Big Island Coffee Farm Tour
A trip to a Kona coffee farm is one of my favorite ways to explore the history of Hawaii’s Big Island. The plantation I most like to visit is Greenwell Farms, located about 30 minutes south of Kailua-Kona town. Greenwell offers a truly informative Kona Coffee farm tour in a heavenly tropical landscape.
And did I mention the free samples?
Kona Coffee Region
About 30 minutes south of Hawaii’s Kailua-Kona town is the home of U.S. coffee country. The Kona coffee region covers about 2200 acres and produces some of the most prized coffee in the world.
Cool, lush, and steamy, the Kona coffee region is a wonderful retreat from the Big Island’s hot lava plains.
Tours at Greenwell Farms
Greenwell Farms runs tours continuously every day from 8:30am-4:00pm. The tours last about 20 minutes and include a walk through the coffee trees, a look at the coffee drying operations, and samples of the many roasts produced by Greenwell.
The farm is not just home to coffee trees, but also a wide variety of tropical fruits – from bananas to mangos to avocados.
Kona Coffee Since 1850
The Greenwell family was among the first to plant coffee trees in the shady hills above Kona Town. Establishing the plantation in 1850, Henry and Elizabeth Greenwell helped found an industry that would soon produce some of the best coffee on earth, a tradition that continues to this day.
Coffee production at Greenwell today is still much the same as in Mr Greenwell’s era. Coffee cherries are still picked by hand at maximum ripeness and beans are dried in the sun.
True Made-In-Hawaii Souvenirs
A coffee plantation is the perfect place to pick up authentic Hawaiian souvenirs. Greenwell offers about a dozen different roasts of their 100% Kona Coffee. Plus you can also pick up the best chocolate-covered macadamia nuts I’ve ever tasted, Big Island jams and honey, and even natural skincare products made from coffee cherries.
If you can’t get to the Big Island, you can order Greenwell coffee online, so you can bring Aloha to your breakfast anytime.
Meet the Local Wildlife
Much like at a winery, at the end of the tour guests can taste the full variety of Greenwell’s Kona Coffee roasts. Next to the tasting space you might be lucky enough to spot a family of chameleons napping in an orange tree. Of course they are hard to spot – ask one of the tour guides to help you get a glimpse.
Kona Coffee Tour Tips
Coffee trees are shade-lovers, which means you may find a wet, cloudy environment up in the Kona Coffee hills. Mornings are usually a better bet if you like sunshine, afternoons for overcast and maybe even rain. Greenwell provides umbrellas for shade or rain protection.
You won’t cover a ton of ground on the tour, but you will be walking through a working farm, and standing thoughout. So wear whatever footwear will be most comfortable for you. And don’t forget the sunscreen.
Kona Coffee Region Nearby Diversions
Make a day of it and head over to City of Refuge National Park , about 20 minutes or so south of Greenwell. Besides the awe-inspiring history of the site, this is regarded as one of the best snorkeling bays on the island.
Get my tips for what to bring when you go snorkeling here.
Where to Eat Lunch on Your Kona Coffee Tour Day
Before or after your tour, stop at Annie’s for a deliciously indulgent burger and fries. Located just a minute or two north of Greenwell, Annie’s is reputed to have the best burgers on the island, and we agree.
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