Chronicles of Hawaiian Coffee
1813 – Spanish doctor Don Paula Marin brings the first coffee seedlings to Hawaii, but the plants perish.
1825 – Governor of Oahu, Boki goes to England, and requests agricultural expert John Wilkinson to plant and grow coffee on his Manoa valley farm.
1826 – Wilkinson sets up a small coffee plantation on Governor Boki’s farm in Manoa region on Oahu island.
1827 – Coffee saplings sown by Wilkinson grow up and yield cherries.
1828 – Samuel Ruggles, procures saplings from Governor Boki’s Manoa farm and brings them to Napoopoo.
1841 – Kona District undergoes setup of its first large coffee farms.
1873 – A pioneering Kona coffee merchant called Henry Nicholas Greenwell gets an award for excellence at the Vienna World’s Fair.
1880 – John Gaspar Machado installs Hawaii’s first coffee mill at Kealakekua Bay.
1892 – A new kind of coffee known as “Kona Typica” is brought from Guatemala to Hawaii by Hermann Widemann which eventually becomes the most popular coffee in Hawaii.
1899 – A severe drop in coffee prices almost causes coffee to disappear from the islands.
1910 – Family operated farms contain 80% of all coffee plantations in Kona.
1914 – Price of Kona coffee rises due to US Army purchases in World War I.
1920 – Mayflower Kona Coffee is roasted, packaged and marketed by American Factors company .
1922 – Kona District now contains the last coffee plantations in Hawaii.
1929 – Kona farmers are unable to pay their debts because of price fall during Great Depression.
1940 – Kona coffee prices increase due to World War II. Upper price limit is capped by US administration.
1950 – 24 million pounds of coffee are now being produced annually in Kona region of Hawaii
1958 – Sunset Coffee and Pacific Coffee Co-operatives are created by Kona farmers to setup their personal mills.
1959 – Hawaii is officially integrated as a state of United States of America. Kona District now contains twelve coffee mills.
1960 – Sunset Coffee Co-operative now controls the major Kona mills. Captain Cook & American Factors Company shutdown their factories.
1970 – First cultural festival held for Kona coffee. Shortage of labor, high costs and low prices cause the last big slump in the Hawaiian coffee industry.
1980s – Kona gets recognized as a unique gourmet coffee and it begins to attract more admirers. Prices start increasing.
1991 – The law for blended kona coffee is passed. This bill permits manufacturers to name coffee mixtures containing just 10% Kona beans as “Kona blend”.
2000s – Over 630 farms in Kona district now produce around 3.5 million pounds of coffee every year. This generates about $15 million in revenues annually.