As part of the Kona 19th Annual Conference and Trade Show, the public was invited to tour award-winning Lion Kona coffee farms. Tour guide gave a brief history of Hawaiian coffee, which began in the 1800s with Guatemalan beans, now known locally as Kona typica, and has evolved to include a number of different varieties and hybrids. The average kona coffee farm is about five acres, but the Lion Kona farms featured on the tour were significantly larger.

vanilla macadamia nut coffee – LION

             

chocolate macadamia nut coffee – LION

Lion Kona

The farms of lion kona coffee, currently produces coffee on about 85 acres. The Lion farms of Kona demonstrated how arabica coffee plants are grafted onto liberica root stocks to produce plants that are resistant to the nematodes that plague the area’s coffee farms while maintaining the exceptional taste one expects from Kona coffee.

Lion Kona Beans

After taking a look at Lion Kona processing equipment and drying porch, the tour moved to farming land in Hawaii is leased from the school district, which was granted ownership of more than 365,000 acres of land in 1883 as part of a bequest from Princess Bernice Pauahi, the last royal descendant of the Kamehameha line.

Not surprisingly, a scientific approach to farming, focusing heavily on experimentation, documentation and assessment in nearly every aspect of the operation. Discussed a number of different methods they’re testing to achieve cost and energy efficiency while producing consistently high-quality Kona coffee beans.

Toasted Coconut Coffee – LION

Lion Kona Ground

A quick stop at lion kona coffee farm featured the shade of some
macadamia nut trees, a common companion to coffee trees on Kona farms.

While the basic growing and processing techniques are similar from farm to farm, each provides a remarkably unique view of coffee farming in Kona. Planting, pruning, weeding, milling and drying methods vary with each operation, and each farmer has his or her own style.

Lion Kona Coffee

If you enjoy a great cup of coffee, touring a coffee farm is a wonderful way to broaden your knowledge and gain a newfound appreciation for all the hard work and thoughtfulness that goes into creating each exceptional cup. Some Kona farmers, like LION, welcome visitors during regular hours, and if you have a favorite lion kona coffee, don’t hesitate to email Us before your next trip to the big island and ask to go behind the scenes to see for yourself.

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