Kona, Hawaii, early November
Credit: Getty Images

You'll find that nobody takes coffee more seriously than theresidents of Kona, Hawaii. That's because they've been growingcoffee in the region since the early 19th century. "Kona coffee ismeticulously cared for from the time that it is planted throughoutits life, which can span several generations -- human, not plant,"says Scott McClung, event director for the festival'scoffee-brewing competition. "It's one of the finest tasting,moderately caffeinated, low-acid coffees found anywhere."

Connoisseurs who make this trip to coffee paradise can picktheir own beans at the picking contest, take living history farmtours to learn about life on family coffee farms, or stroll throughthe upcountry town of Holualoa and enjoy free tastes of pure Konacoffee. The festival's big event is the Gevalia Kona Coffee CuppingCompetition, in which a panel of international Master Cuppersdetermines the best coffee of the year. "Cupping is to coffee aswine tasting is to wine," McClung explains. To learn more, check www.konacoffeefest.com.