Coffees of Hawaii Celebrates 20 Years of Coffee on Molokai
This year marks 20 years of coffee production on the island of Molokai. Also in 2013, the entire coffee industry in the State of Hawaii celebrates 200 years of producing the crop. Coffees of Hawaii will host a free two-day festival March 15 and 16 at the plantation in Kualapu`u.
Coffees of Hawaii, Inc. (COH) was formed in February 1984, when the first contracts were negotiated with Molokai Ranch to lease the land and base yard facilities in Kualapu`u. In 1986 the first plantings of coffee were completed in two experimental fields. The company planted 600 acres of Arabica coffee on the former pineapple lands in 1988 and conducted its first commercial harvest in 1993. In that year, the first large commercial coffee harvest was underway and COH became the first mechanized, vertically integrated plantation in the USA.
As part of the Molokai celebration, the U.S. Air Force Band of Pacific will perform Saturday starting at 6 p.m. The Molokai Veterans will sell plate lunches, and the Molokai Arts Center will be have their annual Souper Bowl pottery sale. There will be a “Project Runway Plantation Style” event Friday night, and the Molokai Island Princess competition on Saturday.
Other festivities include: Coffee Poetry and Breakfast; coffee tours, cupping workshop; a fun parade; Coffee Chili Cook-off between the fire, police and TSA agents; espresso artwork and batik art sale; coffee mosaics; coffee cherry tea tastings; and coffee brewing workshops. Tour tickets and times can be found on line at coffeesofhawaii.com/festival.
“The entire community of Kualapu`u is involved in making this event successful,” COH Owner Mike Atherton said. “I am excited about the opportunity to showcase the plantation and, more importantly, give thanks to the community for their support over the years.”
In recognition of this bicentennial year for coffee production in Hawaii, the Maui Coffee Association will promote coffee from various Maui and Molokai farms at selected venues throughout Maui County. Visit their calendar of events on line at mauicoffeeassociation.blogspot.com for a complete listing. The County of Maui Office of Economic Development has helped to make these events possible.
When Dan and Chela Kuhn left the company 2007-2008 it seems COHI slowly but surely, sold their land to MONSANTO AND KUALAPUU RANCH and lease out building space and laid off many employees. What is left? Not much! WHAT HAPPEN?
It was sad to see all the coffee trees dying in the fields. It was also sad to see the dreams of the people who created and gave birth and worked so hard to bring coffee to Molokai see it slowly diminish.
Why did Dan Kuhn leave COHI when he had been with COHI in the VERY BEGINNING, WHO HAD THE EXPERIENCE of farming of coffee, THE KNOWLEDGE AND WHO REOPEN COHI WHEN YOU CALIFORNIA DEVELOPERS BOUGHT COHI?
So, what happen to COHI, WHY is it in this STATE of BEING (it’s in bits and pieces now?)
Was it the management that took over after Dan Kuhn left, the recession?
It would be nice to honor John and Susan Hays founders (who brought coffee to Molokai) and Dan and Chela Kuhn who worked so hard for many years growing and promoting Molokai Coffee at the festival.
We locals know the timeline of Coffees of Hawaii…….