The Ka‘u Coffee Festival perks with java-jumping fun starting April 27 and culminating the weekend of May 4-5 with a ho‘olaule‘a on Saturday and coffee education on Sunday. Serving as an economic stimulus for the rural Ka‘u region, the festival is supported by the county Department of Research & Development, Hawaii Tourism Authority and state Department of Agriculture.
On Saturday evening, April 27, enjoy foodie fun at Simply Elegant: Second Annual Ka‘u Farmers’ Table at The Inn at Kalaekilohana. The limited seating Table features locally sourced gastronomy with live entertainment. Advance-only tickets are $75 at www.kau-hawaii.com.
On Sunday afternoon, April 28, the Triple C Recipe Contest returns to Ka‘u Coffee Mill with competition in cookies, candies and crackers, all made with Ka‘u coffee. Attendance and coffee tasting are free; find contest entry info at kaucoffeemill.com.
During the week, visit Ka‘u coffee farms. Enjoy the beauty of Ka‘u, Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach, Honu‘apo fishponds, the cliffs of Ka Lae — the southernmost place in the U.S., and the nearby Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Stay in one of the many accommodations in Ka‘u. See participating coffee farms and accommodations at www.kaucoffeefest.com.
On Wednesday, May 1, explore flume systems of the sugar cane era and development of hydroelectric power on a Ka‘u Mountain Water System Hike. Fee. Limited to 30 with lunch provided. Visit www.kaucoffeemill.com or phone 928-0550.
On Friday, May 3, enjoy Coffee & Cattle Day at Aikane Plantation Coffee farm, where descendants of the first coffee farmer in Ka‘u explain how coffee is integrated into other agriculture. Fee. Lunch included. Visit www.aikaneplantation.com or phone 927-2252.
On Friday, May 3, observe the heavens from the summit of Makanau at Ka‘u Star Gazing, 7:30-10 p.m. Fee. To sign up, see www.kaucoffeemill.com or call 928-0550.
On Saturday, May 4, enjoy the Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a, with a full day of music, hula, food, local crafts, coffee tastings and farm tours at the Pahala Community Center. Festival entry is free; Ka‘u Coffee Experience coffee tasting, $5; farm tours, $20. Call 929-9550 or visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.
On Sunday, May 5, learn about the coffee industry at the Ka‘u Coffee College at Pahala Community Center. Free; donations appreciated. Call 929-9550 or visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.
Founded in a coffee tradition hailing to the 1800s — plus the hard work of sugar employees who lost their jobs in 1996 — Ka‘u coffee burst onto the specialty coffee scene by winning numerous awards. These accolades highlight the unique combination of people and place that makes Ka‘u coffee a favorite across the globe.
The festival’s mission is to raise awareness of Ka‘u as a world-class, coffee-growing origin. Ka‘u Coffee Festival vendor and sponsorship opportunities are available.
For more information and festival updates, visit kaucoffeefest.com, follow the Ka‘u Coffee Festival on Facebook and Twitter or call 929-9550.