Kauai Coffee Company
While on Kauai, a visit to Kauai Coffee Company should be added to your list of places to explore. Even if you are not a coffee drinker, the Koloa Estate has something for everyone, including refreshing coffee ice cream made with their own Kauai Coffee. After spending the morning in Waimea Canyon, we headed to Koloa Estate on our way back to find out all about Kauai Coffee Company.
History of the Kauai Coffee Company
Kauai Coffee Company got its start in the early 1800s as McBryde Sugar Company, one of the first sugar growers in Hawaii. After the fall of the sugarcane industry in Hawaii, the sugar company transformed into Kauai Coffee. Planting over 4 million coffee trees on 3,100 acres previously used for sugarcane fields, the Kauai Coffee company has grown to become the largest coffee plantation not only in Hawaii, but also in the United States.
Being a newcomer to the global coffee industry, Kauai Coffee has spent the past 15 years investing in all aspects of coffee production and processing. All of this hard work has paid off, pushing them to the frontline of cutting edge coffee production technology. Even with a severe setback of 8.5 million in damage caused by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, their drive and commitment pushed them forward to exceed the volume of coffee production produced by the Kona region on the Big Island in 1996.
Visit Kauai Coffee Company’s Koloa Estate
On the island of Kauai, you can visit the breathtakingly beautiful, Kauai Coffee Company’s Koloa Estate. Once there, you will have the opportunity to venture through their coffee orchard, engage with others, shop, have a bite to eat, and sample their exclusive line of Kauai coffees. Make sure to give yourself at least a couple hours to fully enjoy the grounds of Koloa Estate and all it has to experience. Or even longer, if you are a coffee lover like Drew is.
Kauai Coffee Company’s Self-Guided Tours
Walk the paths along the coffee trees for a free self-guided tour to learn about Kauai Coffee, their story among Hawaiian history, and the coffee grown on their estate. You’ll find out how coffee is grown, harvested, and roasted all on Kauai. You can even try a coffee berry right off one of the trees. You may be surprised to taste how sweet they are!
If a guided walking tour is more your style, you can get in on one of those, as well. They offer the guided tours daily at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm for free. We were lucky enough to get in on one of these without even trying and learned a ton about coffee we never knew from it. For example, did you know that the darker the roast the less caffeine there is in your coffee?
Taste Kauai Coffee at their Visitor’s Center
After your tour, kick back and relax on the lanai of Kauai Coffee Company’s Visitor’s Center. Their Visitor Center is one of the few places in the world where you can try every single one of their entire line of 100% Hawaiian grown coffees. If you didn’t go on either of the tours or just want to know more, a video presentation on Kauai Coffee is available to enjoy while sampling a coffee or three.
With an exceptional range of coffees to satisfy any palate, it can be hard to decide on which varieties to sample. They have it all from their Kauai Blue Mountain to their dark-roasted peaberry and even a delectable selection of flavored coffees. Take your time, you can sample as many as you like for free. Or all of them, like Drew did.
Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly
The warm Pacific sun, rich volcanic earth, ample mountain rain, and cool trade winds of Kauai produce the perfect conditions for growing exceptional Hawaiian coffee. Kauai coffee Company is a true Hawaiian coffee estate with every coffee bean used in Kauai Coffee grown and roasted right on Kauai.
Every step from growing the coffee to roasting it to packaging it, Kauai Coffee is committed to following environmentally friendly and sustainable farming practices on their estate. On Kauai, the coffee crops are fortunate not to have any of the disease and insect problems that many of the other crops do. Herbicides are used very sparingly and their entire 3,100 acre coffee plantation is GMO free.
Kauai Coffee takes great pride in having the largest drip irrigation coffee estate in the world with over 2,500 miles of drip tubing. With such an efficient irrigation system, water and fertilizer is directly administered at the roots of each tree. This results in no spraying or dusting of fertilizer on Kauai Coffee.
At harvest time, all water for the irrigation system is diverted to the wet plant for processing. Water is only used once in processing to be able to easily clean it through a filtration system and reapply it to their coffee trees. The pulp and mulch from pruning is put back into the land to amend and add additional nutrients to the soil. The mulch also helps protect the soil around the trees resulting in less weeds growing on the estate. Going even further to protect the native forests and plants of Kauai, contoured plantings, hedgerows and diversions are planted to lessen runoff and soil erosion.
We loved our visit to Kauai Coffee Company and encourage you to plan a visit next time you are on Kauai.
Have you ever visited Kauai Coffee Company?
All photography by Kimmy Hayes © 2014.