The first large scale plantings in this region began in 1987. But coffee was first planted commercially on Kauai in 1842, in Hanalei Valley. Varieties of coffee here are all Arabica: Yellow Catuai, Red Catuai, Blue Mountain, Mundo Novo, and Typica.
Most of the coffee grown on Kauai is processed as semi-washed (or honey) though the smaller farms process their cherry washed and/or natural. There are approximately three farms, with one being the largest in the USA, ranging in size from 10 acres to 3,000 acres (4 – 1,215 hectares). The largest farm processes about 3 million (1,360,000 kg) of green bean per year.
The smaller farms are hand-picked and the largest is mechanically picked using modified blueberry harvesters. This region produces more than half of all the coffee in Hawaii. 100% of the largest farm’s acreage is drip irrigated as part of their water conservation practices. They also utilize hydroelectric power in their operations.