39th Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

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39th Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

Posted by: Kim Steutermann Rogers
Destination: Hawaii Island
Nov 07, 2009

We followed a truck smelling of pungent coffee cherries* south on Highway 11 and into Greenwell Farms on a busy day.

A half a dozen visitors—my husband and I included—trail Gina, tour guide, around the Kealakekua farm on Big Island like chicks behind a mother hen.

On the drying deck, two workers rake parchment** that maybe 24 hours before had been hanging plump on a tree.

One of the 800-some coffee farmers*** in the Kona coffee district pulls up in his truck and parks. He heaves one burlap bag of cherries—hand-picked, just like all coffee in the 21-mile-by-two-mile Kona coffee belt—onto the scales. The digital readout flashes 117.

The 39th annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival officially kicked off last night with a lantern parade on Ali'i Drive in downtown Kailua-Kona.  For the next 9 days, the event will celebrate all things coffee with samplings, farm tours, dinners, a cupping competition, a coffee picking contest, art exhibit, fun run, parades and more.

In anticipation, last week, I toured a couple Kona coffee farms on Big Island.  The opening paragraphs above recount my tour of Greenwell Farms.  To read the rest of the story, click here.

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