Tag Archives: Mauna Loa

Food: Kona Coffee

It's easy to see why Kona berries are called cherries. Uploaded to Flickr by punawelefarms.

I was surprised to learn how small the Kona coffee-growing region actually is. It’s only in the state of Hawaii, only on the Big Island, only in its Kona District on the west side of the island, and only on the slopes of Mount Hualanai and Mauna Loa. No wonder it’s a bit pricey.

Uploaded to Flickr by mr tentacle.

At the risk of sounding like a commercial, it’s the unique climate and soil of this region that gives the coffee its richness. The Kona Coffee Council puts it this way: “Rocky volcano slopes nurture it. Sun-drenched mornings ripen it. Misty afternoons refresh it. Six hundred farmers meticulously handpick it.”

That’s right, six hundred farmers. There are no huge corporate farms on Kona. Only about 2,300 acres are available, and most local growers have less than five acres each. And because of the topography of the land and the uneven ripening rate of the “cherries” that hold the beans, Kona coffee is all picked by hand.

Uploaded by kona-coffee-council.com.

One word of warning before you buy – be careful of the wording on the package. Genuine Kona has a label with the words “100% Kona” on it. Be wary of “Kona Blend”, “Kona “Roast”, and “Kona Style.” Oh, and if you’re heading to Hawaii, how about bringing me back a couple of pounds? I’d be happy to put on a pot and share…

Travel: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Fiery lava cascades into the Pacific Ocean. Uploaded by ballslist.com.

You’ll find Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawaii, home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes (Kilauea) and its most massive one (Mauna Loa). The Park spreads out over 520 sq. mi. of land, and goes from sea level all the way up to the rim of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet.

The Park offers vistas unavailable anywhere else in the country. You can see flaming lava break off a cliff and fall into the Pacific Ocean. You can walk right up to slow moving floes of lava. You can – well, shoot, let’s see if these pictures don’t say all that needs to be said about this otherworldly location:

Uploaded by hugewallpaper.com.

Uploaded by vacationtravelclub.com.

Uploaded to Flickr by Madison 76

Uploaded by campingtourist.com.

Uploaded by LivingWilderness.com.

Uploaded by rainforestandreef.org.