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Planning a visit to Kauai? We regularly add news and information about events, activities, and places to see on The Garden Isle.

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Sheila Heathcote has lived in Hawaii since 1986. She's a published author on the topic of Kauai and the owner of Hale O Nanakai Bed & Breakfast.

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Tuesday
Jan042011

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee - Kauai Coffee Company

Looking South from Hale O Nanakai Bed & Breakfast are vast coastal acres blanketed with dark green coffee plants. The largest coffee plantation in the United States, McBryde coffee plantation, is home of world famous Kauai Coffee.  Kauai Coffee fields now cover 3.400 acres where where sugar cane was once grown. 

The Kauai Coffee Visitor's Center, located on Numila Road (Route 50, just past Kalaheo heading west on Hwy 56) is a treat for locals and visitors alike. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, visitors may sample the many varities of Kauai coffee in the tasting room where complimentary coffee beverages can be coupled with tasty snacks. 

The visitor center houses a growing collection of coffee mills, tins, and other coffee paraphernalia. And a video explains modern coffee production. There is a small coffee roaster on site, which produces freshly roasted coffee, a large gift shop and a Coffee Bar that provides an assortment of beverages, pastries and sandwiches.

Guests are welcome to walk through the "coffee gardens" on a 20-minute walk along a twisty, turny path spiked with informational signs.  Kauai Coffee trees begin to bloom in February or March and by May, the fruit or coffee cherry starts to form. The fruit usually ripens by late September when harvesting begins. It is the seeds of the fruit, usually two to a cherry, that become the coffee bean. Nearly 4,000 coffee beans must be harvested to produce a single pound of coffee.