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Kona coffee - visiting the source

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  • Kona coffee - visiting the source

    In September, we are off to Hawaii for a holiday.
    We will be spending some time on the Big Island where Kona coffee is grown.
    We are certainly going to do some tours, tasting etc. but when looking at Google, Im told there are around 600 plantations. I dont think well fit them all in.

    Has anyone been to, heard of or tasted great coffee from any specific Kona plantations?

    Bringing green beans home in small amounts is not worth the effort. Have to submit them to fumigation (and pay for the privilege), so I think Ill just try to bring some roasted coffee home.

    Last time we visited, we just stayed in Oahu and the Kona coffee I bought was more a generic supermarket (IE: Already stale) type.
    Ive found a couple of smaller operations that I think look interesting. One in particular, http://www.peleplantations.com/tour.htm will roast purchased green coffee at the end of the tour, so at least Ill know it is fresh.

    Anyone had any experiences over there?

    Brett.

  • #2
    Re: Kona coffee - visiting the source

    I cant remember the name off the cuff but if you post a query on the alt.coffee newsgroup there is a respected planter/processor who regularly contributes to the group and is considered to be right up there with the best as far as Kona is concerned..... Worth a try

    Mal.

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    • #3
      Re: Kona coffee - visiting the source

      Theres some great Organic and boutique plantations in Kona, which are well sign-posted, but build up your expecations of being able to get a good cup of coffee in Kona, or anywhere in Hawaii for that matter!

      As a rule of thumb I found that the drip filter coffee (which is served everywhere) was far superior to the paltry espresso offerings!

      As an indication I paid $5US for an espresso in Kona, for something that I would not drink at home, and I found the Hawaiin roasts to be all on the black side of over-roastined!

      That was a year and a bit ago, but who knows, maybe things have changed since then, or maybe I just went to the wrong places!

      Certainly, if you are willing to search around a little, there is some exceptionally good food to be had at pretty reasonable prices, so good luck on your quest!

      And if you manage to find some good coffee there, let me know! AS were planning a trip back to the Big Island!

      Cheers,

      P

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      • #4
        Re: Kona coffee - visiting the source

        Hi Brett,
        I think the poster that Mal is referring to is SmithFarms.
        http://www.smithfarms.com/

        Hes been a great contributor to alt.coffee and is highly respected as mentioned above.

        You might even get a special tour if you email him and let him know youre a coffeesnob.

        Frankie

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        • #5
          Re: Kona coffee - visiting the source

          Thanks for the replies.
          Its given me a few leads to follow up. Very interesting.

          Smith Farms looks very interesting, but being at the end of a 4WD road, well probably play it by ear. Well have 4 adults and the youngster, so Im not sure they all want tot follow the obsessed coffee geek everywhere.

          After posting earlier that bringing in green beans was all too hard, I decided to look into it a bit further.

          I found a bit of info on the AQIS site regarding green beans.
          http://www.aqis.gov.au/icon32/asp/ex...sionID=2414464

          It states that 5kg and under is considered non-commercial and that an Import Permit was required.

          From there it gets a little more complex. Im not sure if this applies to me personally bringing them in, or getting them posted, or both.

          Then, there are loads of different types of Import Permit, so I have sent them a message with a more detailed question which they will hopefully reply to in the next week or 2.

          Well see.

          Brett.

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          • #6
            Re: Kona coffee - visiting the source

            Originally posted by gz20tt link=1177466374/0#3 date=1177557442
            Hi Brett,
            I think the poster that Mal is referring to is SmithFarms.
            http://www.smithfarms.com/
            Thanks Frankie,

            Thats the one 8-)..... Wish I had a memory that worked though, sheesh :-?

            Mal.

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