POIPU, Hawaii--The Kauai Coffee Co., Hawaii's largest coffee
grower, opened a visitor center. The facility comprises two
relocated sugar plantation homes; one is a small museum, the other
a gift shop. Amid coffee fields, and near the company's coffee
processing plant at Numila, the center is 15 minutes west of Poipu
on Kauai's south shore. The museum has displays on the history of
coffee, including a coffee roaster and a video presentation on
coffee processing. The retail space features Kauai Coffee
merchandise, Kauai products and free coffee tasting.
Kauai Coffee, a subsidiary of A&B Hawaii, produced 4.6
million pounds of coffee on 4,000 acres at its last fall harvest,
more than half the state's coffee production. Much of the acreage,
which extends east to Poipu, is on former A&B sugar cane land,
where the company began planting coffee in 1987.
Unlike the more expensive Kona coffee, produced on small,
hillside farms, Kauai Coffee harvesting is mechanized. Most beans
are sold unroasted to mainland wholesalers, but the company also
produces the finished product under its own Kauai Coffee label.
To reach the visitor center, 25 miles west of Lihue, drivers
take Route 50, turning left toward the coast on Route 540 just past
Kalaheo. The center is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission
Kauai Coffee Co., Phone: (808) 335-5497