Kona Coffee Reading
Reading about Kona Coffee is what you'll do if you're crazy like me. When you're relaxing and savoring your special cup of pure Kona, you'll probably want a little more information about your favorite bean. This page is intended to help you.
Comments and suggestions are welcomed through the contact form on
An Essential Kona Coffee Book
Reading recommendations are essential for people imbibing our favorite coffee, and at this time, there is probably no better book to accompany your cup than Gerald Kinro's fine "
A Cup of Aloha: The Kona Coffee Epic
." He captures the struggle of coffee cultivation on small-scale family farms in Hawaii susceptible to market price swings barely eking out a living.
Within a compact 160 pages, he tells the compelling story of an industry many times pronounced dead by experts, only to bounce back again through sheer determination. Today these small persevering farms have even survived the ubiquitous sugar plantations that dominated Hawaii's economy for almost a century.
There is perhaps no one better to tell the story as Kinro grew up on a coffee farm in Kona, and his passion for his legacy comes through in what can only be described as a heartfelt and sincere effort to portray all who struggled to keep themselves and their industry alive. Anyone involved in coffee from farming, milling, and trade to part-time coffee picking in Kona will find their part of the epic here based on oral history interviews.
From the historical perspective to daily life on a coffee farm, there is no better book on Kona coffee than Kinro's. The cynical will add that there just aren't any other books on this subject (not true!). However, even people born and raised in Hawaii like this reader would gain immensely from the information in
because its story is not just the story of Kona coffee but also what makes Hawaii's culture so unique.
Hawaii's Only Living History Coffee Farm
Kona Historical Society Living History Farm (Former Uchida Farm)
The Kona Historical Society's Kona Coffee Living History Farm (KCLHF) is a working seven-acre coffee and macadamia nut farm located in the heart of Kona's famous Kona Coffee Belt.
The Uchida Farm Project & Uchida Family History
In 1994, Daisaku Uchida's farm was secured by the Kona Historical Society with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Hawaii State Legislature, private foundations, and the Kona community. The farm site met the Secretary of Interior's criteria for preservation along with the practical needs for providing access to the public.
Started in 1913, the Uchida farm, as it now stands today, was built between 1925-1941 and includes a six-room house, Japanese style bathhouse, washhouse, coffee pulping mill and drying platform, redwood water catchment tanks, and outbuildings. The farm buildings are surrounded by nearly seven acres of coffee and macadamia nuts.
The site is exceptional because the Uchida family occupied and operated the farm continuously from 1913 until January 1994 when Daisaku and Shimaﾕs eldest son Masao and his wife Masako retired to Honolulu to live with their children. Both Daisaku and Shima passed away on the farm, she in 1966 and he at the age of ninety-nine in 1986.
All of the five children raised on the farm are still living and have been involved with the project. The Uchidas' youngest daughter, Fusae Takahara, has in the process become an integral member of the project team and has worked hand-in-hand with KHS during the whole process. Fortunately, the family did very little to alter the original structures or furnishings, thus ensuring a high integrity for preservation.
The KCLHF is the only living history farm in Hawaii and has received numerous awards for its authentic preservation and its fun and dynamic tour. All of the tour guides are long time residents of Kona and many are Nisei and Sansei descendants of early Japanese pioneers. Japanese language tours are also offered.
Address: Kona Coffee Living History Farm, D. Uchida Farm Project, P. O. Box 398, Captain Cook, Hawaii 96704, U.S.A.
Photo caption: Uchida Farm Coffee Mill (courtesy of KHS)
Kona Historical Society
The Kona Historical Society is a community non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and tell the stories of Kona. All proceeds from the historic farm tour go directly into the continued development and implementation of educational programs and the preservation of the KCLHF. "It's not our history; it's our way of life!"
Address: 81-6551 Mamalahoa Highway, Kealakekua, Hawaii 96750, U.S.A.
Tel: (808) 323-3222
Coffee Times is a web site in Hawaii owned by a micro-roaster, Les Drent, who offers fresh roasted 100% Kona coffee. Les has long been a strong advocate of truth in labeling of Kona coffee, and his web site not only offers information about Kona coffee but also Kona coffee industry issues, problems, trends, etc.
A special treat awaits those who dig further as many articles can also be found on Hawaiiana, e.g., Hawaiian culture, Hawaiian ecology, etc. For those intending to visit the coffee farms in Kona and wanting to see other parts of the Big Island of Hawaii, there is a virtual tour as well.
A Japanese version of the Coffee Times web site is also available and produced with the help of Lawrence Taguma.
Contact by e-mail:
Copyright 2003-2013 by Lawrence Taguma. This web publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Lawrence Taguma.