The Ka‘u Coffee Festival celebrates its award-winning brew with a host of events that kickoff May 2 and culminate the weekend of May 10-11 with a ho‘olaule‘a on Saturday and coffee “college” on Sunday. Serving as an economic stimulus for the rural Ka‘u region, the festival is supported by the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research & Development, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture.
On Friday, May 2, 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Pa‘ina Open House at historic Pahala Plantation House with Ka‘u Chamber of Commerce to kick off 10 days of activities for the 2014 Ka‘u Coffee Festival. Music, hula with Halau Hula O Leionalani, food and house tours. Donations accepted for Miss Ka‘u Coffee Scholarship Fund. Corner of Maile and Pikake in Pahala. Hosted by Pahala Plantation Cottages, Ka‘u Chamber of Commerce and The Ka‘u Calendar newspaper. www.kaucoffeefest.com, www.pahalaplantationcottages.com. 808-928-9811.
On Saturday, May 3 Taste Success: 4th Annual Ka‘u Farmers’ Table at Kalaekilohana Inn and Retreat features locally sourced fine dining, premium live entertainment, and has been sold out three years running. Advance only tickets are $75 at www.kau-hawaii.com.
On Sunday, May 4 the Triple C Recipe offers competition in cookies, candies and crackers at 12:00 noon, all made with provided Ka‘u coffee. Attendance and coffee tasting are free; find contest entry info at kaucoffeemill.com.
Also on Sunday, May 4 doors open 6 p.m. for the annual Miss Ka‘u Coffee Pageant at Ka‘u Coffee Mill. For more information visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.
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. Visit www.kaucoffeefest.com for participating coffee farms and accommodations.
On Wednesday May 7 explore flume systems of the sugarcane era and development of hydroelectric power on a Ka‘u Mountain Water System in the Wood Valley rainforest 9 a.m.-2 p.m. $40 includes lunch. Limited to 30. Visit www.kaucoffeemill.com or phone 808-928-0550.
On Friday May 9 enjoy Coffee & Cattle Day at Aikane Plantation Coffee farm at 10 a.m., where descendants of the first coffee farmer in Ka‘u explain how coffee is integrated into other agriculture. $25 fee includes an all-you can eat buffet. Visit www.aikaneplantation.com or phone 808-927-2252.
On Friday May 9 observe the heavens from the summit of Makanau at Ka‘u Star Gazing, 5:30-10 p.m. $35 with refreshments. To sign up, see www.kaucoffeemill.com or call 808-928-0550.
On Saturday, May 10 tantalize your taste buds at the Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a, with a full day of music, hula, food, local crafts, coffee tastings and farm/mill tours at the Pahala Community Center. Festival entry is free; Ka‘u Coffee Experience with guided coffee tasting $5; farm tours $20. Call 808-929-9550 or visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.
On Sunday, May 11 learn about the coffee industry at the Ka‘u Coffee College at Pahala Community Center. Free, donations appreciated. Also farm/ mill tours continue. Call 808-929-9550 or visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.
Founded in coffee traditions hailing to the 1800s—plus the hard work of former sugar plantation workers—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, visit kaucoffeefest.com, follow Ka‘u Coffee Festival on Facebook and @kaucoffeefest on Twitter, or call 808-929-9550.