Most days on Kauai’s southwest shore it’s not uncommon for the warm, tropical breeze to carry the subtle scent of freshly roasted coffee due to the Kauai Coffee roasting plant being located here. From late February to early May, however, you can see and smell coffee in a different and delightful way on the farm. As the season changes and the wet weather of winter shifts into spring, Kauai coffee trees are a treat for the eyes and nose as the delicately-scented white blossoms emerge from the branches in a spectacular display.
Coffee Blossoms In Season
To say the coffee blossom season is one of our favorites on the farm is an understatement. While we may not ever see the frozen stuff on Kauai (unlike our neighbors to the south Hawaii Island and Maui) to see the coffee trees and gentle hills of the farm covered in snowy-white blossoms makes for a short but stunning sight each year.
Coffee blossoms generally appear a few days to a few weeks after significant rainfall or extended wet weather and last for only a few days before withering and falling from the branch to make room for the coffee cherry to grow. At Kauai Coffee, our trees typically bloom between late February and May. There will be 1-2 big blooms over that period and several smaller blooms in between as well. If you live on Kauai or are planning a springtime visit to the island don’t miss the chance to take a Farm Tour to try to catch a glimpse of the blossoms before they are gone.
Botanically speaking, coffee is part of the Rubiaceae family of flowering plants which includes several recognizable and economically-important plants including Gardenia and Cinchona which produces the medicinal and antimalarial alkaloid, quinine. Arabica coffee which is the species of coffee we grow at Kauai Coffee is a self-pollinating plant, and you can see coffee cherries start to form just 2-3 days after a blossom appears, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love when our little pollinating friends come to visit. Some studies show that when bees and other pollinating insects visit coffee trees, the yield and quality of the beans improves.
Every coffee flower you see on a branch will equal one coffee cherry in about 7 month’s time, so if visiting bees equal more blossoms we definitely want more of our buzzy buddies to pay us a visit. In fact, we work with local beekeepers who bring their hives to the farm every year. Bees aren’t just helpful in the pollination department, but also produce blossom honey, a locally-made and seasonal sweet treat we love and sell in our store and online when available. Sign up for in-stock notifications to find out when this delicate and floral honey is back on our shelves.
If the showy blossoms aren’t enough to entice you to visit Kauai Coffee this spring, maybe the intoxicating scent of coffee blossoms will do the trick. In short, coffee flowers smell divine. Tropical and floral like jasmine or gardenia yet subtle and sweet with notes of brown sugar and vanilla, coffee blossoms produce a rare and complex scent occasionally found in luxury perfume products and essential oil form, but there is nothing like experiencing the aroma in person.
Book a Farm Tour
Coffee blossom season is here! It is short but very sweet, so head to the Kauai Coffee Visitors Center for a self-guided tour or guided Farm Tour to get a glance at and a whiff of the fleeting florals soon.