About Us

History of Sugai Kona Coffee

Sugai Kona Coffee is able to present some of the best Kona Coffee has to offer because of the rich heritage of Kona Coffee farmers on both sides of the family. It all began in the 1890's when Grandma Omoto's parents emigrated from Hiroshima, Japan and farmed Kona coffee while living in grass shacks and using primitive equipment. Grandma Omoto married Grandpa Omoto in 1930 and they farmed Kona coffee intensively.

Life as a coffee farmer was a struggle, as the price of the coffee was down more often than it was up. During the down times, they weaved lauhala baskets and sold produce as well. Their second daughter, Hilda, married Fusao Sugai in 1956. He also had a history in Kona Coffee farming. His parents Kurakichi and Seiki Sugai (as shown above) arrived around 1900 from Japan and raised Fusao working on the coffee farm. Hilda and Fusao worked on the family Kona Coffee farm for many years while raising their family.

They passed down the business to their youngest son, Lee, in 1989. Lee has attended many schools, acquiring a Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering degree. Lee married Mimi Kim and they have two beautiful children, Marshall and Dana (as shown above). Lee has invaluable knowledge of farming and roasting coffee that was passed down to him from generation to generation. He invites you see for yourself the results of years of Kona Coffee farming in the Sugai Family.

2002 Kona Coffee Festival Finalist In the Kona Coffee Cupping Competition

 The Kona Coffee Cupping Competition is a two-day event at the annual Kona Coffee Festival where as many as 60 farmers enter their finest coffees to be judged by a panel of renowned experts.

They base their score on four positive attributes: fragrance and aroma, taste, acidity, and body, and three negative attributes: freshness, off flavors, and defects.

After 10 years of not entering, Lee Sugai entered in 2002 an estate coffee that received 2nd place out of 62 entries. This award-winning coffee is available to you here on our web store.


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