Kauai News

Hawai‘i Coffee Association to Host 27th Annual Conference, Trade Show

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Coffee growers throughout the state are invited to attend an action-packed weekend of events, including the 13th annual Statewide Coffee Cupping Competition, during the Hawai‘i Coffee Association’s 27th annual trade show and conference.

Keynote presenter Vern Long of World Coffee Research

The May 19-21 gathering will offer a wealth of educational opportunities and competitions headlined by keynote speaker Vern Long of World Coffee Research. Also on tap are two HCA Café Collective Committee inaugural events: the SigBev Barista Competition and a Seed-to-Brew Roundtable.

The conference, trade show and competitions are open to association members and the broader community and will be hosted at the Outrigger Kona Resort & Spa in Keauhou on the Big Island.

“This year’s conference features a full lineup of educational opportunities, fellowship and fun,” said Chris Manfredi, HCA’s executive director and past president, in a press release. “We’ve planned interactive workshops on cupping, roasting and field-grafting, plus talks on soil health, coffee origin traceability, on-farm technology and updates on the latest industry research and legislative issues. Attendees will also enjoy a trade show, silent auction and plenty of networking opportunities.”


In addition, HCA hosts its 13th annual Statewide Coffee Cupping Competition, with winners to be announced May 20 during an awards ceremony. Winners will be announced and the ceremony will include a sampling of the top scoring coffee from each growing region.

Competition coffees will be blindly cupped using the Specialty Coffee Association’s scoring system. Qualifying entries will be accepted through April 29. Pacific Coffee Research will oversee the competition. Complete rules and entry forms may be found on the Hawai‘i Coffee Association website.

Local baristas also get the chance to compete in the first Café Collective SigBev Competition at HiCO in Kona on the Big Island. A panel of judges will score beverages featuring local coffees and attendees will have an opportunity to taste. The event is open to the public; admission is free.


The new interactive Seed-to-Brew Roundtable will bring together stakeholders representing four major elements of the local coffee chain: producers, processors, roasters and baristas. These industry experts will discuss their roles and answer questions prompted by a moderator followed by an audience Q&A session.

Conference keynote speaker Long will present “Collaborative Coffee R&D — Working Together to Secure the Future of Coffee in Hawai‘i.” The CEO of World Coffee Research, Long brings 25 years of experience in international agricultural research.

For a full conference and trade show lineup and to register to attend, click here. Sponsorship and trade show exhibitor opportunities also are available and silent auction donations are welcome.


Find the official rules and required entry form for the cupping competition by clicking here.

This year’s conference sponsors are the state Department of Agriculture, Oritain, Savor Brands, Honolulu Coffee, WECO Optical Sorting, KTA Super Stores, Badge X2 Fungicide/Bactericide, Bad Ass Coffee of Hawai‘i, RCIS, Nutrien Ag Solutions and Delta Technology Corp.

The Hawai‘i Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawai‘i coffee industry. Its primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees. To learn more about the association, click here.

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