Kona Coffee Farm Tours
27 October 2008
I remember visiting Hawaii before moving here. After a couple days of
swimming at the beach I had a sunburn and was ready to take a break
from the heat. We decided to visit the volcano and on our way there we
stopped for a quick Kona coffee farm tour. At the time I knew nothing
about coffee farming and never suspected that some day I'd be growing
my own Kona coffee.
The tour we took was at one of the large mills along the side of the
highway. They have a nice visitor's center and a little museum but I
remember wishing that I could actually visit the farm. I wanted to
touch the trees and see all the equipment and ask the farmer a million
questions. Unfortunately our "tour" was nothing more than a few free
samples and some quick shopping at their gift shop.
Now that I live here and grow coffee full-time I've been back to that
mill on several occasions. I've never been back there as a tourist but
I have been there on business. Instead of a quick tour, I've actually
been behind the scenes working with the equipment and waving at the
tourists while they sipped their free samples. Visiting the gift shop
and museum is not the same as actually seeing the mill in operation.
We like to give tours on our farm. Our tours are quite different from
the large mills. We don't get tour bus after tour bus and we don't
have a gift shop. If you want a quick stop and shop, we're not the
right tour for you. We prefer our visitors to call first so we can
schedule a time and make sure we're available. Most importantly, we
actually take our visitors to the coffee trees, show them all the
equipment and encourage them to ask a million questions. Ask anybody,
I enjoy answering questions. I'll answer your ear off if given the
Over the years, we've had a lot of visitors. Most only stay for an
hour or so. A few have stayed all day long. That's not a problem
because if someone stays long enough I simply put them to work. If
you're willing to work then you're welcome to stay as long as you want.
Many of our visitors are family, friends and friends of friends but we
also get plenty of visitors that find us through the Internet or other
sources. One time we had a friendly couple we had never met and I was
giving them the normal tour but they already knew everything I pointed
out to them, not just about coffee farming but also about us and events on
the farm. Apparently he was a big fan of ours and he had read every
post on the website. He knew more about us than we did. It was a fun
I've given tours to large groups and small groups. I've given tours to
reporters, other coffee farmers and long lost cousins. We get visitors
from all over the country and all over the world. We recently had a
visitor from Kenya. He had emailed us before and the girls remembered
him from his picture posing with a Cheetah.
So next time you're in the area, don't hesitate to drop by for a
visit. Finding us is easy with these
driving directions. We don't
have a gift shop but we do keep plenty of fresh roasted 100% Kona
coffee on hand. Time your visit right and you can even try picking
your own coffee. Heck, pick enough coffee and I'll even pay you.
Just remember to bring a good hat and sensible shoes because this is a
real farm, not a cushy tourist trap. There's no guarantee that you
won't get a little dirty.