(BIVN) – The ninth annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival wrapped up this weekend with the traditional Ho‘olaule‘a in Pahala on Saturday followed by a Ka’u Coffee College on Sunday.
The Ho‘olaule‘a included local food, music, keiki activities, product and informational booths, barista-guided coffee tastings, and farm tours.
During Saturday’s event, we interviewed organizer Chirs Manfredi about the festival as well as the current state of the coffee industry in Ka‘u.
Coffee has become integral to the post-sugar plantation way of life Ka‘u. Organizers say the festival is founded in coffee traditions hailing to the 1800’s. In recent years, Ka‘u coffee burst onto the specialty coffee scene by winning numerous coffee quality awards. “These accolades highlight the unique combination of people and place that makes Ka‘u coffee a favorite across the globe,” organizers say. “The festival’s mission is to raise awareness of Ka‘u as a world-class, coffee-growing origin.”
The week-long event also included a Pa‘ina and Open House, a Ka’u Coffee Recipe Contest, star gazing and a Ka‘u Mountain Water Systems Hike. In addition, the annual Miss Ka’u Coffee Pageant crowned a new Miss K‘au Coffee: Jami Beck of Wai‘ohinu, a UH-Hilo student who swept all pageant categories, winning career outfit and interview, evening gown and swimsuit trophies, plus the titles of Miss Popularity, Miss Photogenic and Miss Congeniality.