Guests can take a guided tour of the cherry-bearing coffee trees at the Kau Coffee Mill. // © 2013 Mindy Poder
Road trips allow you to see the off-the-beaten path spots in between the more established attractions. On my road trip from Hilo to Kona, I discovered delicious coffee in Kau, the southernmost district of Hawaii. While it’s not as well-known as Kona coffee (yet), Kau coffee continues to win over coffee fans, receiving awards from the Specialty Coffee Association of America for the last few years. At the Kau Coffee Mill, visitors can take a tour of the grounds — which feature rows of trees bearing green and red coffee cherries, and Kau coffee in its various stages: drying, in the pulping machine, getting roasted and, my favorite, freshly brewed. Don’t skip the Visitors Center which features original murals by local artist Kathleen Kam, along with information about the local coffee farmers, the mill and Kau’s coffee history.