Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Celebrating Ka'u Coffee

Ka‘ū, Hawaii Island—The Ka‘ū Coffee Festival kicks off 5-9 p.m. Saturday May 5 with Ka‘ū Farmers’ Table: A Feast for the Senses hosted by Kalaekilohana Bed and Breakfast. The event features an intimate evening of music with world-renowned Hawaiian entertainer Robert Cazimero and the culinary magic of Executive Chef Morgan Starr of Mi’s Italian Bistro. The locally sourced fare includes a paired five-course gourmet meal and a Ka‘ū coffee dessert bar. Tickets are $100 in advance. The event is being sponsored by Mi’s Wine and Cheese Shop, Hana Hou Restaurant and Kalaekilohana. For information and tickets, contact Kalaekilohana at 808-939-8052.

Miss Ka'u Coffee danced at the
Ka'u Coffee Mill blessing.
Photos by Geneveve Fyvie
Second, the Triple C Recipe Contest, hosted by Ka‘ū Coffee Mill on Wood Valley Road above Pāhala, is 2 p.m. Sunday, May 6. Triple C stands for cookies, candies and crackers made with Ka‘ū coffee. Judges include local chef Brad Hirata. Listen to Hawaiian music with Keoki and Moses Kahumoku, tour the new Ka‘ū Coffee Mill, cheer on the recipe contest entrants and sample the delectable entries as they vie to become a signature Ka‘ū Coffee Mill product. Grand prize is $500; other prizes will be awarded in each category. The contest is co-sponsored by Pahala Plantation Cottages, OK Farms and Edmund C. Olson Trust. For contest rules, visit or call 808-928-9811.

Pete Licata and Lorie Obra
Third, on Saturday May 12, get set for the 4th Annual Ka‘ū Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a featuring the Ka‘ū Coffee Experience in the heritage town of Pāhala. Attendees can sample Ka‘ū coffees prepared in a wide variety of brewing methods while chatting with 2011 US Barista Champion Pete Licata. Festival highlights include day-long live entertainment featuring music by Cyril Pahinui, Keoki and Moses Kahumoku and a host of others, plus hula, local food and crafts, farm and mill tours and lots of internationally renowned Ka‘ū coffee. Festival entry is free. Entry to the Ka‘ū Coffee Experience and tours are $10. Visit for frequent updates and a schedule of events.

Finally, on Sunday, May 13, the Ka‘ū Coffee College returns with its reverse trade mission and educational series. Notable guest speakers include Jeff Taylor, co-founder of PT’s Coffee Roasting Company in Ann Arbor Michigan and Anthony Carroll, manager of Coffee Quality for Starbucks. Dr. Robert Hollingsworth, research entomologist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, will share strategies for optimizing the cost effectiveness of controlling coffee berry borer.

--> Ka‘ū burst onto the specialty coffee scene by winning numerous awards over several years. These awards highlight the unique combination of people and place that help make Ka‘ū coffee a favorite across the globe. The Ka‘ū Coffee Festival’s mission is to raise awareness of Ka‘ū and its growers as a world-class coffee growing origin. For more information visit or call 808-929-9550. Vendor and sponsorship opportunities are available. The Festival is supported in part by the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.