Coffee & Greenwell Family Heritage

158 The Greenwell Farms legacy began in 1850 when Henry Nicholas Greenwell left England and first set foot on the fertile soil of rural Kona.

Together with his wife, Elizabeth Caroline, Henry spent the next forty years farming, ranching and perfecting his Kona Coffee soon exporting it to Europe and the Americas. In 1873, the President of the Kaiser’s Exposition awarded the Greenwells a “Recognition Diploma” for their Kona Coffee at the World’s Fair in Vienna, Austria.

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Modern Coffee Times

157Today, Greenwell Farms is situated in the heart of the Kona Coffee growing region (see map) adjacent to the ancestral home of Henry and Elizabeth, which is now occupied by the Kona Historical Society and Museum.

Managed by the descendants of Henry and Elizabeth, Greenwell Farms has evolved into a multi faceted Agribusiness:

The farming operation is located on the same farmland once cultivated by the Greenwell Family in the 1800’s. Today Greenwell Farms employs modern farming practices to ensure consistent supply and the highest quality possible.

In addition to farming, the company purchases coffee cherry (just harvested) from over 300 farmers in the North and South Kona Regions. We operate our own pulping and drying facilities, dry mill and greenbean grading and storage facility.

A roasting plant is located on the farm to roast and package Greenwell Farms Coffee.
The company ships green bean to the gourmet coffee industry around the world and over the years has established itself as the premiere source of Kona Coffee.

In Kona, the company provides custom milling, roasting and packaging for the Kona Coffee industry on the Big Island.

Our Farm Tour has become a very popular tourist stop along the Mamalahoa Highway.
From the growing, processing and roasting to the final cup, everything about the excellence that is Kona Coffee can be traced back to the high standards set so many years ago in 1850.

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Coffee Brewing

Coffee brewing is not a science, but an art.

  • For best results, grind your beans just prior to brewing. We recommend using a coarse to percolator grind for the filter-drip system method of brewing.
  • Always use a clean coffee maker. Make sure there is no residue from previous usage.
  • Use filtered or spring cold water only. Do not start with warm or hot water.
  • Use two level tablespoons for every cup (6 ounces) of water.
  • For an average 10 cup maker, (60 liquid ounces) use about 3 ounces of ground coffee. Adjust for your taste preference.
  • Remove spent grounds immediately to prevent bitterness.
  • Serve coffee immediately. If coffee must stand before serving, hold it in a vacuum carafe to preserve flavor.
  • Never reheat or boil coffee.
  • Enjoy with someone special.
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Processing Coffee Cherry

  • It takes 4.25 pounds of coffee cherry to produce one pound of dried parchment.
  • Each day’s harvest must be processed that day to ensure the highest quality in the final product.
  • Coffee cherry is delivered to a facility called a pulping mill. Here, the under ripened and over-ripened cherries are discarded and the pulp from each remaining coffee cherry is then removed.
  • Each coffee cherry contains two separate coffee beans. After pulping, these beans are referred to as wet parchment.
  • The wet parchment is then held in a fermentation tank for 12 to 14 hours. The fermentation is required to break down a mucilage layer on the outer surface of the parchment.
  • After the fermentation, the parchment is then washed and then dried.
  • Dried parchment is then reposed (allowed to rest) at least 30 days to allow the moisture to equalize within each bean. This helps to ensure an “even” roast.
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Growing Coffee

  • Orchard Establishment – A coffee orchard requires three to fours years of maintenance before a significant crop can be harvested.
  • Growing Cycle – Coffee trees typically bloom in the late winter to early spring. Harvesting occurs in the fall through late winter.
  • Mature coffee beans form into clusters of red berries, referred to as coffee cherry.
  • Harvesting is all done by hand. A coffee picker can pick between 200 and 400 pounds of coffee cherry per day. The work is very hard and demanding.
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Processing Coffee Parchment

It takes 1.25 pounds of dried parchment to produce one pound of green bean coffee.

  • Dried parchment is delivered to the Dry Mill where the parchment skin is removed by a gentle hulling process.
  • The coffee beans, now referred to as green bean, are then separated into categories of bean size. They are then graded according to density by running over an Oliver gravity table. This ensures that only the perfectly formed beans are bagged and certified. This process is called grading the coffee and is dictated by a strict set of guidelines administered by the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture.
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Coffee Roasting and Packaging

It takes 1.25 pound of green bean to make one pound of roasted coffee.

  • Green bean is delivered to the roasting facility.
  • The roasting process is carefully monitored and timed to create a variety of roasts to meet the varied tastes or our customers.
  • Grinding and/or flavoring are performed on the coffee after roasting.
Throughout the entire process from seed to roasted coffee package, each step is carefully designed to provide the highest quality possible. For every one pound of roasted coffee delivered to our customers, over 6 lbs of coffee cherry is required.
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Roasted Coffee Storage Tips

Greenwell Farms roasts fresh 100% Kona Coffee Beans daily.  Freshly roasted whole bean and ground coffee is promptly packaged in air tight foil bags.  All 8 ounce and larger bags have one way valves that only allow air out, and nothing in.  This packaging keeps our coffee fresh.  But what about after you open it?

  • Coffee should be stored in an airtight container away from heat and light.
  • Store whole beans at room temperature.
  • Store ground coffee in freezer.


Here is what I do at home.  After I open my bag of Greenwell Farms whole bean 100% Kona coffee, I fold the open top of the bag down, holding it closed with a “chip clip”.  Then I place it in a Zip Lock gallon bag and put it in my cupboard until the next time I make coffee.  If I buy ground, I place it in my freezer instead of the cupboard.    Aloha and Mahalo.

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Sneak Peek! The NEW Greenwell Farms Konawaena Farm

The rains have returned and our new “Konawaena” farm above the Mamalahoa Highway is coming to life. This is a 40 acre farm that we are currently developing and is the source of our award winning Jeni K Signature Coffee.

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This first view shows trees just stumped this year in the foreground. Next month, our crews will remove all but the best 3 or 4 vertical branches on each tree. Stumping the trees after two years of production is needed to maintain peak production from each tree. Next season these trees will cycle into production for two years before being stumped again.

The next section above are producing trees this season. The cleared area in the distance is the final 20 acres on this farm that we are planting this year.

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This is a view of the producing trees on the Konawaena Farm. Note the amount of green cherries on each branch. We anticipate a very high quality crop this next season from this farm.

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Greenwell Farms Featured in Islands Magazine

Greenwell Farms was featured in the May issue of Islands Magazine. The article is beautiful expose on coffee in Kona and about Greenwell Farms. We are particularly excited that Islands Magazine opted to focus on the people who work here at Greenwell Farms. Look for it at newsstands or on line at

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Carl the Chameleon

Aloha from Greenwell Farms on the Big Island of Hawaii!

I want to share some exciting news today with everyone.  Our very popular and most excellent tour guide Daniel, wrote a children’s book, “Carl the Chameleon”.  Today we received our first shipment from the publisher.  “Carl the Chameleon” is a story about the family of Jackson Chameleons that live in the Orange Tree next to Greenwell Farms Tour Center and Retail Store.  If you have visited Greenwell Farms, you probably know how popular of an attraction this family of Jackson Chameleons are with our guests.  “Carl the Chameleon” is an enjoyable read that both young and young at heart are sure to enjoy.  Available now at Greenwell Farms online and at the Retail Store. 

Aloha and Mahalo from Greenwell Farms.

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Greenwell Farms is truly blessed with the absolute best guests!

Greenwell Farms is truly blessed with the absolute best guests!

This morning I received a wonderful email from a family that had recently visited Greenwell Farms.  This email really brightened my day and included several photos taken while they were here at Greenwell Farms.  Here is an absolutely adorable photo of this very nice family’s four year old daughter Anabella with our farm dog Lola.  This photo brought me joy and made me smile.  I wanted to share this photo with all of you in the hope that it has the same effect with you and brightens your day as well.

Aloha and Mahalo from Greenwell Farms.

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