Hawaii Coffee Overview | Coffee Inside

The first coffee to be planted in the Kona region on the Big Island of Hawaii was brought there in 1828 by Reverend Samuel Ruggles, an American missionary who had originally come to Hawaii in 1820 with the First Company of American missionaries.


Country Profile

  • Size – 28,311 sq km
  • Capital City – Honolulu
  • Population – 1,428,557 (July 2016)
  • Language/s Spoken – English (official), Hawaiian (official)
Map coffee in Hawaii -coffee inside
Map coffee in Hawaii – Coffee inside

Coffee production in Hawaii

  • Number of Coffee Farms – approximately 1,030
  • Average Farm Size – 10–2,000 acres
  • Coffee Produced Annually – 8–8.6 million pounds

Hawaii Coffee Profile

  • Growing Regions – All of the islands grow coffee, but the most famous regions are Kona and Ka’u on the Big Island, Maui, and O’ahu
  • Common Varieties – Bourbon, Typica
  • Processing Method/s – Washed
  • Specific Grading – Extra Fancy (largest, most-dense beans; <10 defects/lb), Fancy (<16 defects/lb), No. 1 (<20 defects/lb), Select, Prime
  • Bag Size – 100 lb
  • Harvest Period – November–March

History of Hawaii Coffee

The only commercially grown coffee in the United States of America is also found in its most remote state, the group of islands collectively known as Hawaii, which joined the union in 1959 as the last incorporated state. Its history with coffee goes back much further, however: The first plants were brought to O’ahu in 1813, though sugar far outshone coffee as an agricultural output for the farmers. In the late 1820s, Bourbon variety coffees were brought to the Big Island, and the next decade saw the establishment of the first coffee-focused estates.

Between disease, pests, and economic disparity, coffee has had a changing degree of significance to Hawaiians: When sugar production was profitable, coffee suffered; when Brazil’s coffee yields dropped due to frost, coffee production in Hawaii peaked at more than 15 million pounds. It wasn’t until the late 20th century that Hawaiian coffee sort of “came into its own,” with the decline of sugar and pineapple growing, as well as an increased attention paid to “gourmet” and specialty coffee.

The First Kona Coffee

The first coffee to be planted in the Kona region on the Big Island of Hawaii was brought there in 1828 by Reverend Samuel Ruggles, an American missionary who had originally come to Hawaii in 1820 with the First Company of American missionaries.

Reverend Ruggles had been transferred to the Kona district from the Hilo area, and he brought coffee plant cuttings from the estate of Boki on Oahu and began cultivating them in Kona near the Kealakekua Church in July of 1828.

The coffee trees took some time to become established but eventually they began to thrive and were the most successful of any of the early attempts at growing coffee in Hawaii.

 

Hawaii Coffee – Why So Expensive?

Coffee, like wine, comes with a host of conflicting information: Does price equate to quality, or not? The answer is complicated, and coffees from Hawaii are no exception: Certainly there are beautiful (if fairly mild) cups to be had from the islands, and innovations in processing techniques and attention to detail have done wonders for bringing truly fine Hawaiian coffees to market. However, as the only coffee grown in a developed nation—as such, protected by American labor and wage regulations—and in such small supply due to the limited available farmland, coffees from this island state are naturally going to come with a heftier price tag than others.

 

Source: cafeimports.com | primecoffe.com | espressocoffeeguide.com

 

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