What is Hawaiian coffee?
Hawaii is not only famous with beautiful beaches but also well-known with its coffee. Hawaiian coffee is a high-graded and high-priced coffee brand that has been existed for a long time. One that shines Hawaii is Kona coffee. Kona is a district located on Big Island, Hawaii. The coffee is grown on the mountain sides of Hualalai and Muana Loa Mounts and featured with the most favorable natural conditions. Hawaiian coffee has run a long history to become one of the most excellent coffees in the world like today.
Coffee was first brought into Hawaii districts in 1813 by Don Francisco De Paula Martin, a close friend of King Kamehameha the Great (the recent King of Hawaii at that time). He planted the first seeds on Island of O’ahu.
- In 1823, English Agriculturist John Wilkinson started to plant Arabica coffee that he brought from Brazil on O’ahu Island. The coffee trees developed so well that made others pay attention and cultivate coffee trees across the Hawaiian Island.
- In 1828, 15 years after the first coffee tree grown in Hawaii, the first coffee tree was brought to Kona by a reverend named Samuel Ruggles (1795-1871). He grew some cuttings of coffee that he brought from Wilkinson’s coffee plantation. The coffee trees were unexpectedly growing so outstandingly and provided the amazing and great-tasted beans.
- In 1860s, sugar industry was so developing. People in Hawaiian cut down all the coffee trees for growing sugarcanes. However, Kona was not suitable for growing sugarcane, so the coffee beans were stilled kept and planted. Kona became the central of coffee production is Hawaii at that time.
The name “Kona coffee” officially became a big name on coffee market was in the late of 19th century. That man who made this Hawaiian coffee become a global brand recognized by the whole world is Henry Nicholas Greenwell, a coffee merchant. Coming to Kona from his hometown in England, he realized the special flavor of coffee grown in here and quickly started to make plant to bring the name Kona coffee to the world. And he succeeded it. In 1873, the president of the Kaiser’s Exposition awarded him a “Recognition Diploma” for his excellent effort to find out Hawaiian coffee. Since then, Hawaiian coffee was become a reputed name on the world’s coffee map.
The big change…
The world coffee market was hit by crisis in 1899. To deal with crisis, 6,000 acres of coffee plantation on Big Island, including Kona was given to Japanese Immigrant families. And the coffee production began its era of family farms. And it also explained why almost all the coffee productivity in here is exported to Japan.
The 1970s to 1980s is the most thriving developing time of Hawaiian coffee. It was estimated as the world’s finest gourmet coffees. It is preferred by the charming and various aromas such as floral, fruity, nutty, caramelized, or chocolaty, along with sweet and full-bodied flavor.
Today, Hawaiian Kona coffee is still a leading coffee brand for its exceptional quality and the limited quantity in production around the world. Annually, the Hawaiian coffee Festival will be held in Kona as one of the biggest festivals in Hawaii. The Festival and also many coffee farms in Kona have attracted plenty of international tourists coming to discover this unique coffee culture.