One thing I wanted to do when we visited the Big Island of Hawaii was tour a Kona plantation. Before we left we decided on Greenwell Farms. I looked at a few different websites, but Greenwell and their products just stood out to me.
The tour wasn’t very long, but I feel like we learned a lot. The coffee trees had been recently harvested so there wasn’t much to see there. A few plants still had berries on them. Our guide told us about how people come from all over to help harvest the coffee trees. I was tempted to become a migrant coffee worker until I learned about the spiders that live in the coffee trees!
Coffee trees are pruned to a stump at the end of their third year. This keeps them healthy and green. Coffee trees produce viable cherries for 30-50 years.
Coffee trees are part of the Gardenia family, which is why they have beautiful white blooms. The blooms are often referred to as Kona snow because it looks like snow on the coffee trees. That is the kind of snow I can handle! Each bloom produces a cherry, which has two beans. The exception is a peaberry when the two beans grow together as one.
Cherries are soaked in water for 12-14 hours before drying. Greenwell Farms sundries then rake, by hand, some of their beans.
The area where the beans are roasted has a retractable roof. We were able to watch a few employees rake the beans. It was quite fascinating.
Most people know there are different roasts from light to medium to dark. I learned the difference between them: Light roasts have more caffeine. Light roasts spend less time in the dryer and, therefore, retain more caffeine. No wonder I prefer medium or light to dark.
Greenwell Farms also has a ton of different fruit trees from avocados to pineapples and
many fruits in between. Did you know you can plant the top of a pineapple and grow your own tree? I have yet to try this. They give the fruit away to the people who take tours. We didn’t get to try anything though because the people the day before wiped them out. They also have a family of chameleons, lead by Carl, living in the tree by the gift shop.
Of course, I picked up several bags of coffee while I was there. All of their coffee is available to sample and I was highly caffeinated after the tour. Everything was excellent, but I walked away with Jeni, which was a limited edition plus the macadamia nut and chocolate macadamia nut.
If you ever find yourself on the Big Island of Hawaii I highly suggest a visit to Greenwell
Farms. The tour is fairly quick but still informative and interesting plus there are free samples in the end. I would also recommend you buy some coffee to take home. Greenwell Farms is the best coffee I have ever had and now I am out; I will need to place an order. Although it would be way more fun to go back to Greenwell Farms I think ordering online is the more conservative option.
Once you go Hawaiian, you never want to go back.