The first coffee in Hawaii was supposedly planted in 1813 on the island of Oahu with further planting on a number of the islands using cuttings and seedlings from Brazil and the Philippines. The first few attempts to grow coffee commercially didn’t meet with much success.
Coffee cuttings were planted on Kona Island in 1928 by a local pastor more for decoration than harvesting. The plants thrived but were largely ignored until the sugar cane boom. Lucky for coffee, cane couldn’t grow on Kona so attention turned to coffee. By now, it had become clear that insects and coffee scale were too much of a challenge on the other islands. Kona has its own ‘coffee belt’ approximately 2 miles wide with an elevation of 210 – 610 MASL. Roughly 3,200 hectares is planted with coffee, most farms are small, less than two hectares. Its estimated that there are approximately 630 farms in the Coffee Belt.