Kona Coffee Cultural Festival
The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is a week long event here in
Kona. It takes place in early November. That is a great
timing for visitors because it is right in the middle of the Kona
coffee harvest season. This is not a particularly good time for
farmers because it is right in the middle of the Kona coffee harvest
season. With so much harvest work to do, it's difficult to find
time for the festival too.
16 November 2010
One of the things I do for the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is
organize coffee farm tours. This year we visited a total of seven
different farms. We saw everything from small organic farms with
a couple acres up to large mills with thousands of trees.
The tours have several visitors that come back every year. That
means I have to find new farms every year. With 600 or more Kona
coffee farms in the area it would seem easy but it's more difficult
than it sounds. The biggest problem is that most farms don't have
good enough access for a tour bus. Last year one of the buses got
stuck and I'd like to avoid repeating that fiasco.
The farms we visited this year were all beautiful and everybody loved
the tours. I wish I had taken pictures but I was too busy talking
about Kona coffee. Maybe next year I'll put my own farm on the
tour and make my kids take pictures while the tour is here.
The tours took a lot of my time but they weren't the big event of the
festival. The highlight, at least for us Kona coffee farmers, is
the Gevalia Cupping Competition. It's a big deal with judges from
all over the world.
This year there were 60 farms entered. With such fierce
competition, many farmers will hand sort a special batch of
beans. They spend extra time picking only the ripest cherries and
pulling out all the defects by hand. I don't have that kind of
time. Instead, I simply submitted the bag that was easiest to
My strategy worked! Kona Earth placed as finalist in the Gevalia
Cupping Competition for the second time. We were a finalist in
2008 and again now in 2010.
It's too bad we didn't get first place but I'm not upset. Nearly
all the coffees entered were exceptional. With that kind of
competition, it's very difficult to get first place. Only the top
15 make the finals so it's still quite an achievement. I'm
confident that as long as we keep entering, Kona Earth coffee is good
enough that we will eventually win first place.
When we do win first place, that will probably be a great excuse to
raise our prices. Until then, you can get a Gevalia Cupping
Competition Finalist for the same low price that we've always
had. Order four pounds or more and we'll even give you free