The 10th annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival celebrates its award-winning brew with java-jumping fun starting April 21 and culminating May 5-6 with the popular, daylong hoolauleaa and coffee college educational series.
Supported by the Hawaii 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.
The 2018 festival schedule is subject to change; check www.kaucoffeefest.com for the latest information.
• Saturday, April 21: The annual Miss Ka‘u Coffee Pageant showcases the crowning of 2018 Miss Ka‘u Coffee and her court at 6 p.m. at the Ka‘u Coffee Mill. $10 admission. Contact 928-0606 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Friday, April 27: Pa‘ina &Open House at historic Pahala Plantation House featuring music, hula, food and house tours, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Corner of Maile and Pikake streets in Pahala. Hosted by Pahala Plantation Cottages and the Ka‘u Calendar newspaper. Free, donations accepted for Miss Ka‘u Coffee Scholarship Fund. Visit www.kaucoffeefest.com, www.pahalaplantationcottages.com or call 928-9811.
• Sunday April 29: Ka‘u Coffee Recipe Contest offers a free cooking competition at 11 a.m. with cash prizes at Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Entries are accepted in pupu, entree and dessert categories and all recipes are made with Ka‘u coffee. Entry deadline is April 23. For more information, call 928-0550.
• 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 Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Stay in one of the many accommodations in Ka‘u. Visit www.kaucoffeefest.com for participating coffee farms and accommodations. Call 987-4229 for an organized farm tour at 9 a.m. May 3.
• Wednesday, May 2: Explore historic flume systems of the sugarcane era and development of hydroelectric power from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. during the Ka‘u Mountain Water System Hike in the Wood Valley rain forest. Limited to 30 people. $40 includes lunch. Visit www.kaucoffeemill.com or call 928-0550.
• Friday, May 4: “Cowboy up” at Coffee &Cattle Day from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., hosted by Aikane Plantation Coffee Co. Find out how descendants of Ka‘u’s first coffee farmer integrate coffee with other agriculture. $25 fee includes an all-you-can-eat buffet and hayride. Visit www.aikaneplantation.com or phone 927-2252.
• Friday, May 4: Observe the heavens from the summit of Makanau from 5:30-10 p.m. during Ka‘u Star Gazing. Cost is $35 that includes refreshments and shuttle transportation departing from Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Sign up at www.kaucoffeemill.com or call 928-0550.
• Saturday, May 5: Fun at the Ka‘u Coffee Festival Hoolaulea from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. — a full day of live music, hula, local food and crafts, keiki activities, educational displays, guided coffee tastings and farm/mill tours headquartered inside and out of the Pahala Community Center. 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 methods by professional baristas from 9:30 a.m.-noon and 1-3:30 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 929-9550 or visit www.kaucoffeefest.com.
• Sunday, May 6: Delve into the specialty coffee industry with presentations by notable coffee experts at the Ka‘u Coffee College at Pahala Community Center. The Ka‘u Coffee College is known for hosting some of the most renowned specialty coffee industry professionals from around the globe. Free; donations appreciated. Call 929-9550 or www.KauCoffeeFest.com.
For more information, visit www.kaucoffeefest.com, follow Ka‘u Coffee Festival on Facebook and @kaucoffeefest on Twitter and Instagram or call 929-9550.