Kona Coffee Festival Melds Hip with Old School Events


2014CoffeeFestlogoThe 2014 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is coming up this weekend and runs from November 7-16, which includes 10 days of events honoring Kona’s cultural heritage and recognizing the accomplishments of Kona coffee pioneers, farmers and artisans. The festival, created in 1970, is the oldest and most successful food festival in Hawaii. As with most long-running festivals, you can always count on the tried and true, but you may look to see if there are new and cool things to do, too. This year’s Kona Coffee Fest does not disappoint.


Guy Toyama Memorial Fund Mini Golf Tournament

A new event to the line up this year is the Guy Toyama Memorial Fund Mini Golf Tournament and Reception on Sunday, November 16th from 11 am- 1 pm. at Hale Halawai on All’i Drive. Nine holes of mini-golf on a course themed with the best of Kona and Guy Toyama, a friend of mine who passed away who was an amazing leader in Kona. Shotgun start is at 11:15 a.m. Pupus and drinks by Lotus Cafe. Suggested minimum donation $40 per person or $125 per foursome. Make your donation now and reserve a spot on the course (click or go to guytoyamafund.org/tournament-reg/).

Can’t make it at 11 a.m.? Come down in the afternoon for the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival’s Celebrate Kona Day. We will have the course open to the public from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Kona Coffee Café Events November 10-12th

For the first time the Kona Coffee Fest organizers are recognizing our up and coming “Kona coffee café culture” by including tasting/entertainment/informational events in three of Kona’s best local cafes. I am a big fan of supporting local businesses and have had the pleasure of personally “hanging out” in the three cafes highlighted in this year’s event program. If you are here in Kona, consider supporting these cafes by attending their featured events.

KayasCafeKaya’s Café- An Evening with MAKA

Enjoy 100% Kona Coffee and handmade organic goods in the heart of Kona Coffee Country while listening to one of Kona’s own rising stars MAKA on Monday November 10th from 6-8 pm. Festival button required for entry.

Maka Gallinger is a talented singer and musician. I was fortunate to have her play an event I held last year. Check Maka out on this video.


Daylight Mind Coffee Company

Daylight Mind Coffee Company-The Ongoing Tale of Kona Coffee

This free educational event being offered on Tuesday November 11 from 6-8 pm provides attendees an opportunity to learn the history, processing, and business of coffee. Ask coffee experts any questions you have about ANYTHING to do with coffee! The restaurant is offering “Coffee School” classes all week long for a fee of $20-$25 providing information on coffee roasting, processing and a hands on brewing class. More information about their Coffee School is on their site.

Kona Coffee and TeaBeer, Wine and Kona Coffee PairingKonaCoffeeTea

On Wednesday November 12 from 6-8, Kona Coffee & Tea Company is offering a five-course food and wine/beer tasting to include a brand new release of a Kona coffee stout by Big Island Brewhaus. Prepared by a talented local chef with Kona coffee at its base, small “pupu” plates are offered to pair with either a choice of five Big Island Brewhaus beers or five single estate wines, or you can mix it up. I spoke to Malia, the owner, and she said the “main course” included scalloped potatoes and tri-tip with a Kona coffee rub. Yum. Coffees and teas will also be offered. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Kona Coffee and Tea Company at 808-365-5340 for the Palani store or 329-6577 for the location behind Tesoro on Queen K highway or buy them in person for $39 at either store. Tickets are limited to 100.

“Old School” Kona Coffee Festival Events: 

Heads up: To attend many of the Festival events, you must purchase a Festival button for $3, which can be found at a variety of retail locations.

November 8-13

 Kona Coffee and Arts Stroll

Saturday November 8-9am-3 pm

Join the Festival in nostalgic Holualoa Village and sample Kona Coffee from over 30 Kona coffee farms.  Taste homemade treats, vote for your favorite coffee and stroll through a variety of art galleries offering unique, one of a kind treasures.  Festival Button Required to taste. You can purchase the buttons for $3 at the stroll.

The Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Pageant

Saturday November 8 –doors open at 5:30 pm

Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa 
 78-128 Ehukai St, Keauhou

Contestants from around the island compete for the chance to be crowned Miss Kona Coffee and Miss Aloha Hawaii. The winner will go on to compete in the Miss Hawaii competition for a shot at competing in the Miss America pageant.

Kona Coffee Cupping Competition – Finals

Thursday November 13-9 am – 2 pm

Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa 
78-128 Ehukai St, Keauhou

See side-by-side tastings of the finalists (these have been winnowed down from 50 entries earlier in the week). Watch the judges narrow down the favorites and learn how they taste the coffee. See who the top finalists are!  (Winners announced later in the evening at the Kona Coffee Council dinner.)

Kamehameha Schools Coffee, Community and Cultural Workshops

Thursday November 13 – 10 am-2 pm

Keauhou Shopping Center
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 78-6831 Alii Dr, Keauhou

Kona’s farmers will have their coffee brewed and available to taste and purchase. Local artisans from Hawaii’s multi-ethnic groups will share their know-how with hands-on crafts including lauhala weaving, lei making and entertainment.

Got to www.KonaCoffeeFest.com for more info about the Festival.

If you are NOT on island and are craving some 100% Kona Coffee may I suggest you head over to the Hawaii Coffee Connection site for 20% off their Farmers Choice, Mulvadi and Volcano Coffees. Use the 365HCC discount code.

Spread the word if you love what you heard! #365kona so we can say Thanks!

Meet the Author

Julie Ziemelis

Julie Ziemelis is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, blogger and vlogger in Kailua Kona. She created and moderates the “365 Things to Do in Kona” page and the Kona Newbies group on Facebook. She blogs at 365Kona.com and MoveToHawaii365.com and vlogs with her husband, Eric, at “365Hawaii” on YouTube. Julie also authored the books, “How to Move to Kona” and the “Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii”. You will most likely find Julie in Kona hiking, running, biking, taking photos and sharing Aloha.

Leave a Question or Comment About this Topic

  • colin says:

    We absolutely love this festival and look forward to it every year. There is also a self guided tour that highlights many historical locations as well as participating farms giving tours.

    The region is alive with energy for this event. I hope many readers of 365Kona are able to enjoy. Book your next visit to coincide with the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.