The sun is out and a smattering of white puffy clouds fill the baby blue sky, mount Waialeale looms in the distance. A couple from California and I are ready for a 90 minute tour of Blair Estate Coffee, the only organic coffee farm on the island of Kauai.
We gather in the estate’s timber frame barn that houses the gift shop and roasting station. Our friendly and knowledgeable tour guide Tai Erum fills a French press with freshly roasted and ground Blair Estate Coffee. While the coffee steeps, he invites us to enjoy chocolate covered coffee beans and macadamia nuts that Blair Estate also makes.
As Tai offers us a cup of the aromatic brew he suggests we try it black; adding that milk and sugar are available if this is what we prefer. I’ve never been a black coffee drinker as it upsets my stomach but in the name of research, I give it a try.
The coffee is expectedly bitter when it first hits my tongue and I’m not prepared for the way it mellows with every subsequent sip. I drink the smooth brew like it was water, thankful that they offer bottomless cups!
Sipping our coffee, we head out and tour the three-acre farm. The coffee cherries are prolific and dapples of sunlight dance on the trees as Tai explains the intricate process of growing organic coffee in the shade. Plucking a ripe coffee cherry he splits it open and invites us to try it; the pulp surrounding the bean is unexpectedly sweet.
The farm cat follows us from a safe distance as we approach a small citrus grove. Papaya, banana, chocolate, lychee, and avocado trees also thrive on this organic farm. The couple from California pick ripe tangerines and take pictures as bird song floats in the mid morning air.
After a tour of the cherry processing station and the coffee bean storage area we head back to the gift shop and learn about the roasting process while sampling the rare Kona Peaberry. Armed with knowledge, I feel like a born again coffee drinker as I enjoy my second cup of black coffee, surprised that my stomach has not made one complaint!
To schedule a tour call 1-800-750-5662.
Photos by Dan Lane