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Any Kona coffee farms or related on Coffee Geek?
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CJevens
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Joined: 20 Jun 2011
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Location: Arlington, Va
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2011, 1:50pm
Subject: Any Kona coffee farms or related on Coffee Geek?
 

After many repeat trips to Kona, Hawai'i, we have fallen in love with the mild beans of the big island. My family is planning another trip and wishes to tour some farms this summer. Hoping to maybe get recommendations or make a connection here.

Thanks.
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CraigA
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2011, 2:44pm
Subject: Re: Any Kona coffee farms or related on Coffee Geek?
 

Hi Colin,

Welcome to the Coffeegeek forums! {;-)

I can recommend Smithfarms & Cea Smith is Coffeegeek member kopepua on the forums here. They don't do tours per se, but I'm sure that you could stop in for a visit.

 
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2011, 2:59pm
Subject: Re: Any Kona coffee farms or related on Coffee Geek?
 

CJevens Said:

After many repeat trips to Kona, Hawai'i, we have fallen in love with the mild beans of the big island. My family is planning another trip and wishes to tour some farms this summer. Hoping to maybe get recommendations or make a connection here.

Thanks.

Posted June 20, 2011 link

www.Huladaddy.com

Please go to their website; location and visitation stuff is there.

Len

 
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konacoffeefarmer
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2011, 3:55pm
Subject: Re: Any Kona coffee farms or related on Coffee Geek?
 

Best to spread a few visits out over a few days. If you are a family with small kids, you don't want to stress them too much with 'booooring talk'. We normally intersperse some action for them to keep them from getting cranky ( petting our goat, feeding the koi, making a 'snow angel' in the drying coffee parchment, discovering a little cave, etc)

Check out a large farm: Greenwell Farms in Kealakekua is the best of the larger farms. An authentic active farm with weekend tours. Right next to the Kona Historical Society with a bread baking oven. On Thursday mornings you can actually help making your portugese bread there!

Of the medium farms PelePlantations represents their own but also neighbors coffees. They are in Honaunau. Both locations are close to the Kealakekua BAy and the City of Refuge, great places to visit for the scenery or to snorkel & swim.

Even that it is a tad expensive, visit the Kona Coffee Historical Farm! Click Here (www.konahistorical.org)
They give you a little re-enactment of the heydays of Kona coffee in 1920 in a restored old Japanese farm house and garden. Also in Kealakekua. Very idyllic.

More small Kona coffee farms to visit you can find on the http://www.konacoffeefarmers.org website. Some do, some don't give tours.

Overall we Kona coffee farmers are a peculiar bunch. A while back I wrote a little article about us: Click Here (coffee.bc.ca)

Enjoy!
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kopepua
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Posted Sun Jun 26, 2011, 9:12pm
Subject: Re: Any Kona coffee farms or related on Coffee Geek?
 

Thank you Criag.  It has been a LONG while since I have been here, but I really appreciate your thinking of us.  Hope you are doing fantastically!  warmest aloha, Cea
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kopepua
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Posted Sun Jun 26, 2011, 9:16pm
Subject: Re: Any Kona coffee farms or related on Coffee Geek?
 

Thank you Joachim too!  The Farmer's group is at KonaCoffeeFarmers.org- yes a too long name but I didn't think it up.  I appreciate your generosity in suggesting people look at the list of BUY DIRECT farmers.

aloha to my neighbor down the highway

PS Joachim was a founder of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association and did our important logo work as well!
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CJevens
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Location: Arlington, Va
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Posted Thu May 2, 2013, 6:41pm
Subject: Re: Any Kona coffee farms or related on Coffee Geek?
 

Thank you all for the responses. I guess I have been very busy and have not followed up as I would have liked to.

We delayed our trip twice as a family member had health issues and we wished to stay and assist. This actually worked out for the best as we were able to visit later in the year when we had far more time to get away and made it a 5 week visit. This was also helped by the fortunate opportunity to stay on a farm and help with day to day tasks. What an amazing experience this was. Not only is Kona just an amazing place to visit, but we met wonderful people.  The few days we were able to sneak away to the beach, were so much better after working on the farm.  

We were not able to make it to see Cea and Smith farms but have connected via email. We were also too busy to make it to Hula Daddy, but again have connected via email. We hope to see both of these farms later this year. We did how ever get to spend the morning with Joachim and thoroughly enjoyed the time that he took to spend with us personally.  

Over all we worked primarily on Pele Plantations and did a few days helping out at Dragon's Lair.  We visited about 20 farms in total.  It was very interesting to see how each farm processes their coffee. Some more than others. Some so much so that they offer processing services. Each farm had unique topography, some were rolling terrain and others fairly steep. Some had soil and others were just rocks. Many 'rock farms' have produced award winning coffee. Some hosted Woofers (volunteer helpers) and others either had hired help or did everything themselves. Whew !

We learned so much about coffee and it's life cycle and continue to learn more.  We are very thankful that the people we met were open and willing to answer our questions and to be kind enough to allow us into their world. For some farms, the tours can be disruptive to the daily work flow. We were very happy to get a slice of their time and see what they do to make wonderful coffee. Some of the farms also cultivate fruits, veggies, and cacao to create chocolate.  We found this diversity to be very interesting.

We enjoyed our exploration so much that we have been busy for the last year, selling all of our worldly things, preparing to sell our home and relocating to South Kona to engage in the art of coffee cultivation. We have seen the incredible amount of work and dedication that is necessary and are ready for the challenge. Many of the farmers we spoke to painted a picture depicting the 'worst case' scenario to gauge if we had a grasp on the reality of this endeavor.  I think we are ready. Deep breath.

One year later and we are but a couple months away from departure.  Expect a full report as we have more info to share.

Cheers.

CJevens: 2011-12-24 12.38.25_Ripe cherries_Cropped_250pix.jpg
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CJevens
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Joined: 20 Jun 2011
Posts: 5
Location: Arlington, Va
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu May 2, 2013, 6:54pm
Subject: Re: Any Kona coffee farms or related on Coffee Geek?
 

My favourite task was roasting. It just smelled amazing. Taking the beans from grassy to yummy created a collage of aromas that I can not wait to be immersed in again.
I am using a sivetz air roaster. Firing it up sounds like a jet engine coming to life.

For those that are unaware, my hand is on a control that reduces voltage to the blowers. As the beans lose water weight, the air volume must be reduced to keep the beans tumbling in the chamber. Not making this adjustment, and the beans will just start to take flight out of the machine.  I am watching the top of the chamber to eye the top of the bean 'spout'.

One of the machines started to act up and I had the opportunity to tear it apart, make an electrical repair and bring it back online. Not fun, but fairly straight forward.

CJevens: 2011-12-12 10.52.24_Colin roasting_600px.jpg
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CJevens
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Joined: 20 Jun 2011
Posts: 5
Location: Arlington, Va
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu May 2, 2013, 7:01pm
Subject: Re: Any Kona coffee farms or related on Coffee Geek?
 

Every morning, once the sun was over the mountain and it didnt look like rain was imminent, I would open the dry deck.  The 40' roof assembly on wheels does not like to roll open willingly. It takes a lot of effort to get it to budge.  Regular raking of the parchment was necessary in order to get even drying.

CJevens: 2011-12-17 09.35.40_Pele Dry Deck_Panorama_800px.jpg
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