Kona Coffee Cultural Festival: An Insider's Guide
Kona Coffee & Tea Insider's Guide to the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival
This year the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival celebrates more than 50 years of bringing farmers, coffee enthusiasts, artists, community and culture together to talk story, and share their labor of love over a delicious cup of 100% Kona Coffee. The festival spans 10 days, from November 4th-13th. Come celebrate 100% Kona Coffee and Hawaiian Culture with us.
Kona Coffee & Tea has been an integral part of the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival for almost two decades. This year Malia Bolton, our CEO and Director of Operations, serves on the festival Board of Directors for her 16th year.
While we are excited about each and every one of the amazing events, below are a few of the highlights we wish to share with you. Be sure to visit the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival website HERE for even more information. This is just the tip of the iceberg…our favorites…
Lantern Parade - Friday November 4th, 6 pm
Ali’i Drive, Kailua-Kona
Kicking off the event is an annual staple of the festival, The Lantern Parade. Gather the family and find a seat along the parade route on Ali’i Drive in downtown Kailua-Kona. The parade features brightly lit lanterns, beautifully decorated floats, Hula dancers, Miss Kona Coffee, and much more. Witness the community coming together to celebrate Hawaiian Culture.
The Holualoa 100% Kona Coffee and Art Stroll - Saturday November 5th, 9 am-3 pm
The Art Stroll is an event we always look forward to. This is the best opportunity for the community to sample 100% Kona Coffee from multiple farms and vendors. Be sure to vote for your favorite! The beauty of Holualoa and its unique boutique art shops is not to be missed. The view overlooking the coast of Kailua-Kona is breathtaking.
UCC Hawaii Miss Kona Coffee Competition - Saturday November 5th, 5:30 pm - $50
Aloha Theatre, Kealakekua
Need an excuse to dress up? The Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Competition is always a fun event. Taking place in the beautiful and historic Aloha Theatre in Kealakekua, talented contestants compete in the preliminary pageant for the Miss Hawaii and Miss America Scholarship. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased HERE.
KTA Super Stores Kona Coffee Recipe Contest - Sunday November 6th, 10 am
Outrigger Kona Resort & Spa, Keauhou
Taste 100% Kona Coffee as manifest into your favorite recipes. The creative talents of some of the island's most innovative and inventive cooks and chefs are on display and available to taste at this amazing event. The showcase opens at 10AM and the contest doors open at 11AM.
Kona Coffee & Tea - How To Brew Great Coffee at Home - Monday November 7th, 5-8 pm
Kona Coffee & Tea Café, Palani Road, Kailua-Kona
Join us at our cafe for an educational evening! Receive expert guidance and tips on the three best manual brewing methods to brew great coffee at home: the french press, the Clever dripper, and the Pourover. This event is a preamble to the Kona Coffee Signature Beverage Throwdown at Kona Coffee & Tea later in the week. LINK
Kona Coffee Signature Beverage Throwdown - Thursday November 10th, 6-9 pm
Kona Coffee & Tea Café, Palani Road, Kailua-Kona
This could get loud! The barista community gathers for some friendly smack talk and good fun where competitors use local ingredients to make a tasty beverage. Held at the Kona Coffee & Tea Café. Witness transcendent skills and artisan abilities in this winner takes all competition. If you have never been to a coffee competition, you have been missing out. We love hosting these things, so come see what it’s all about. LINK
Kona Coffee Cupping Competition Results - Friday November 11th, 1-7 pm
Hale Halawai County Pavilion, Kailua-Kona
This is the moment we have all been waiting for! The winners of the 2022 Kona Coffee Cupping Competition will be announced. What’s at stake are bragging rights, and the prestige of being the best of the best. Who is going home with the Blue Ribbon? Spend the day pursuing the booths of local artists and vendors and enjoy local entertainment and food trucks before the “Big Announcement” - And the winner is…
100% Pure Kona Coffee Half Marathon - Saturday November 12th, 6 am *
Coconut Grove Marketplace, Kailua-Kona
Because, who doesn’t want to wake up and run a half-marathon Saturday morning at 6 am, right?! Pre-Register HERE and get ready to get your run on. Put your ability and endurance to the test all while soaking in the beautiful sights of the Kona Coast. You got this! - I’ll be asleep, but you definitely got this. :)
*Registration on website is required for this event
Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Ho’olaule’a - Saturday November 12th, 9 am-4 pm
Makaeo County Pavilion (Old Airport), Kailua-Kona
This is the absolute highlight of the festival. Putting the Culture in the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, the Ho’olaule’a on Saturday will feature food, art, dance, music, and lots of 100% Kona Coffee and Hawaiian Culture. There will be a lei contest, as well as some of Hawaii’s greatest Hula dancers performing on stage. Get personal with farmers and artists in this amazing event. One of my favorites.
A Taste of Kona - Saturday November 12th, 5:30-9 pm - $125
Courtyard by Marriott, King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel Luau Grounds, Kailua-Kona
It’s about to get fancy! Cap off the festival with a night of food, music and dancing. The perfect culmination of 10 days dedicated to 100% Kona Coffee and Hawaiian Culture. Dine, dance, and delight yourself under the Hawaiian stars. Featuring the artistry of local, Hawaiian chefs and a silent auction. $125 HERE
In closing we hope the Kona Coffee & Tea Insiders Guide to the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival 2022 was useful and entertaining for you. The Kona Coffee & Tea Café will be open daily from 6AM-6PM during the festival and we hope to see you there often. If you are interested in a tour of the Kona Coffee & Tea - Single Estate - family farm, please reach out. We hope to get a chance to meet you during the festivities and talk story. Much mahalo, as always, for your support and enthusiasm.
*Events and activities may be subject to change.
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
2021 Last year we won first place in the People’s Choice Award at the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival cupping competition
Words by: Mike Cubbage, Director of Sales, Kona Coffee & Tea