Coffee is one of those things that when you have a steaming cup of really great coffee you know it. Not the blah luke warm coffee that comes out of vending machines at rest areas (have you ever been desperate enough to buy a cup of that?) but really rich full bodied coffee is what I am thinking about right now.
Chris and I were happy to be able to do a self guided tour of the Kauai Coffee Estate located at 870 Halewili Road, Kalaheo, Hawaii. The Visitor Center was easy to find with lots of parking. The coffee flowed freely with samples of more than a dozen types being pumped from bottomless carafes. There was no limit on how much coffee you could sample and it was a coffee lovers paradise.
Visitors can not only taste coffee they are encouraged to take a self guided walking tour of a small part of the estate. It was a fun little walk after looking at some of the things on display in the visitor center.
But first…coffee for the tour.
The Kauai Coffee Company has over 4 million coffee trees that grow on 3,100 acres. The Pacific sun, really rich volcanic earth and plentiful rain along with the cool trade winds of the island create the perfect combination for growing fabulous coffee. The company employs sustainable and environmentally sound procedures throughout all of the processes.
Kauai Coffee began in the early 1800s as McBryde Sugar Company. This was one of the first sugar farmers in Hawaii. The change from McBryde Sugar Company to Kauai Coffee in 1987 represents Hawaii’s largest diversified agricultural project in the past 50 years. Tough times came along in 1992 when Hurricane Iniki inflicted $8.5 million to the crop. Fortunately the company was able to recover and has a successful business today.
Several different tours are also available for visitors beyond the free walking tour. These paid tours explore the farm and other aspects of coffee tasting. We opted to just do the walking tour and it was plenty to keep this coffee enthusiast happy.
If you are ever on Kauai I would definitely recommend a stop at Kauai Coffee Estate. Of course there are plenty of items for sale in the gift shop area and they also do a great online service. We are receiving regular shipments of our favorite blends now and that has been something to really look forward to. You can read more about the company by clicking here to go directly to their website.