I am someone who, regardless of where I travel, is always on the look out for delicious coffee. It is one of life’s simple pleasures, and for me, one of few vices save for soya chai lattes and the very occasional glass of rosé. So you can see why stepping off the plane in Kona had me feeling as though I had somehow died and gone to heaven. I was overwhelmed by the infinite stream of coffee shops that lined every street – remote or not. And with every whiff of this delightful liquid bliss, I wanted – regardless of the hour – to sit down with yet another cup.
Kona coffee, rich in flavor, is also rich in history. Brought over from Brazil in the early 1800s, coffee has been Kona’s claim to fame ever since. Kona coffee, even though it has a strong and enticing aroma, is actually quite gentle on the palette, and it precisely this exquisite contradiction that has garnered it such high acclaim in the international coffee community.
There are a number of wonderful places I can recommend you visit for a cup of Hawaiian Joe, but the one that stands out in my mind is the Coffee Shack. It is important to note that this place is by no means a shack, but rather, a lovely old plantation-style home that sits perched on a cliff and boasts stunning views of the Pacific and the volcanic coastline.
The Coffee Shack, a breakfast/lunch hot spot popular amongst locals and visitors alike, offers a tremendously long menu that gets your mouth watering the second you crack it open. Between the views, the gentle breeze and the over-sized plates piled with fresh produce and breakfast favorites, who could not resist this place, I thought as the host led us to our table. I started by ordering a cup of – yes, you guessed it – Kona coffee.
It actually turned out to be a mug very close in size to my head, but that didn’t stop me from draining it. The meal was fantastic – ordered a light lunch as we had eaten earlier that morning – but were I not so hungry, I could’ve quite easily been content with just the cup of coffee and the view. The coffee is that good.
The Coffee Shack was one of the last places we visited before catching our flight back to O’ahu, and I can’t imagine a better close to an already fantastic trip (more on this later). Ultimately, the joys of coffee are never to be under-estimated, and it is one of the biggest reasons – beauty aside – that I will happily return to the Big Island time and again.
Should you find yourself in Kona and wanting to visit the Coffee Shack, it can be found on Highway 11 just south of Kealakekua Bay. For more detailed directions or a look at their menu, they can be found at www.coffeeshack.com.