Festival Honors & Awards

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“Congratulations to the winners of this year’s competitions! Every year, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival looks forward to this important event that really helps Kona carry forward the legacy and culture behind our cup of famous brew.

Our Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is as unique as the many hands that grow it, and we are so proud to lead the harvest celebration.”

Valerie Corcoran
Kona Coffee Cultural Festival President

UCC Hawaii Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Competition

UCC Hawaii Miss Kona Coffee
Scholarship Competition

Miss Kona Coffee is a scholarship competition offering valuable scholarships through its major sponsor UCC Coffee. Winners move on to the statewide Miss Hawaii pageant.

Miss Kona Coffee 2020 at the Scholarship Competition

Miss Kona Coffee 2020 – Carly Yoshida
Miss Aloha Hawaii 2020 – Katie Frederick

Carly Yoshida was crowned Miss Kona Coffee 2020 at the Scholarship Competition at the Aloha Theatre and will represent Kona Coffee for the next year in a variety of venues. As winner of the competition, Carly received a hosted trip to Japan courtesy of UCC Ueshima Coffee Company, a Kona Coffee Cultural Festival $5,000 scholarship, accommodation and wardrobe assistance to compete in the Miss Hawaii Scholarship Pageant and a sterling silver engraved Hawaiian bracelet courtesy of Lehua Jewelers among other prizes!

Contestants competed in the Miss America qualifying competition in categories including talent and evening wear. Seven young women vied for the coveted title in an evening of song, dance and nostalgic performances in front of a full house of supporters.

Miss Aloha Hawaii 2020 Katie Frederick is a home-schooled senior who wants to share her message with other girls and teens: “Authentic and important to grow through your growth. I’m overwhelmed and honored to represent this island,” she said. “I’m looking forward to an experience not like anything else,” she said. Frederick is looking forward to the title opening doors to new opportunities!

Iruka Hawaii Experiences’ Little Miss Kona Coffee
Scholarship Program at Aloha Theater

Congratulations to the Little Miss title holders!

UCC Hawaii Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Competition is leading the next generation of young women leaders to being well educated and well versed in all areas of life. An esteemed panel of seven judges will be tasked with crowning the next Miss Kona Coffee and Miss Aloha Hawaii at this year’s competition.

Mini Miss Kona Coffee 2020

Kealaula Kaiwe-Ramos, Age 6

Little Miss Kona Coffee 2020

Ni’ihau Alapai, Age 7

Young Miss Kona Coffee 2020

Diamond Kawaauhau. Age 10

Did you know?

Carolyn Suzanne Sapp

The first Miss America to be crowned from Hawai‘i got her start in the Miss Kona Coffee pageant. In 1988, Carolyn Suzanne Sapp won the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival’s title, then moved to the state competition, and next the nation!

Ueshima Coffee (UCC Hawaii) Corp. is a proud sponsor of the Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Pageant.
Good Luck to all of the 2021 Miss Kona Coffee contestants!

KTA Super Stores

KTA Super Stores Kona Coffee Recipe Contest at Hawaii Community College Palamanui

2019 Stores Recipe Contest Winners:

Professional Savory 1st Place awarded to Dawn Frazier, Menehune Coffee for her Kona Coffee Kalua Pork Appetizer entry

Professional Sweet 1st Place awarded to Donna Galacgac, Fairmont Orchid, for her Matcha Coffee Brulee Cake entry

Amateur Savory 1st Place awarded to Jane Dierenfield for her Kona Coffee Date Nut Bacon Appetizer entry

Amateur Sweet 1st Place awarded to Cynthia Pratt for her Kona Coffee Egg Nog Entry

College Culinary Student Savory 1st Place awarded to Blossom Kuanoni for her Kona Coffee BBQ Steak Salad entry

College Culinary Student Sweet 1st Place awarded to Vichadach Chatikawen for his Expresso Chocolate Mousse Cake entry

Keiki Snacks 1st Place awarded to Sophia Mastroleo for her Kona Coffee Rainbow Squares entry

Kona Classic Cupping Science:

Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Cupping Preliminary Round at Pacific Coffee Research / Hawaii Coffee Association’s Benefit Dinner & Cupping Awards Presentation at King Kamehameha Beach Hotel

Sponsored by UCC Ueshima Coffee Co. and Kamehameha Schools
Produced by Pacific Coffee Research

Brewing the perfect cup is an exact science of identifying roast profiles and characteristics of the cup and requires a lot of expertise. There are no shortcuts in each step taken to cultivate Kona’s coffee from farm to cup. The farmer, specific growing areas in Kona, weather, microclimates and varietal all influence the cup.

During the prestigious Kona Coffee Cupping Competition, cupping judges, trained as Licensed Q Graders, will evaluate single estate farms and large farm coffee entries in a double blind tasting enduring objectivity. Farms from across the Kona coffee belt enter their best beans to put before these judges who scrutinize their harvest. After evaluating each cup’s coffee characteristics including aroma, body, sweetness, and acidity, judges give each cup a score, and the scores are tallied up. The field gets cut back until a final round is cupped, awarding two farms with the prestigious winning score. Sounds like science best left to the cupping judges.

Judges cup their way through over 55 Kona coffee farm entries! Kona Classic entries are single estate farms and the Kona Crown Division is set aside for larger farms and professional processing mills including known brands sold to Kona coffee aficionados around the world. Yet, both divisions share common rules for entering the Kona Coffee Cupping Competition.

All coffee entered must be 100% Kona coffee, grown solely in the district of Kona on the island of Hawaii. State of Hawaii law requires that any coffee labeled as Kona coffee must be of grade Prime or better.

Hawaiian Queen Coffee Wins Kona Crown Competition Division

Hawaiian Queen Coffee

Hawaiian Queen Coffee received the 1st place award at the 2019 Cupping Competition during the 49th annual festival! This is the third time that they have won the premiere cupping (best tasting) competition for Kona coffee! Hawaiian Queen Coffee’s win in the Kona Crown Competition Division is reserved for larger estates. The company, which started in 2008, has about 60 pickers and workers.

Hula Daddy Kona Coffee Wins Classic Division

Hula Daddy Kona Coffee

Hula Daddy Kona Coffee won the coveted Classic Division for single-estate farms. The husband-and-wife team of Karen and Lee Paterson do all the work themselves on their 30-acre Holualoa spread, and have been since 2002.

Both winning farms said taking part in the competition is a healthy way for coffee growers to push each other to strive for quality product, which benefits everyone. It’s a like-minded community that cares about its craft, working for the greater good.

Kona coffee farms are entered in two competitive divisions, Kona Classic and Kona Crown, separate single estate and larger farms.

Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Cupping Hall of Fame

2019 Hula Daddy Kona Coffee
2018 Monarch Coffee
2016 Hula Daddy Kona Coffee
2015 Aikane Kona Coffee
2014 Hula Daddy Kona Coffee
2013 Mountain Thunder
2012 Kona RainForest Farm
2011 Kainaliu Kona Coffee Company
2010 Buddha’s Cup
2009 Wolf Farms
2008 Hoshide Farms

2007 Kona Old Style/Kuaiwi Farm
2006 Pearl Estate Organics
2005 Rancho Aloha
2004 Lafayette Coffee
2003 Kona Coffee & Tea Company
2002 Koa Coffee Plantation
2001 Wood Captain Cook Estate
2000 The Other Farm
1999 Dragon Roast Coffee
1998 Brockston Gate Estate
1997 Terry Fitzgerald Estate

1996 Keokea Kona Farm
1995 Kona Kulana Farms
1994 Perry Estate Farms
1993 Keopu Mauka Lani Plantation
1992 Kona Kulana Farms
1991 Wailapa Farms
1990 Island Girl Coffee
1989 Wailapa Farms
1988 Faye Takashiba
1987 Tojiro Motoki

Kona Crown Division Winners

2019 Hawaiian Queen Coffee
2018 Kona Coffee & Tea Company
2016 Kona Gold Rum Coffee Company, LLC
2015 Arianna Farms ‘Ono Kona Coffee
2014 Hawaiian Queen Coffee
2013 Hawaiian Queen Coffee
2012 Arianna Farms ‘Ono Kona Coffee
2011 Arianna Farms ‘Ono Kona Coffee
2009 Kona Coffee & Tea Company
2008 Kowali Farms
2007 Arianna Farms ‘Ono Kona Coffee

Kona Coffee Latte Art Throwdown

Kona Coffee Latte Art Throwdown

Pacific Coffee Research and Kona Coffee & Tea are teaming up for the third annual Kona Coffee Festival Latte Art Throw Down! We invite all community baristas to participate in this fun, fast-paced event to showcase our local talent as they work their creative magic in a cup of 100% Kona espresso!

FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE! Space is limited to 18 competitors. Bring $5 cash to buy into the competition – winner take’s all – plus, one round-trip airfare with Alaska Airlines!

Free entry for spectators with festival button ($5) and will be sold at door. Pupus and adult beverages will be served.

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, events and activities may be subject to change. Please check back for current updates.