KONA, Hawaii–The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival returns for its 44th annual celebration of Kona’s world famous coffee from November 7 through November 16, 2014. Hawaii’s oldest food festival combines a modern-day infatuation with coffee with Kona’s old-world history as visitors, residents, artisans and farmers gather together to salute Hawaii’s preeminent coffee.
The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is adding new, exciting events in 2014 including innovative Kona coffee farm tours, native Hawaiian arts and culture events, keiki (child) friendly activities, and a celebration of cultural diversity all blended together in 10 event-filled days honoring nearly 200 years of Kona coffee history.
Kona Coffee Cupping Contest
Sip and savor this year’s finest Kona coffees
Kona Coffee Belt Farm Tours
A deeper look at the people who make Kona coffee the gourmet brew of choice
UCC Ueshima Coffee Co., Ltd. Kona Coffee Picking Contest
See how you measure up picking coffee against Kona’s best pickers
KTA Super Stores Kona Coffee Recipe Contest
Taste the latest Kona coffee creations in appetizer, entrée and dessert divisions
Kona Historical Society’s Kona Coffee Living History Farm Tour
Experience life on a 1920s Kona coffee farm
Kamehameha Schools Ho‘olaule‘a
A Hawaiian celebration of food, art, music and fun
Brewing An American Legacy
Every cup of Kona’s gourmet brew shares a story of coffee traditions that produced this American legacy. The theme of the 2014 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, “Bringing Kona Together,” captures the multi-cultural heritage that has been percolating here on the leeward coast of Hawaii Island since 1828.
Early on, coffee was grown throughout the island, but by the second half of the 19th century production centered mainly in the Kona district. Kona’s rich volcanic soil, bright sunny mornings, afternoon cloud cover, ample rainfall and higher upslope elevation furnish the perfect recipe for success.
Large coffee plantations flourished in Kona until the world coffee market crashed in 1899. Hardy immigrants from Japan seized an entrepreneurial opportunity and leased the failing lands in 3- to 5-acre parcels for $30 a year and a portion of their cultivated coffee. These family-run farms kept Kona coffee alive during tough times.
The Kona coffee story is one that is heard throughout America – hard work and commitment that cultivates the dream for a better life. Early immigrants to Hawaii from America, China, Portugal, Japan, Philippines, Korea and Puerto Rico along with native Hawaiians endured endless hours of hard farm work, planting and picking the choicest coffee berries by hand. These Kona coffee pioneers added cultural diversity and a mix of ethnic traditions as they embraced “Aloha” as a shared value.
Today, fifth and sixth generation Kona coffee farmers work alongside newcomers to cultivate more than 4,000 acres in coffee production. Approximately 600 independent Kona coffee farms continue to uphold the tradition of quality that has made Kona a coffee success.
For more Kona Coffee Cultural Festival information log onto www.konacoffeefest.com.
About Kona Coffee Cultural Festival
The award-winning Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is recognized as the oldest and one of the most successful food festivals in Hawaii. The 2014 Festival includes 10 days of events that promote Hawaii’s unique culture and diversity and supports the Festival’s mission to preserve, perpetuate and promote Kona’s unique coffee heritage.
The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is supported as a ‘Major Festival’ by Hawaii Tourism Authority and is made possible through the support of UCC Ueshima Coffee Co., Ltd., Kamehameha Schools, Alaska Airlines, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Kawakami Family of Captain Cook Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation and numerous other corporate and community donors.