From grain to grapes, many farmers and growers celebrate the fall harvest. In our beautiful 50th State, fall (August through December, depending on weather conditions) is harvest season for Kona Coffee.
Coffee is connection, conversation and the original flavorful and aromatic energy drink. On the practical side, it’s also an economic mainstay of Kona, where farmers continue the tradition and honor their heritage. Coffee has been farmed in Kona since the early 1800’s. Today, the region boasts around 600 independent coffee farms, mostly family owned and operated. Since Kona coffee is harvested by hand (not by machinery as in some other countries) it is labor intensive. Farming is always a challenge – one concern is the labor shortage and another issue for the coffee farmers is the Coffee Beetle Borer. Most small coffee farmers sell their crop to mills, rather than process it themselves. There are more than 100 private labels for Kona Coffee. For more information on this dynamic local industry, link to the Kona Coffee Farmers Association and the Kona Coffee Council.
The annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival was held in mid-November and featured a lantern parade through Kailua-Kona, farm and mill tours and the “Kona Coffee Cupping Hall of Fame”. Monarch Coffee won the Grand Champion First Place overall with their Geisha washed Kona Coffee. In the Crown Division, Kona Coffee and Tea Company took first place.
“The Kona coffee story is one often told throughout America – that of hard work and commitment to cultivate a dream for a better life. Immigrants to Hawaii from China, Portugal, Japan, Philippines, Korea and Puerto Rico, along with Hawaiians and Caucasians endured endless hours of hard farm work, planting and picking the choicest coffee berries by hand. These Kona coffee pioneers added cultural diversity and a mix of ethnic traditions as they embraced “Aloha” as a shared value.” Kona Coffee Cultural Festival 2018 website.