Get Brewing on Hawai’i Island

by Debra Bokur

Aug 31, 2018

Lei of coffee © Kona Coffee Cultural Festival


Coffee & Art Stroll © Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

Celebrate caffeine, Hawai’i-style, at the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Nov. 9–18. Notable as one of the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Signature Events, this festival marks 48 years and is Hawai’i’s oldest food festival. The history of coffee farming in Hawai’i alone is fascinating — today’s thriving production can be credited to Reverend Samuel Ruggles, who brought coffee plant cuttings from Oahu to South Kona on Hawai’i Island in 1828. The plants loved the volcanic soil and, just over a decade after their introduction, coffee farms had been firmly established in Kona.

Cupping Queens © Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

The annual harvest celebration includes nearly 50 events taking place over the span of 10 days. Events include the Kona Coffee Cupping Competition, an evening Lantern Parade and hands-on cultural events and activities. There’s a coffee recipe contest, the 100 percent Pure Kona Coffee Half Marathon, the Holualoa Village Coffee & Art Stroll at the historic Holualoa Village, the UCC Kona Coffee Picking & Farm Experience and a Kona Coffee 101 Seminar.

Musical events include the Aloha Makahiki Concert and the Sugai Kona Coffee Talent Night at the Aloha Theater. Visitors can also participate in a Kona Coffee Council Farm & Mill Tour or a Living History Farm Tour offered by the Kona Historical Society.


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