Japanese Immigrants Helped Put Kona’s Coffee Bean on the Map

Dan Nakasone
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

As I listened to Takeo Nakasone’s story, I was struck by a sense of place and time that began on a coffee farm on the western slope of Hualälai on Hawai‘i Island. It is where Takeo grew up on his parents’ farm in beautiful Hölualoa in North Kona in the 1930s. His story is part of a bigger one, the unfamiliar backstory of the much-praised Kona Coffee. Most of us have had a cup of the famous brew, but not many of us know its humble and true grit origins story.

So, before we delve into Takeo’s story, let’s take a step back in time and retrace the journey of this incredible, flavor-filled bean from Kona.

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