Love coffee? Take a Kona coffee farm tour!
No visit to the Big Island would be complete without a Kona coffee farm tour
Visiting the Big Island of Hawaii usually means sun, surf and volcanoes — but for coffee lovers, their stay wouldn’t be complete without a Kona coffee farm tour.
Drinking pure Kona coffee is an amazing experience. Drinking it while visiting Kona is even more so. Visiting a coffee farm in Kona, while drinking pure Kona coffee is a rare treat that every fan of the bean should consider.
Visiting during harvest season – August to January
If you’re interested in making the pilgrimage to Kona, visiting during coffee season is key. Make arrangements to visit between August and January, when the farmers go through the trees to pick the red cherry coffee beans.
These red cherries coffee beans are taken to a pulp mill, where the bean is separated from the cherry. The beans are dried on drying racks, or “hoshidanas,” under the tropical Hawaiian sun. As they are drying they are raked so the beans evenly dry. Then, the dried beans are taken to a roasting facility where they’re prepared for sale.
Visiting during the winter
But if you can’t make it for the harvest, there’s lots of things to do. During the winter, watch the farmers prune the top third of their coffee trees. Pruning manages the branches that will produce the coffee beans. In the spring, watch the coffee trees bloom. The white petals of the coffee flowers are what the locals call, “Kona snow.”
A farm’s tree nursery is busy year-’round. Watch as trees grown from seeds are grafted onto disease- and pest-resistant roots. These new coffee trees are planted in new fields or replace older trees.
Taking an actual Kona coffee farm tour will give you a new insight and appreciation into your coffee. With your first hand knowledge of what went into it, each cup will be that much more enjoyable.