One our last day on the Big Island we took a trip to the village of Holuakoa to visit Sunshower Farms, a sustainable coffee farm owned by Chicago-transplants Kate and Doug. The drive to the farm was peaceful and ended on winding farm roads up to their property, where they also host weddings and events.
After getting a tour of the property and listening to Doug explain the whole process of coffee berry to cup we had a chance to go through a cupping specialty tasting (we felt like professionals!) on their lanai. The views from there are great since the farm is on an elevation of 2,400 feet. During the cupping process we experienced five types of coffee focusing on their aromas and tastes. We ended up picking the Dusk and Midnight roasts to ship home. They offered free shipping so we didn’t have to find room in our luggage for the journey home. Once we were back in New Hampshire it was a nice reminder of our trip to get our beans in the mail!
One of the best tips we learned during our visit was to pay close attention to the roasted by date on our coffee beans. Kate recommended that anything over two months is likely past its prime…some coffee roasters don’t even include a roast date at all since many people don’t pay attention to that when they’re buying beans (or K-Cups). Once we got back from Hawaii we started checking for freshness and this carried over to checking our craft beer purchases as well!
The small town of Holuakoa is charming and worth a stop in itself. There were plenty of little shops and art galleries to peruse after our coffee tasting. We ended up stopping for a quick bite at Holuakoa Gardens and Cafe for some pastries and coffee (yes, more) before heading back up to our home base of Waikoloa Village. The cafe staff were friendly and the shop was filled with wares from local artisans.
Sunshower Farms is worth a stop if you’re in the Kona area – it’s less than a 15 minute drive from many of the popular sites nearby. The hospitality, coffee and cute goats were great!