From Origin

Boki’s Beans: A People’s History of Hawaiian Coffee


In 1866, a young correspondent for California’s Sacramento Daily Union visited the Kingdom of Hawai‘i and declared, “I think that Kona coffee has a richer flavor than any other, be it grown where it may and call it by what name you please.” The reporter’s name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known to his readers as Mark Twain. The beverage that Twain so effusively praised was brewed from the fruit of an exotic species. Arabic coffee, known to botanists as Coffea arabica, had taken root in Hawai‘i’s volcanic soils just a few decades before Twain’s arrival.

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