de Paula y Marin
Rev. Samuel Ruggles
Coffee has traveled all over the world. So it should surprise you to know that is was brought to Hawaii in 1813. Credit is given to Don Francisco de Paula y Marin whom recorded the even in his journal on January 21st, 1813. He tried to plant the seedlings in Oahu. Not much is known of what happen to this first bunch, but little must have come of it.
Once Sugarcane took off, coffee land was scarce and very hard to come by. It wasn't until 1825 when John Wilkinson, a gardener, who arrived aboard the HMS Blond. Wilkinson planted his Brazil coffee variety in Manoa Valley (a gift from Governor Boki). After he passed away in March of 1827, cuttings were planted all around Honolulu. From there they arrived in Hilo.
They didn't arrive in Kona until Reverend Samuel Ruggles carried cuttings from Hilo to the West side of the Big Island in July 1828. The Kona Coffee tree's were forced to grow on the slopes because they were unsuitable growing areas for sugar cane. So it became the center for the coffee industry in Hawaii. Kona coffee today requires certification in order to be labled 100% Kona coffee. Part of the certification is to prove an actual farm in the Kona coffee belt grew the coffee. Even though Kona coffee is just a small part of the overall History of agriculture in Hawaii, it is still a vital part of the culture and community.
It was Henry Nicholas Greenwell whom took his own Kona coffee to the world's fair in Vienna in 1873 and competed among the world's best coffee. He won an award for excellence. Kona coffee has been winning awards all over the world ever since. *All images from Wikipedia
Kona Coffee's Journey