Rules and Registration Information


  1. Any coffee entered into the competition must be 100% Kona Coffee and must be grown in the district of Kona.
  1. Competition coffees will be scored on the globally accepted and recognized Specialty Coffee Association cupping format and scoring methodology using a 100 point scale. Coffees will be evaluated in a double-blind format.
  1. Competitors may enter either the Kona Crown or Kona Classic division.

Kona Crown: Growers or processors may enter this division. Coffee may be grown by entrants or purchased from other Kona coffee farms. Corporate brands and multi-estate coffees are eligible as long as they are 100% Kona. Coffee may be entered under the name of the farm owner, farm manager, farm name or corporation. Only one entry per entity. A batch of at least 1000 pounds of green bean coffee must be reserved for the competition. The green beans must be graded Number One (#17 screen size) or higher and must meet all Hawai’i state standards for certified 100% Kona green bean coffee. The green beans entered must be sampled from and representative of the 1000 lbs held in reserve and designated as the Kona Coffee cupping competition entry lot – Kona Crown division for the particular year. The 1000 lbs must be certified by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and the sample must be selected from the certified lot. UCC Coffee reserves the right to purchase some or all of the first, second and/or third place winning lots at fair market value. Terms of sale will be net 30 days from the date of the cupping awards announcement, November 5, 2021.

  • The Kona Crown Award is given to the top three scoring coffees in the KCCF Cupping Competition using the Specialty Coffee Association cupping scoring system and protocol.

Kona Classic: This division is reserved for growers of smallholder farms. Each entrant is limited to three entries per FARM.All coffees entered from each farm will be cupped but only the highest scoring coffee per farm will be eligible to move on from the Qualifying Round and eligible for an award. Each entrymust be differentiated by Variety, Cultivation Method, or Processing Method.

Each entry must be under the direct control (owned, leased, rented, or managed) of the entrant by the date of the first round of cupping. In celebration of the Kona coffee Heritage profile, coffees in this division will also be evaluated against a pre-defined profile for the Kona Heritage Profile Award

  • The Kona Specialty Award is given to the top three scoring coffees in the KCCF Cupping Competition using the Specialty Coffee Association cupping scoring system and protocol.
  • The Kona Heritage Award is defined as a clean cup exhibiting low level acidity, a medium body, medium sweetness, and free of defect. This coffee will be grown in the Kona district, Kona Typica variety, and Parchment Dried (AKA: washed process using wild yeast strains). All coffees entered in the Specialty division, meeting these requirements, are automatically considered for the Heritage Profile Award. One award will be given to the coffee earning the highest SCA score in combination with meeting the Kona profile criteria.
  1. Scores will be calculated and published to two decimal-points of precision, (e.g. 85.65). Coffees receiving the same score to two decimal-points of precision within the same division will be considered to be tied.
  2. All entrants into either division must submit 2 lbs of green (unroasted) 100% Kona coffee beans.
  • Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDoA) certification is not required for coffee cupping entries submitted in the Kona Classic division but all entries must meet minimum certification standards.
  • Kona Crown division entries must have HDoA certification; this applies to the total 1000-lb lot, not just the entry sample. A copy of HDoA certificate must be included with the entry.
  • Any leftover green or roasted samples will not be returned.
  1. The cupping competition is a closed event and not open to the public. However, representatives of the cupping panel will be available at the Cupping Competition Awards Ceremony and their contact information will be shared should entrants be interested in following up.
  2. Coffees will be cupped in two rounds:
  • Qualifying Round: All coffees will be cupped and scored using the SCA Cupping Protocol. Coffees will be cupped over a two to three day period, depending on how many entries are received. Scores for the Qualifying Round will be tabulated by taking an average of each Cupping Panelists’ score.In cases where a farm has entered more than one coffee into the competition, only the highest scoring coffee per farm will be eligible to move on from the Qualifying Round.
  • Final Round: Top 25 scoring coffees will be cuppedfor a second time in the Final Round. Coffees in this round will be cupped over one full day. Scores for the Final Round will be tabulated by taking an average of each Cupping Panelists’ score.
  1. Scores from the Qualifying Round will not be considered in the Final Score.  Coffees that make it into the final round will be re-cupped and only those scores from the Final Round will be used in the final ranking score.
  1. The score and ranking of all coffees scoring 80.0 points and above (the minimum score to be considered a specialty coffee) will be publicly released. There will be no public release or identification of coffees scoring less than 80.0 points.
  1. All entries will receive a full cupping report via email within one week from the Awards Ceremony on November 5, 2021.

Registration and Payment Information Entry Fee: $75 per entry

To register and pay via check, fill out the check registration form on the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival website. Checks can be dropped off with submission or mailed in. Please make checks payable to Kona Coffee Cultural Festival and sent in with coffee submission. Be sure to include a copy of your check registration form (that will be emailed to you after you fill out on the website).

Payment can also be made on the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival website via credit card.

Submissions begin on Monday, September 27 and must be received by Friday, October 15, 2021 at 4pm

For each entry, mail or drop off two (2) pounds of green coffee and a copy of the completed registration form (which will be emailed to you after you submit on the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival website) to:


75-5568 Mamalahoa Hwy, Holualoa, HI 96725

(808) 322-0750

Drop off times: Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm

From Monday, Sept. 27 to Friday, Oct. 15

Pacific Coffee Research (MAIL IN ONLY)

81-990 Halekii St #1969 Kealakekua , HI 96750

  • Please contact Pacific Coffee Research with any questions
Due to COVID19 , events and activities may be subject to change. Please check back for current updates.