Ka‘u Coffee Festival Announces Event Lineup
The 11th annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival celebrates its award-winning brew with a full lineup of activities starting April 26 and culminating May 4 and 5, 2019, with the popular, day-long ho‘olaulea‘a and Ka‘u coffee college educational series.
Supported by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and a host of community sponsors and volunteers, the Ka‘u Coffee Festival is designed to celebrate Ka‘u as a premium coffee growing origin and a unique visitor destination. Many events are free, while others require a nominal fee and reservations. All activities feature the exceptional flavor and aroma of Ka‘u coffee and the remarkable people and special place that produce it. Note the 2019 festival schedule is subject to change; go online for the latest information.
- Friday, April 26 – Pā‘ina & Open House at historic Pahala Plantation House featuring music, hula, food and house tours 6 to 9:30 p.m. Meet the 2019 Miss Ka‘u Coffee Festival Court. Corner of Maile and Pikake in Pahala. Co-hosted by Ka‘u Coffee Growers Cooperative, Pahala Plantation Cottages and The Ka‘u Calendar newspaper. Free, donations for Miss Ka‘u Coffee Scholarship Fund. Contact (808) 928-9811 or [email protected].
- Saturday, April 27, the annual Miss Ka‘u Coffee Pageant showcases the crowning of 2019 Miss Ka‘u Coffee and her court at 6 p.m. at the Ka‘u District Gym. $10 admission. Contact (808) 928-0606 or [email protected].
- Sunday, April 28 – Ka‘u Coffee Recipe Contest offers a free cooking competition at 11 a.m. with cash prizes at the Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Entries are accepted in pupu, entree and dessert categories for adult and student divisions. All recipes are made with Ka‘u coffee and attendees enjoy free coffee, tastings and entertainment. Entry deadline is April 20. Contact (808) 928-0550; entry form can be downloaded.
- During the week visit Ka‘u coffee farms. Enjoy the scenic and historic beauty of Ka‘u, Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach, Honu‘apo fishponds, the cliffs of Ka Lae—the southernmost place in the U.S.—and the nearby Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Stay in one of the many accommodations in Ka‘u. Go online for participating coffee farms and accommodations.
- Wednesday, May 1 – Explore historic flume systems of the sugar cane era and development of hydroelectric power on a Ka‘u Mountain Hike & Lunch in the Wood Valley rainforest 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Limited to 30, $45 includes lunch. Reserve a spot at 808-928-0550.
- Thursday, May 2 – Newly added last year, The Ka‘u Valley Farms Tour visits a hydroponic vegetable nursery, plantings of coffee and tea, the panoramic vista atop Pu‘u Ho‘omaha, the water system being developed from former sugar cane irrigation tunnels and pristine, native forest. Lunch follows the 9 a.m. to noon tour. Reservations: (808) 987-4229 or (808) 731-5409,
- Friday, May 3 – “Cowboy up” for Coffee & Cattle Day 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at scenic Aikane Plantation Coffee Company. Find out how descendants of Ka‘u’s first coffee farmer integrate coffee with pasture-raised beef. $25 fee includes a sprawling, all-you can eat outdoor buffet and hayride. Reserve your spot at (808) 927-2252.
- Friday, May 3 – Observe the heavens from the summit of Makanau at Ka‘u Star Gazing, 5:30 to 10 p.m. $45 fee includes refreshments and shuttle transport from Pahala before sunset. Reservations: (808) 928-0550.
- Saturday, May 4 – Fun is perking at the Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a—a full day of live music, hula, local food and crafts, keiki activities, educational displays, guided coffee tastings and farm and mill tours headquartered inside and out of the Pahala Community Center, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s a great place to “talk story” with Ka‘u coffee growers. The Ka‘u Coffee Experience offers Ka‘u coffees prepared using a variety of brewing methods by professional baristas from 9:30 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Farm tours with shuttle transport are 9:30 and 11 a.m., plus 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m., $20. Call (808) 929-9550 or go online.
- Sunday, May 5 – Delve into the specialty coffee industry with presentations given by visiting coffee experts at the Ka‘u Coffee College at Pahala Community Center. The 9 a.m. to noon workshop is known for hosting notable specialty coffee industry professionals from around the globe; speakers to be announced. Free, donations appreciated. Call (808) 929-9550.
Founded in coffee traditions dating to the 1800s—Ka‘u coffee burst onto the specialty coffee scene by winning numerous coffee quality awards. These accolades highlight the unique combination of people and place that makes Ka‘u coffee a favorite across the globe. The festival’s mission is to raise awareness of Ka‘u as a world-class, coffee-growing origin.
Ka‘u Coffee Festival vendor and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information and festival updates call (808) 929-9550, [email protected] and follow Ka‘u Coffee Festival on Facebook and @kaucoffeefest on Twitter and Instagram.