September 29, 2012 – Kona, Day 6

Once again we do the usual – get up early, take ibuprofen, play tennis, go in the pool. In the afternoon we decide to visit a coffee plantation. It is only about 20 minutes away and the drive is pretty through the uplands. We go to Hula Daddy Kona Coffee.

Hula Daddy logo

We are met by a very friendly and knowledgeable young lady who works there as a roaster. Since another tour has just gotten back, she invites us to have some special Kona Sweet coffee with them. They have a very nice set up in the kitchen where another barista makes the coffee. It is very good.

Barista making Kona sweet

Our guide takes us outside to the coffee plants. I had always thought that coffee grew on bushes but no, it grows on trees. Although their trees are only about 6 feet high they can grow up to 30 feet she tells us.

Coffee tree

There are coffee fruits on the tree in various stages of ripeness. The crop must be harvested by hand and is picked over a period of about 6 months as the fruit ripens. She picks a red one off the tree. They are called cherries. It is ready. She squeezes the shell and out pops a bean. The mucilage around the berry has a sweet taste. The Kona Sweet coffee that we had was made with coffee beans that have been dried in their shell.

Coffee bean and husk

She then shows us how they are sorted and roasted. It is her job to make sure that the coffee is roasted to the proper temperature for the different flavors. They make the coffee in 10 lb. lots so in case there is a problem with the beans or the roasting, it doesn’t spoil a whole enormous batch.

Coffee roaster

After our tour is over she gives us a roasted coffee bean inside a semi-sweet chocolate shell. Wow, is that good. We decide to bring a bag of coffee chocolates back to Eileen and Jim. Unfortunately since the harvest has not yet started there is no coffee to buy.

John in front of Hula Daddy with his bag of coffee chocolates

Later we get dressed nicely and have our big dinner out. We go to Keei Cafe which has been recommended by someone Eileen and Jim know. The dinner is really good and a fitting celebration as our time here in Hawaii draws to a close.

Mahi mahi with curry sauce, rice and vegetables at Keei Cafe

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