Parrotfish Adventures Visits Buddha’s Cup
Parrotfish Adventures is a travel blog with a focus on affordability and other ways to make your adventures more enjoyable. Teresa Henry explores the world while reviewing gear, experiences, and coffee shops for her fellow traveler. Her most recent expedition brought her to the Big Island of Hawaii, where she was determined to try Kona Coffee. She had been following Buddha’s Cup on Facebook for years and found out we were open for tours and tastings in the hills above Kona-Kailua, so she signed herself and her mom up for a visit immediately.
About Buddha’s Cup
In case you’re new here, Buddha’s Cup is a grower of gourmet coffee that offers six distinct brands that all operate under the farm’s dedication to quality and environmental awareness. All of the coffee is grown, processed, and roasted right there at the Buddha’s Cup farm and each brand has won multiple awards, certificates, and medals from organizations like Kona Cupping, Hawaii Coffee Association, the Olympic Awards in Greece, and Cream of the Crop.
Visiting the Farms
Teresa was charmed by the rustic visitors center that mirrors the colorful personality of the Facebook page. From there, she could look out over the 100-acre farmland, which overlooked the ocean. She was greeted by our friendly team who helped her and her mom get settled in with a cup of tea to wait for the tour to begin. Before too long, they were bucked into an ATV to explore the grounds with a guide. Teresa notes that the tour was one of the best she’s ever been on. The guide was passionate and knowledgeable, teaching Teresa and her mom about the botany of coffee farming and the fascinating local landscape while exploring the different farms.
What They Learned
Each farm produces a unique coffee in one of two categories: full sun and shaded. Originally, most coffee farmers planted their trees in full sun, believing that this would increase production. However, it was discovered that incorporating the trees into a shaded environment was better for the ecosystem and produced a less bitter taste to the coffee. Most of the Buddha’s Cup farms grow in shade under canopies of other trees. In the shade, the coffee cherries grow more slowly and have time to develop natural sugars and a better, smoother flavor to the bean. They also pick up the taste of the shade trees, allowing growers to customize bean flavor with macadamia nut, cinnamon, and others.
Back at the visitor center, Teresa and her mom sat on the covered porch to taste each of the five coffee brands they had just learned about. She was surprised by the dramatic differences in flavor between the brands. They also got to try chocolate-covered macadamia nuts and coffee cherries fresh from the farms, as well as homemade rum cake and Manny’s mango chutney.
The visit ended with a soothing cup of hibiscus tea to settle the caffeine from the coffee tasting. Teresa enjoyed the covered patio with her mom and watched the rain for a bit, noting that the entire experience had far exceeded her expectations. It was the highlight of her trip. Read more about Teresa’s adventure at the Buddha’s Cup coffee farms for details on the coffee flavors and more about the visitors center and farms.