April 27, 2009 – Pahala, Hawaii
VIDEO: David Corrigan
The first ever Ka’u Coffee Festival, held in honor of the Big Island’s other regional coffee, drew hundreds to Pahala over the weekend.
The event celebrated the farmers that grow the coffee, their families and community, as well as the rural culture of Ka’u.
The festival was s a mix of fun and educational events for Hawaii’s southernmost district.
The Miss Ka’u Coffee Pageant – won by Jolynn Cuison – took place on Friday evening. With the crowning comes a year-long spokesperson for the Ka’u coffee industry.
The Ka’u Coffee Ho’olaulea took place all day Saturday, and was a free event that included Ka’u coffee tasting, coffee educational displays and demonstrations, Ka’u coffee recipe contest, food, art & crafts vendors, entertainment, Ka’u coffee song-writing contest, and kid’s corner.
On Sunday, the serious coffee farmers and fanatics attended Ka’u Coffee College- a day of workshops & sharing information for coffee farmers and other coffee-trade professionals.
Although Kona coffee gets most of the world wide attention as far as Hawaiian grown gourmet coffee is concerned, Ka’u has been getting some favorable press in the last couple of months.
In January, Ka’u Coffee farmers hand-picked and roasted their award-winning coffee for the Hawaii for Obama Inaugural Gala, held at the Hay-Adams Hotel, where Barack Obama and his family had been staying leading up to their move into The White House.
A few weeks ago, Ka’u’s Kailiawa Coffee Farm placed seventh in the prestigious international finals of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) 2009 Roaster’s Guild Coffee of the Year Cupping Competition held in Atlanta, Georgia.
The festival rides a wave of positive recognition for Hawaii’s up and coming regional brand.