Friday, June 1, 2012

Ka'u Coffee Day

Visitors were invited to taste a variety of Ka'u Coffees prepared using several different methods
 at the Ka'u Coffee Experience. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
The 4th annual Ka'u Coffee Festival drew more than one thousand people May 5-6 and May 12-13 to the Village of Pahala between Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park and Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. Visitors and residents enjoyed The Ka'u Coffee Experience, music, hula, food and farm tours. The 2013 Ka'u Coffee Festival is set for the weekend of April 28 and 29 with farm to table lunches and dinners, the Triple C Recipe Contest, farm tours, the Ho'olaule'a Saturday, May 4 and the Ka'u Coffee College on Sunday, May 5. Check back for the many events to be planned for the festival.

Sueki and Satsuki Funai (left) have grown organic coffee in Ka'u for
generations and were honored with a Ka'u Coffee Festival Lifetime Visionary
Award trophy, surrounded by award-winning Ka'u Coffee farmers
Bull Kailiawa (back left), Trinidad and Francis Marques (back center),
Willie Tabios (right) and Lorie Obra (front right).
Photo by Ralph Gaston
     In 2012, For the first time, the Ka'u Festival joined with Kalaekilohana Bed & Breakfast for a Feast for the Senses with famed Hawaiian singer and hula master Robert Cazimero and Chef Morgan Starr. The Committee also made official the inaugural Triple C Recipe Contest for Candies, Coffees & Crackers at Ka'u Coffee Mill.

      In another inaugural event, the Committee awarded a Lifetime Visionary Award to Sueki and Satsuki Funai. The couple carried on generations of growing organic coffee at their farm in Moa'ula,  Ka'u.

     This year's festival was also honored with the Big Island's Mayor Billy Kenoi naming May 12 as Ka'u Coffee Day. The festival was also graced by a sister hula halau from the remote island of Lana'i, emcee Skylark, and many famous Hawaiian recording artists performing, including Keoki and Moses Kahumoku, Cyril Pahinui, Bruddah Waltah and Sammi Fo.

Ka'u Coffee farmers with Coffees of the Year organizers. Willie Tabios (left),
was top in the U.S., and Lorie Obra (center) and Trini Marques (right) followed,
all three taking spots in the top ten in the worldwide competition.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Central to the Ka'u Coffee Festival are the award winning farmers. Year after year, they place in the top ten worldwide at the Specialty Coffee Association of America's Coffee of the Year competition. The 2012 SCAA Coffees of the Year competition placed three Ka'u Coffees in the top ten: Willie & Grace Tabios with The Rising Sun, Lorie Obra with Rusty's Hawaiian, and Francis and Trinidad Marques with Ali'i Hawaiian Hula Hands Coffee. Ka'u became Grand Champion of Hawaiian Coffee in 2010 and 2011 as Ka'u Coffees are making their way onto some of the world's finest cupping tables.

Come see what all the buzz is about in Ka'u. Join us in 2013 for music, hula, the Ka'u Coffee Experience, delicious local food, fun and educational events, farm and mill tours and coffee, coffee, coffee. Stay awhile and visit Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, South Point, Punalu'u, Honu'apo and the many other natural wonders of our remote part of Hawai'i with its world famous Ka'u Coffee.

Coming from out of town? Directions to Pahala and the festival.