An Insider's Guide to the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival
The Longest-Running Food Festival In Hawai’i Celebrates Its 50th Year After Last Year’s Cancellation
We are happy to announce that the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is back. The annual event was unfortunately cancelled last year due to the ongoing pandemic. This year they are back, better than ever. The Festival is implementing a hybrid schedule that enables more flexibility on how you participate, as well as opens up virtual events to guests around the world. But first, some words from our Owner and CEO, Malia Bolton:
The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is celebrating its 50 year anniversary and continues to be the longest-standing food festival in the Hawaiian Islands. Kona Coffee & Tea is happy to be a part of the festival, and we are a proud sponsor. With 50 years of showcasing the wide variety of Hawaii’s cultural traditions, and heritage, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is in many ways still in its infancy. The many ways to showcase Hawaii’s diverse, and deep history is growing along with technology, and local infrastructure. The 100% Kona Coffee industry also continues to grow, and improve, with quality being the best it has ever been.
While the festival may have started out as a small, mostly local, community event, this year marks the propulsion of the event into a world wide, hybrid, virtual, and hands on, one of a kind experience. We hope you can join us in celebrating 50 years of Hawaiian Culture, and 100% Kona Coffee. If you are here on the Island, we hope to see you in person at the events. If you are joining us online, virtually, we are happy to have you here, and look forward to interacting with you all.
Insider’s Festival Guide
Here is our annual insiders guide to the festival; Please keep in mind that in person events are subject to local health guidelines, and may change or be canceled. Visit the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival website HERE for more information, to confirm times and locations, as well as to book your events.
We are curiously looking forward to the “Coffee Gamble” The 1992 Home Move Recordings of Jerry Martin - A 3-Act Play, November 4-7daily at 11AM at The King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel Ballroom. A trip down memory lane, made from home movies of a family's experience growing Kona Coffee from 1924-1984. In person, on-demand.
Enjoy the talented, and multicultural performances at the Sugai Kona Coffee Talent Night. The show starts at 5:30PM on November 5th at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel. In person, live online, on-demand.
The UCC Hawai’i Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Competition begins at 6PM on November 5th at The King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel Ballroom. The in person event is sold out, but you can watch the event live online. Show your support for these talented, and intelligent contestants in the preliminary pageant for the Miss Hawaii and Miss America Scholarship. In person, live online, on-demand.
One of our favorite events takes place November 6th, starting at 9AM-2PM. The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Ho’olaule’a features a Kona Coffee 101 Seminar, cultural displays and exhibitions from the Hawaiian Islands, Lei-Making, Hula, and Ukulele lessons, and more. In person, live online, on-demand.
We are happy to welcome back the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Lantern Parade. November 6th, starting at 1PM, the Lantern Parade is back, featuring Taiko Drumming with Bon Dance, lots of lights, and Aloha. In person, live online, on-demand.
KONA COFFEE & TEA (Hey, that’s us!) is hosting the 4th annual Kona Coffee Latte Art Throw-Down November 5th, starting at 6PM. It’s a winner takes all, bracket elimination event this year. Watch online as your favorite Baristas pour some of the finest latté art from our namesake café in the heart of Kona. Limited seating, in person, live online, on-demand.
The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Grand Finale is on November 6th at 5:30PM at the King Kamehameha Beach Hotel Luau Grounds in downtown Kona. Catered by local chefs, and featuring LT Smooth and his “big” band. There will be a silent auction, plenty of great music, and dancing under the stars.
One event Kona Coffee & Tea will be paying close attention to is the Kona Coffee Cupping Award Recognition Brunch, November 7, 9AM, presented by our friends at UCC and Kamehameha Schools. After 3 days of judging, the certified cupping judges tally up their score cards, and announce the winners of the 2021 Cupping Competition. Kona Coffee & Tea is proud to have been awarded 1st place in the 2018 competition. The results are in on November 6th, at 1PM in a separate proceeding virtual event. In person, live online, on-demand.
Sunday November 7th, 9AM, marks the start of our favorite event, the Holualoa Village Coffee and Art Stroll. Local artists, and galleries open up to showcase their creativity along the gallery-filled, historic village of Holualoa, and local growers are set up to sample the best 100% Kona has to offer. In person, live online, on-demand.
As the event grows it gets harder and harder for us to narrow our suggestions to our favorite events. Honestly, we would recommend attending as many events as you can. We are hoping that the event having the on-demand option, will allow us, and you to experience more of the event's great variety, and diverse offerings. Please check out the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Website HERE for more information, to confirm time and dates, and to book your experiences. All in person events are subject to change based on current health, and safety guidelines.
Here are the honorable mentions; just as highly recommended, but in order not to overwhelm the reader with bloated content, we are listing these as simple short suggestions.
Kona Coffee Cupping Seminar hosted by Pacific Coffee Research, daily online, on-demand.
UCC Kona Coffee Picking and Farm Experience, daily in person, on-demand.
KTA Super Stores Kona Coffee Recipe Contest, November 7, 5PM, in person, live online, on-demand.
Donkey Mill Art Center “Kona People” exhibit, and reception, daily, in person, on-demand.
Little Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Program, November 7, 2PM, in person, live online, on-demand.
Our brief history at the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival
2003 We won first place in the Classic Division at the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival cupping competition
2006 We hosted the first Ultimate Barista Jam with Sherry and Dan Johns
2007 Our Malia Ohana farm placed first runner up in the Classic Division at the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival cupping competition
2009 We won first place in the Crown Division at the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival cupping competition
2011 Pete Licata competed in the regional Barista Championships using Kona Coffee & Tea coffee beans that he picked, processed, and roasted himself
2015 We placed second runner up in the Classic Division at the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival cupping competition
2018 We won first place in the Crown Division at the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival cupping competition
HERE’S TO ANOTHER 50 YEARS OF THE KONA COFFEE CULTURAL FESTIVAL.