A Few New Beans for Ka‘u Coffee Fest

There’s something new a’brewing for Kau’s annual Coffee Festival, but this one might be too big to fit in your cup. A mountain hike, a day of coffee and cattle and a star-gazing adventure top the list for this week-long extravaganza on the Hawaii Island.

Every year, coffee lovers from near and far gather in the humble town of Kau. It’s a world-class, coffee-growing district that also happens to know a thing or two about throwing one of the biggest coffee celebrations in the islands. The festival covers everything from a coffee college to a coffee beauty pageant.

Among the newest Kau coffee adventures is a day hike that takes a highly-caffeinated crew through the sugar cane era. They’ll traverse the rocky terrain 3,500-feet in elevation, where horizontal ash bed irrigation tunnels from the 1920s can be found. The area is also home to several native birds, including the omao and iiwi.

Coffee & Cattle Day starts with an all-you-can-eat buffet and an insider’s scope of how the Pahala-area agricultural operations grows coffee, grass-fed beef, kalo and more. Perhaps the coolest part is seeing the very first coffee trees of Kau, planted in the 1800s, which continues to thrive till this day.

From a day of coffee-filled fun, the festival takes coffee lovers atop Mt. Makanau at night. Star gazing from this 1,800-foot summit is an experience like no other and offers panoramic views of the Hawaii Volcanoes National park in the distance and Punaluu Black Sand Beach below.

KAŪ COFFEE FESTIVAL • Every April to May in Kau, Hawaii Island • www.kaucoffeefest.com • 808-929-9550