the Greenwell Store since they are not sold in stores beyond the state of Hawaii. Coffee bags come in a variety of sizes and either ground or whole bean, and regular or decaf. Greenwell sells their coffee online if you wish to buy more coffee once you have returned home.
Holualoa Kona Coffee Company
Holualoa Kona Coffee Company is in the city of Holualoa, off Mamalahoa Highway. A certified organic estate, Holualoa Kona Coffee Company offers self-guided tours and coffee tastings. The entire estate feels tucked into the island, with large trees offering shade and protection as you tour the grounds. Serenity flows throughout the estate and is prominent as you conduct your tour at your own speed and leisure. The self-guided tour affords you a close look at how coffee cherries plucked from the coffee plant become roasted coffee beans. Large arrows guide visitors through the estate and signs outline the work that takes place at each station you visit. The tour begins at the top of a rooftop where what once were bright red coffee cherries are now drying into the familiar shape of coffee beans. From the rooftop you will pass by various equipment used to sort the beans as they prepare to go to the roasters. The tour continues past rows of coffee plants and ends at the main Holualoa building where you can witness the roasting of the coffee beans first hand. Next door to the roasters you will find the Holualoa store where you can sample the coffee and buy bags of coffee to take home with you. Choose from either medium or dark roast and decaf or regular blend. Besides blends Holualoa offers you a choice of which roasting style roasted the beans, either by an air roaster or drum roaster. The preference between the taste of an air roaster or a drum roaster is subjective. You can decide which roasting is best for your palate through the samples offered inside the store. Once back home if you wish to buy more Holualoa coffee you can do so through their website.