From Bean to cup

Aloha! Pehea 'oe i kēia lā? Thanks so much for joining us again! This week as we're kicking off our first in a long line of history blogs. Here we will be covering not only the history of Kona coffee but we will dive into some Hawaiian history as well!


Those who have tried Kopelani coffee know that we're a coffee that can't be beat, but have you ever wondered how kona coffee came to be? A little known fact about Kona coffee, it never originated from the Big island. Kona coffee is a breed of arabica coffee that was being grown in Brazil. This coffee was brought over by the governor of Oahu, Kama'ule'ule (kaa-maa-oolay-oolay) otherwise known as chief Boki, back in 1825 and he began to cultivate them on his estate in Manoa valley.


Hawaiian monarchs stand in union
Chief Boki Kekuamanoa Kama'ule'ule with chiefess Kuini Liliha

Simple Beginnings

In 1828, Chief Boki tasked Reverend Samuel Ruggles with planting a batch of seedlings on his journey to step in as the new head of a church, in the Kona district of Hawaii. between the cool slopes of mauna loa and hualalai, Samuel planted his seedlings. cultivating these plants took some time, white scale insects proved to be a dire problem for growing coffee beans. around the time of the 1850s ladybugs were introduced to deal with the white scale infestation. Now having the infestation controlled, coffee farmers began to see an increase in coffee production. Thanks in part to the volcanic soil coffee beans began to thrive!


In 1892, to help bolster the Brazilian arabica a Guatemalan seedling variety of coffee was introduced. This new Guatemalan variety took to its new environment and q