Psssst...want to see how they brew a good batch of Kona beans?

Master roaster Kyle Evans prepares a batch of beans. Customers can now get a first-hand glimpse of the action.

Master roaster Kyle Evans prepares a batch of beans. Customers can now get a first-hand glimpse of the action.

(Honolulu Coffee)

Look out, Starbucks. A Hawaii coffee grower and roaster is upping its game to convince visitors that theirs is the best coffee to enjoy in the islands.

Beginning Thursday, Honolulu Coffee will allow locals and tourists to get a much better feel for what goes into a cup of its Kona-grown brews.

The Honolulu Coffee Experience Center will offer free, self-guided tours at its location not far from Waikiki’s resorts. It’s inside a former Hard Rock Café at 1800 Kalakaua Ave., just across the street from the Hawaii Convention Center.

“You’ll learn about farm to cup,” owner Ed Schultz told me. “People know about Kona coffee, but they don’t know what goes into it and why it’s so unique.”


To prove his point, soil from the 80 acres on which the company grows its beans will be displayed beside dirt from other islands. Schultz says the exhibit illustrates the richness of the island soil in which the plants thrive.

Guests will be lured by the aroma wafting through the center, thanks to a vintage 1944 Probat roaster that helps unlock the beans’ flavor.

Nearby, in a “cupping room,” experts will taste and grade each batch. The room is also where newly hired baristas will train.

As if the smell of freshly brewed coffee wasn’t enough of a draw, consider the scents coming from the pastry kitchen. Behind a glass wall, bakers will create various treats including the company’s specialty: macarons.

Coffees and pastries – plus breakfast and lunch – will be served in a café that sits beside exhibits about the history of java.

The café – the company’s 11th location in Hawaii along with 25 in Japan – will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The Experience Center will operate from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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Info: (808) 533-1500.

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