Friday, July 15, 2011

A Tea Drinker's Take on Coffee

As you know, I am an avowed tea drinker. Coffee is just not my thing. Plus I have something personal against paying lunch prices for a fancy cup of joe. Although I did develop a penchant for McDonald's' mocha frappes last summer....

On our recent trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, Himself (who drinks even less coffee than I -- exactly none) and I spent a few days in Kona, land of the quintessential coffee. One morning, we stopped in for a free tour at Greenwell Farms, a coffee farm in existence since 1850 and still owned by the Greenwell family. The tour was extremely informative and interesting. Since the tours are informal, there were only five people in our group, so we could ask all the questions we wanted. (I have some photos of coffee trees more than 100 years old and still producing, but I'm still on the library computers and can't upload the photos.)

Of course, there were samples galore at the end of the tour. Greenwell does not offer sugar or milk with their samples, as they want the coffee's individual flavor to take center stage. Himself and I both sampled several varieties, and I fell in love with the chocolate macadamia nut (decaf for me, please). I bought a bag to bring home, and I drink it black, thanks very much. Me, who has always added sugar and milk! Alas, Himself is not a convert; he thought a few were pretty good, but that's all.

Then again, I'm no convert either. I'll always be a tea drinker. But it's nice to branch out once in a while, isn't it?


  1. The Big Island is my home away from home....island style. We love Kailua-Kona and I have been to Greenwell several times.

    I drink Kona coffee exclusively...nothing like its flavor and the aroma is like heaven. In fact, sipping an iced Kona coffee right now. :)

    I dream of Kona just about every day and count the days until we will go again. The best snorkeling in the world too. We love it so much there that we even named our dog Kona (affectionately called Kona Bean).

    Enjoy your macadamia nut macs too! Did you go to the mac farms in Hilo? That is interesting too.

  2. Hi Ellen,
    Since coming to the UK nearly 20 years ago I've become as much of a tea-drinker as my English and Irish in-laws. But I still love one cup of coffee in the morning (decaf). Your trip to Greenwell Farms sounds really interesting. I have to say, chocolate macadamia nut coffee sounds so good that I might even venture to try it without milk! I think coffee and chocolate is a fabulous combination of flavours.
    (Thank you also for your very kind comment on my blog - I've been overwhelmed by all the supportive comments from people trying to find the same family/interests balance! I hope you're enjoying your time in Maine.)

  3. Hi Barb! We did not visit any mac farms this time (see how optimistic I am about our returning?); we were on a tight budget time-wise. Regarding Kona coffee: I have seen the light!

  4. Christine, I know how sketchy it can be to sip coffee without milk, but this particular coffee has been a revelation to me! But I concur that every other coffee gets a generous splash of milk or cream and some sugar (preferably Sugar in the Raw, another Hawaiian product).


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