As part of a special series on the coffee and culture of the island of Hawai’i, this story focuses on the walk from the base of Holualoa Village into its intimate parts where craft coffee farmers and artisan makers dwell.
Coffee and art are like two hinges, swinging on the same door: that door is culture. On an island where the culture of coffee benefits from abundant rains and high altitudes, a coffee and art festival occurs yearly to celebrate the culture that rises from the rich soil of Kona, Hawai’i as part of the Kona Coffee Culture Festival, (KCCF). The KCCF marked its 45th appearance this year and is one of the top ten food festivals in the United States. as such the stroll included a walk; a mile upwards through the village of Holualoa, where the textures of its landscape and landmarks pronounced the villages history.
Along the walk, one could meet farmers, roasters and coffee shop purveyors who spoke of their traditional Kona coffee, often roasted medium to dark to reveal the characteristics well known to the region – a resounding trademark like its sun-filled days and glorious rainbows.
While taking the walk during an on-and-off again rain made discovering and tasting the regions terroir through sight and the taste of coffee itself elevated the stroll to one of historical enrichment. From discovering fauna, the first Telephone Company on the island, abandoned monuments to new coffee brands like flowering just a little over a year after planting and local artisan crafts – the day was a walk to remember.
Grandfather Kimura opened a merchandise store, started a cotton farm, coffee farm and also built homes. Lauhala hats and many other items were sold here.
Near the sight of the village’s first Telephone Company system, which recently celebrated 120 years of history on November 5, 2015.
Houses uncared for are falling into the category marked “destruction of historic resources by neglect.”
Zentaro Inaba and his wife Hatsuyo immigrated to Hawai’i from Japan and were early immigrants to the Kona District and planted some of the first coffee in the area of Waiaha, North Kona. After 27 years of working the farm and being a cook for a German businessman,, and his wife working as a seamstress, sewing teacher and mid-wife, Zentaro had saved enough money to build the Kona Hotel. Here with his family and their nine children whom they also educated.
One of over 30 coffee farms exhibiting during the stroll. New to the region, Wolfpack Farms presented its Full City Roast, a harvest after two years of plant. A credit to the regions abundant rains and high altitude.