Our Hawaiian vacation was split into two main parts. For the first half of the trip, we stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Kohala Coast and for the second half of the trip we stayed at historic Volcano House in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park to explore the park.
Our first day of adventuring was spent visiting Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, Kona Joe Coffee, and Mountain Thunder Organic Kona Coffee because Brian is a coffee lover! I wanted the opportunity to visit a couple more, but others were closed when we drove up. Luckily, I noticed Royal Kona Coffee Center was on the way to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and because it had a penny machine (Carter collects flat pennies), we made plans to stop by later in our trip.
Visiting Royal Kona Coffee
We pulled up to the Royal Kona Coffee Center in the morning and the kids flipped when they saw the giant tree house above the parking lot. Unfortunately, it’s gated and you can’t go inside so we made a beeline straight for the penny machine. (We actually hit every penny machine on this side of the island!)
After looking around the gift shop, watching a video on the history of coffee making, and checking out some historic photos, we walked around the back deck, took in the stunning view of Kealakekua Bay, and tasted samples of Royal Kona Coffee. Of all the Kona coffee farms we visited, Royal Kona had the widest variety in Kona coffee and Kona coffee blends and the most to sample, including tea made from the Kona peaberries.
While we didn’t have time to visit the onsite lava tube, we did wander along the self guided tour of the coffee mill, sample lots of delicious Kona coffee, and really enjoyed our visit.
About Royal Kona Coffee
Royal Kona Coffee was founded in 1968 with a dream to market Kona Coffee to the rest of the world so coffee fans could experience the spectacular Hawaiian coffee. The Kona coffee company began with a commitment and a promise to Kona Coffee farmers to sell all the Kona Coffee beans they could grow and farmers showed up bearing 100 pound bags of green Kona. Today Kona coffee growers still bring their coffee cherries to Royal Kona to be processed.
Royal Kona Coffee is part of Hawaii Coffee Company, the largest roaster of Kona Coffee in the world and Hawaii’s leading supplier of coffee to the Island’s hotels, restaurants and retail stores. Their visitor center, the Royal Cofee Center, offers free samples of fresh Kona Coffee and Peaberry Kona, as well as Kona blends, and flavored Kona blends, and self-guided tours of the coffee mill.
Why Kona Coffee Is Expensive
Kona coffee is delicious and expensive Believe it or not, it’s the most labor intensive agricultural commodity in the world.
Kona trees have a very long harvest season. The coffee cherries start out as green berries, then turn yellow, crimson, orange, and finally deep red. The are hand-picked only when ripe and red and they don’t all ripen at the same rate. Kona trees are picked four to eight times throughout the season.
Also, a Kona Coffee tree yields 15-16 pounds of coffee cherries and it takes eight pounds of Kona Cherry to make one pound of Kona Coffee. That means one Kona Tree only makes two pounds of coffee.
Know Before You Go
- The Royal Kona Museum And Coffee Mill is located right off the highway at 83-5427 Mamalahoa Highway, Captain Cook, Hawaii 96704 — it has a giant red and white tree house in the parking lot, so it’s hard to miss!
- Open 365 days a year, including all holidays, from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm.
- If you’re a collector, there is a penny machine!
- There are bathrooms, a gift shop, and a lava tube you can check out, as well as a photo gallery museum that showcases 150 years of commercial coffee growing and a video shares the history of coffee.
- Grab a cup and try free samples of a variety of different Kona Coffees, Kona blends, and Kona peaberry teas, and try a unique 100% Kona nitrogen cold brew.