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- Best Overall Tour: Hula Daddy – Buy Tickets at Hula Daddy, "The guides that operate here are particularly passionate about the land surrounding Kona."
- Best Original Tour: Greenwell Farms – Buy Tickets at Viator, "Depending upon the season, it is possible to learn about each stage of production of Kona Coffee."
- Best Masterclass Tour: Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation – Buy Tickets at Mountain Thunder, "The ability to manage and create your own personal roast is a fantastic opportunity."
- Best ATV Tour: Buddha’s Cup – Buy Tickets at Buddha's Cup, "Staff are extremely knowledgeable about the sanctuary as well as the biodiversity of the island."
- Best Workshop Tour: Heavenly Hawaiian – Buy Tickets at Viator, "A fascinating journey of the senses."
- Most Unique Tour: Kona Joe Coffee Farm – Buy Tickets at Kona Joe, "The world’s first trellised plantation, using similar techniques as winemakers in their vineyards."
- Best Aerial Tour: Kona Coffee and Tea – Buy Tickets at Viator, "Soar above the volcanic lands of the Big Island, watching whales as they breach below."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall Tour: Hula Daddy
A charming house with a small patio and rocking chairs is the first impression visitors receive of Hula Daddy Coffee Farm. The guides that operate here are particularly passionate about the land surrounding Kona, taking pride in picking only the ripest berries from the coffee trees. The care and time put into the plantation are obvious, and the guides explain the meticulous process from start to finish.
For $15, the amount of information and attention to detail is second to none. Reviews across the internet rave about the ability each guide has in teaching the visitors about the coffee. Besides, the fact that the majority of berries are hand-picked in comparison to the "big name" coffee companies which pick on-mass, regardless of ripeness is encouraging.
Best Original Tour: Greenwell Farms
Founded in 1850 by Henry Nicholas Greenwell, Greenwell Farms is one of the largest producers of coffee on the Hawaiian Islands. The family-run company maintains coffee orchards on 85 acres and control and manage another 60 acres of coffee for other landowners.
Greenwell Farms Coffee thrill visitors via a walking tour of the coffee fields and processing facilities, as well as the ability to see a working Hawaiian farm. Like many farms across the Kona area, Greenwell offers free samples of various 100 percent Kona Coffee products. Depending upon the season, it is possible to learn about each stage of production of Kona Coffee. Greenwell Farms offers complimentary farm tours every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Best Masterclass Tour: Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation
Apart from free farm tours, Mountain Thunder boasts a sublime "Roast Master Experience." Often referred to by many as the highlight of their trip to Kona, coffee enthusiasts will spend 90 minutes with the plantation’s master roaster learning about the vital selection of coffee beans before understanding the theory and equipment basics of the roast. The ability to manage and create your own personal roast is a fantastic opportunity, especially as groups are limited to six people and therefore the class is intimate and productive. Package your roast in 8 or 16-ounce bags to take home with you, a souvenir of your experience in Kona.
The Roast Master experience is available Monday – Friday, lasting roughly two hours. Reservations are required as spaces fill fast. The flat group price is $325.
Best ATV Tour: Buddha’s Cup
Arrive at the Buddha’s Cup Sanctuary and hop aboard an ATV to experience a great host of coffee-related sights. Pick fresh fruit throughout the sanctuary and return to the shop to sample a hoard of tasters, as well as edible treats, including cakes and fruits. For $15, the ATV tour is a must-do while in Kona. A plantation of macadamia trees is the highlight for many who visit Buddha’s Cup, and a ripe nut is always a pleasant surprise. Staff is extremely knowledgeable about the sanctuary as well as the biodiversity of the island. Visits are welcome between Monday to Friday 9 a.m. 4 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Best Workshop Tour: Heavenly Hawaiian
Heavenly Hawaiian coffee farm offers a $55 (per person) 1.5-hour brewing workshop where brewing is at the forefront of the agenda. Two different brewing methods are taught under the watchful eye of top baristas on the Big Island. The importance of discovering the subtle differences in flavor and texture between these two techniques is a fascinating journey of the senses.
The Brewing Workshop is held every Monday at 1 p.m. on the Heavenly Hawaii farm.
Most Unique Tour: Kona Joe Coffee Farm
Kona Joe is not only a coffee plantation with breathtaking views, but it was also the world’s first trellised plantation, using similar techniques as winemakers in their vineyards. Kona Joe is, in addition, the only Kona Coffee Farm where you can see the entire process from planting to brewing, including their famous roasting and tasting room.
Kona Joe has a myriad of tour choices, the standard tour includes a full cup of 100% Kona coffee and a unique souvenir coffee mug to take home with you. Tours are offered daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prices range from free to $225 for the ‘Ultimate Kona Joe Tour and Roasting’ which includes five pounds of coffee and a two-hour tour.
Best Aerial Tour: Kona Coffee and Tea
Ever wanted to soar above the volcanic lands of the Big Island, watching whales as they breach below or fields of coffee in the Kona highlands? Grown at 2,000 feet, the coffee beans of Kona Coffee and Tea are prudently hand-picked throughout the season to ensure quality. The berries are then transported to the mill, where the beans are processed and roasted by professional roasters. Visit the café for free, or tour the estate by air, be warned however, while the views are unparalleled, Paradise Copters is not the cheapest mode of transport! Enquire with a representative to discuss groups and prices.