Cool beans, as long as you take this coffee tour on your own

There are dozens of coffee places willing to show you around just a short drive up the hill from the resort strech in Kona.

Free tours!

I let my smart daughter Elisabeth and dear wife Karen do their Google things. Their success rate on our family dream vacation was impeccable. They collaborated as usual, weeding out the ones that would charge us. Holualoa Coffee Company in Honalo was just up the hill.

Free range.

Winner, winner, chicken … everywhere. Roosters, too.

The Arkansas/Oklahoma segment of the family reunion decided to join us for the afternoon festivities.

Walk that way.

Sibling Lynne and daughters Stormy and Kimi brought a whole batch of new folks since the first edition two years ago in Estes Park. Brother Chaz brought his fiancé Destany; Stormy had husband Brad along; Kimi was accompanied by significant Kevin and daughter Ollie.

Follow the path up the hill.

The plantation owner bunched us and gave us a short overview. She pointed toward the growing and production part of their spread, and told us we’d be on our own.

With many coffee lovers in our bunch, we were eager to see the process.

Not ready for picking.

We had been told that it was not yet harvest time because the beans were not yet consistently dark enough. We looked and learned.

Working place.

Most of the action took place in a tall structure. We had full access.

Figure it out.

Chaz brought a card with tour explanations to help.

Spread them out.

Some steps were easier to figure out than others.

Pressing step.

I suggested that something very serious happens at the Gravity Table.

Island-wide pride.

Kevin and I appreciated the wall montage of coffee plantations on the Big Island.

Deep thinking.

We also got into the thinking it took to nail the “office” sign on the restroom door. Nice.

Production side.

Back in the main building, I wondered where they got the beans that were roasting. But our tour guide was busy handing out samples from urns and selling in the gift shop.

Take your pick.

I enjoyed the medium roast, dark roast and vanilla flavored. Medium roast was my favorite.

I purchased two sample-sized bags each of the medium and dark as well as a Big Island tea sampler, for my communications department co-workers at the library. When my boss Diane brewed a pot in the break room, it smelled fantastic.

Tomorrow: We stop at a small town

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