November 11, 2008 – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Coffee pickers gathered at the Ueshima Coffee Farm (UCC Hawaii) to compete in the traditional Kona Coffee Picking Contest on the Big Island of Hawaii.
The event is part of the annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival which brings the world of Kona coffee enthusiasts and farmers together in the month of November, just as the trees are growing red with ripe coffee cherries.
Pickers competed in a number of different age and skill categories to see who could harvest the most coffee cherries, as well as the ripest and the cleanest, off the trees.
The Food Network’s Glutton for Punishment and Travel Channel’s Passport to Great Weekends were on hand to film for upcoming episodes of their respective TV shows.
Chairman of the festival, Norman Sakata, took the time to explain the contest (and to compete in it himself) and reminisced about a life, hard but rewarding, in the Kona coffee industry.