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“Enjoyed it”
Review of Mountain Thunder

Mountain Thunder
Ranked #10 of 132 things to do in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Up in the rain forest above Kona, Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation is the highest grown coffee in the state of Hawaii and the largest organic coffee farm in the state as well. 2011 Good Food Awards 1st place winner and 2011 & 2012 Kona Cream of the Crop 1st place winner. 2012 & 2013 SIAL Golden Bean award winner (international competition held in Canada). 2013 Hawaii Coffee Association Cupping Contest: 1st place Kona District and 1st place Commercial Division. 2013 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Cupping Contest 1st Place Classic Division. Mountain Thunder offers Free tours daily (no reservation required, walk-ins welcome!), on the hour every hour between 10am and 4pm (1st tour starts at 10am, last tour starts at 4pm). VIP tours and roasting lessons are available by appointment only, Cost ranges from $65.00 - $199.00. Book a VIP tour or Roasting lesson through Mountain Thunder's website (link above). Must book at least 24 hrs in advance.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Stroller parking
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Enjoyed it”
Reviewed August 16, 2013 via mobile

I really didn't have any expectations of the tour as I have never visited a small organic coffee farm before. We arrived without making any reservations or signing up for a tour. We were greeted right away, given coffee samples, and watched a segment of Dirty Jobs where Mike Rowe had done an episode on the farm. I thought that was cool because I like the show, and my wife likes Mike Rowe ;). The tour was very informative, our guide was friendly. We learned a little about the different grades of coffee, the drying and roasting process, and their unique process of sorting beans in a quest for a zero-defect product. For some reason I thought there would be more to the process (the manufacturing side of things) but it was quite small and simple. We bought a few things at the gift shop and were finished in about an hour. I wouldn't call it a "must see" but it was something I enjoyed and would recommend it to others.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank ElJefedeDiablo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cary, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great, educational”
Reviewed August 16, 2013

After reading reviews of the spoiled brats who rated this tour poorly, I had to write. Tour guide is great. She gave excellent, clear and educational facts about coffee and how it is produced for the consumer as well as educated us about what to look for in coffee. Gift shop access is restricted to after tour because it is not staffed. This is a small but real WORKING plantation and therefore staff is also needed to process coffee, not cater to spoiled tourists. COFFEE IS GREAT AS ARE OTHER SAMPLES. Would recommend to everyone!!! Keep your Starbucks!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Tim K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sudbury, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
“tour was really late in starting- but very educational”
Reviewed August 14, 2013

The tour was almost 30 minutes late in starting which was difficult. You sit in a very nice outdoor cafe and can try the coffee and a variety of teas while you watch clips from various documentaries that have filmed at the plantation. There is also a wild cat named Boo that is amusing and some chickens running around. The plantation is up in the Kalako Cloud Forest so the drive up is very interesting. Follow the directions on the website and it is easy to find--don't use GPS or GOOGLE- you won't get there. You don't have to hike down into the coffee fields- they have planted trees near the road to make it easy. You get wonderful education on the coffee tree, as well as other uses of native teas for medicinal and herbal properties. Don't go on a Sunday because they don't generally roast coffee. That being said we did tour on a Sunday and got lucky that the roasters didn't come on Saturday. You do get to see the sorting machines, bags of beans. We got to watch the roasting process and even helped select the right color. There is a gift shop that you can visit at the end. There was no doubt that by the end of our tour we knew A LOT about making and growing coffee- but the late start was really irksome.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank KAJMJPM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
2 reviews
“Tours don't start on time”
Reviewed August 13, 2013

This seemed like a pretty small tour. They had some free coffee and tea to taste, as well as video of their features on various TV shows on a loop. But the tour didn't start on the hour as promised, and after waiting for 40 minutes, we were told that the next tour wouldn't start until the NEXT hour. We ended up just leaving because we didn't have time. A huge time sink! The coffee seemed overrated.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Sarah L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seal Beach, California
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Very Entertaining & Informative Tour”
Reviewed August 13, 2013

A little tricky to find, the signs to this place are very small, but well worth the effort. The climate changes very quick on the relatively short drive from Waikoloa from sunny to overcast & misty, but I guess that is why the coffee plants like that. The guide was very informative. We got to see coffee plants, the sorting location, where they roast the beans and the packing area. We were lucky to catch the tour while they were doing the roasting. The prices at the shop was competitive. The the red label package (Coffee beans from other growers that Mountain Thunder roasts and package) is the same price as at Costco in Kona. The green label package (beans grown & roasted here) you can't find at Costco and it is pricey, but remember this is not Folgers!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Cheapasian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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