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Kona Coffee Farm Tours
Where are all my coffee lovers? If you love coffee as much as I do, you will probably jump at the chance to check out these Kona Coffee Farm Tours on the Big Island! The Big Island has an entire region dedicated to one of the best coffees in the world.
Kona coffee is rated as one of the best gourmet coffees. One of the best ways to try Kona coffee is to have it while vacationing on the Big Island. It is sold almost everywhere there. Just be careful to make sure it’s 100% Kona coffee!
Taking a Kona coffee farm tour offers so much more than coffee tasting. Most coffee farm tours on the Big Island take place in the Kona district. This is near the Hualalai and Mauna Loa volcanoes.
The coffee farm tours that are not located in Kona are okay. The coffee from those farms is good too. Keep in mind that it’s not truly Kona coffee outside a specific area!
History of Kona Coffee
Before diving into the Kona coffee farm tours, let me start with some history. Coffee plants were first introduced on the Big Island in 1817. Though all those plants died, it was thought coffee would never be a Hawaiian staple.
Fast forward 11 years when Samuel Ruggles successfully started growing coffee plants on the Big Island. Over the years, there have been numerous challenges with growing coffee on the island. However, it has withstood the test of time. There are now more coffee plantations than sugar plantations on the island.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the case if the coffee plants were grown in a different area. The Kona region creates the perfect conditions for the coffee plants. The temperatures hover around 70 degrees and never go below 55.
The sun shines in the region, but cloud cover and shade are available most of the time. The altitude of the area gives the coffee beans a mild taste. The best things are the regular rain showers and excellent soil drainage. Those two things allow the coffee plants to continue growing well.
The best Time to Take a Kona Coffee Farm Tour
The coffee tours in Kona are offered all year long. The weather there is always nice. So, you won’t need to worry about temperatures being too cold or too warm. And a little rain should never bother you, especially when you are on vacation in Hawaii!
You might want to plan your Kona coffee tour for a specific time if you’re going to see Kona snow or the cherries.
The coffee plants are covered in white flowers when they bloom. This is called Kona snow. It happens during February and March.
The cherries on coffee plants are red and green berries. These cherries appear beginning in April and stay on the plants until they are ripe and harvested. The harvesting takes place between August and January.
Don’t forget to check out the best restaurants on the Big Island when you’re done reading this!
What to Expect During a Kona Coffee Farm Tour
Most of the Kona coffee tours are similar. When you arrive, you are shown around the plantation. This is how you will see all the coffee plants growing in the fields.
After you have seen the plants, it will be time for you to experience the process of making coffee. The cherries need to be harvested and then dried. Processing comes next, followed by roasting.
At the end of the coffee tours in Kona, you are almost always given a small cup of Kona coffee to taste. This is often done near the visitor center and store. Trust me; you won’t be able to resist purchasing before you leave!
The Kona coffee tours usually last around 30 minutes.
It is best to have a travel advisor like myself arrange your Kona coffee tours. Some Kona coffee farms only offer tours on certain days of the week. Most of those tours are also only by reservation.
Kona Coffee Farm Tours
There are more than 600 Kona coffee farms in Kona on the Big Island. That number of coffee farms can make choosing one or two a little intimidating! So, I have rounded up the best Kona coffee farm tours.
You can easily choose any coffee tours in Kona for your next Hawaiian vacation. And don’t worry, you can thank me later!
Hula Daddy Kona Coffee Farm
A one-hour tour of the plantation and roasting room is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. These tours are currently scheduled between the hours of 10 and 1. The tours are free to everyone.
The owners, and workers, of this coffee farm, believe the berries on the coffee plants should only be harvested at peak ripeness. Depending on the timing of your visit, you may see more berries on the plants. The reason for this is they are not completely ripe yet. This is quite different from some coffee companies that pick all the berries at once.
Buddha’s Cup Sanctuary
Okay, so most coffee farm tours in Kona make you walk around the plantation. At Buddha’s Cup Sanctuary, an express tour happens aboard an ATV.
Yes, you can do a free walking tour of this Kona coffee farm. However, the ATV tour lets you see all four of their Kona farms. This tour takes 30 minutes and includes a coffee tasting at the end.
Other tours are available at this coffee farm in Kona too. If you are a true coffee connoisseur, you may prefer the 60-minute deluxe tour or the VIP owner-guided tour. The latter allows you to spend time with the owners as you pick fruit, play with animals, and learn a lot about coffee.
Kona Joe Coffee Farm
Kona Joe is one of the first coffee farms in Kona to utilize trellises to grow coffee plants. They saw how vineyards successfully grew more plants for winemaking and thought it would work perfectly for coffee too.
You have multiple Kona coffee farm tour options when visiting Kona Joe. Free self-guided tours are offered on-demand every day. Those tours include a 5-minute video.
The Standard Guided Tour offers the video, a guided tour of the farm and facility, coffee gifts, and coffee and chocolate tasting. You also receive a souvenir coffee mug. This tour lasts 35 minutes and should be reserved in advance.
The Coffee Roasting Experience will have you learning how to roast your own Kona coffee. The Combined Tour includes both the Standard Tour and Roasting Experience. The 2-hour Ultimate Tour is the one you will want to choose if you want to roast coffee with the Kona Joe roast-master.
Mountain Thunder is currently offering free tours seven days a week. The hours of the Kona coffee tours are between 9 and 4. The free tours take approximately 20 minutes. During this walking tour, you will see the coffee trees and learn how to roast the coffee beans. You will get to try a sample of the Kona coffee too.
They also have a self-guided lava tube and nature walk tour. There is a charge for this tour, but it includes a souvenir guidebook. During this tour, you will see three lava tubes and explore the nature trail.
Numerous animals can be seen along the trail. I recommend being prepared with a picnic lunch to enjoy on the observation deck.
This Kona coffee farm used to offer 4×4 plantation tours and roast master experiences. However, those two tour options are currently on hold until further notice. Hopefully, they will be back soon!
Kona Coffee Living Coffee Farm
There is only one living historical coffee farm in the US. It just happens to be located within the Kona region on the Big Island. A Japanese family constructed the buildings on the plantation. The farmhouse and coffee drying facility are both original.
You can take a self-guided tour of this living coffee farm in Kona. During your tour, you will see many of the historical activities that took place on the farm years ago. When history comes to life, it makes learning about the topic being shared much more enjoyable.
Holualoa Kona Coffee Company
This Kona coffee farm is only 10 minutes from the Kona Coast. It is a beautiful plantation that offers tours Mondays through Thursdays. You can take a roasting tour between the hours of 8 and 3 on those days.
The roasting mill is small, so it is best to reserve your time in advance. You will receive a cup of Kona coffee at the end of your coffee farm tour.
Greenwell Farms is one of the Kona coffee farms that has been up and running the longest. This Kona coffee farm was established back in 1850. They offer free coffee farm tours every day between 9 and 3.
These Kona coffee farm tours last approximately 45 minutes. During your tour, you will see the coffee plants, roasting facilities, and even a glimpse of life on a farm. At the end, you will receive Kona coffee to sample. Although, if you can’t wait that long, you can also grab a sample before your tour!
There is no need to reserve a time for your tour at Greenwell Farms unless you are arriving with a group of more than 15 people.
Coffee is not the only thing grown on Kuaiwi Farm on the Big Island. They also grow cacao, which we all know pairs perfectly with coffee!
You must plan in advance when you want to tour this Kona coffee farm. They only offer tours between 10 and 12 on Sundays and Tuesdays.
During your tour, you can see the coffee plants, cacao orchard, and other crops. The best part of this tour is the time you will spend on the lanai at the end. It is the perfect place to relax as you sip Kona coffee and eat chocolate with macadamia nuts.
Sunshower Coffee Farm
You can learn about coffee at the Sunshower Coffee Farm and meet sheep simultaneously. Their coffee tours all include coffee tastings on the lanai. You can add to your experience by customizing your tour to include coffee roasting.
All Kona coffee farm tours at Sunshower Coffee Farm must be scheduled in advance.
Heavenly Hawaiian Coffee Farms
At Heavenly Hawaiian Coffee Farms, you can learn how coffee is grown, maintained, and roasted during one of their coffee tours. Each tour lasts for approximately 1 hour.
The tours are held Mondays through Saturdays between 9 and 4. You must reserve your time slot in advance.
Hala Tree Coffee
Walking amongst the coffee trees at Hala Tree Coffee is an experience you will never forget. The surrounding views are exquisite. And the ocean breeze adds to the ambiance.
The hour-long tours are offered Monday through Friday. Walking through the plantation, you will learn a lot about the coffee-making process. At the end, you can sample some delicious Kona coffee.
Oh, and if you don’t like coffee, they have tea you can sample instead.
Tips for Purchasing Kona Coffee
After your Kona coffee farm tour, you will most likely purchase coffee to take home with you. Everyone does it! However, it also means you will become addicted to Kona coffee and will be searching for more in the near future.
You won’t always be able to hop onto a plane and fly to the Big Island. So, you will need to find another way to get your Kona fix.
You can order your Kona coffee online. Just make sure you are ordering 100% Kona coffee. A Kona roast, Kona blend, or Kona style is not the same. Those three might not even contain any Kona coffee!
Other Unique Farm Tours In or Near the Kona District
When exploring all the Kona coffee farms, you may get tired of coffee. I know! Crazy, right?!
If it does happen, you have many other unique farm tours to choose from in or near the Kona district. They aren’t really tours, but I have a list of the best happy hours in Kona too!
You may want to add one or two of these Kona farm tours to your itinerary.
My favorite unique farm tours in this area include the following:
Kanaloa Octopus Farm
Have you ever wanted to get up close to an octopus? Well, you can when you take a tour of the Kanaloa Octopus Farm.
This farm in Kona offers tours of its facility. One-hour tours are offered three times each day. During the tour, you will learn about octopuses and see them up close.
You must reserve your tour spot in advance at this farm.
Big Island Bees
Big Island Bees is near the Kona district. It is a must-see destination for all bee lovers. Especially since more than 100 million bees call it their home.
Their beekeeping tour offers an up-close look at beekeeping while sitting in a safe area. Reservations are recommended for that tour.
During your visit, you can also visit the museum and tasting room. Make sure you do a little shopping in the store before you leave. They have a large selection of honey, beekeeping memorabilia, and beeswax products.
Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm
Okay, if you weren’t too keen on the octopus farm I mentioned above, maybe you would prefer the seahorse farm. During a one-hour tour, you can learn quite a bit about seahorses. You can also touch a seahorse in the interactive tide pool.
Photo property of Erik Franke for Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm.
It is best to have me reserve your tour online. Walk-ins are limited with a higher admission fee.
If you have never explored a vanilla farm, you are in for a treat at The Vanillerie! This working farm offers tours on Wednesdays through Fridays.
During your one-hour tour, you can see, smell, taste, and feel the vanilla that is currently being grown. The tour also includes the history of the vanilla orchid.
You can purchase vanilla-infused foods and beauty products at the end of the tour.
The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory
Tours of The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory are offered on Wednesdays and Fridays. There are two tour times each day.
The guided plantation tours take you through the cacao orchard. During the tour, you learn about every step of the chocolate-making process. And at the end, you get to sample different types of chocolates.
You can also check out The best macadamia nut farms in Hawaii to visit. There are a couple mac nut farms on the Big Island.
Best Kona Coffee Farm Tours
These are the best Kona coffee farm tours and other unique farm tours in the Kona area. Looking for more things to do during your Big Island vacation? Make sure to check out:
- Where to find sea turtles on the Big Island of Hawaii
- The best beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii
- Guide to Volcanoes National Park
- The Best Luxury Resorts on The Big Island
- The Best Happy Hours in Kona
- 25 best things to do in Kona
- The 7 Best Things to do on the Big Island
The best restaurants on the Big Island
If you need some help planning your Big Island vacation, reach out! I am a Hawaii Travel Agent, and that is what I do. I am selective about how many clients I work with, so reach out as soon as possible for the best availability. You can contact me to learn more.
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