Kona Who? The Kauai Coffee Tour
While you can't go anywhere in Hawaii without catching a whiff of the island chain's most famous export - Kona Coffee - another bean worthy of praise resides in the lush green plantation nestled near Hanapepe at Kalaheo, not far from Lihue Airport.
870 Halewili Road, Kalaheo, HI
Going strong for over 15 years, Kauai Coffee's production at times exceeds that of the entire Kona Coffee Belt on the Big Island and in fact is the sole producer of over half of the coffee grown in the U.S.. Some may say its blasphemous to say so, but Kauai Coffee can be considered a contender to dethrone Kona as the bean of choice in the world (yes, the best coffee is grown in Hawaii). 100% Kauai Coffee is the pride of the Garden Isle and a tour of the Kauai Coffee plantation is a relaxing way to spend a couple hours out of your day, a pleasant alternative to the other worthy yet strenuous activities in Kauai such as a hike along Kalalau Trail or Na Pali Coast Kayaking expedition.
The journey begins with a drive onto the red volcanic sand edged road entering the Kauai Coffee plantation. A stop by the Visitor Center presents the opportunity for free 100% estate-grown coffee tasting and the gift shop should have you grabbing more than one souvenir. We love the Kauai Coffee Burlap Bags that make a great conversation piece in the kitchen or hung in a display frame. Proceed to the Walking Tour by taking a leisurely stroll through a meandering path, shaded by the coffee trees, while learning all about Kauai Coffee and it's history. Signs posted along the way identify and detail the five different coffees on the plantation and insight is given into the process from blossoming to roasting, and of course tasting, when once again back at the Visitor's Center.
While we can't give an unbiased answer as the which coffee we prefer - Kona or Kauai - we can guarantee that this is one of the best taste test opportunities you can ever experience. Happy sipping.
Hours of Operation:
June 1 - August 31: 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
September 1 - May 31: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m