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Learn & Live at Origin

How would you like to take an educational vacation on a Hawaiian coffee farm and learn about specialty Hawaiian coffee from Hawaii’s Grand Champion coffee producers? Snack on exotic fruit while learning to roast coffee, or witness a lamb giving birth while harvesting yellow caturra?

If you’ve been eager to dive into specialty coffee, and traveling to the volcanic jungle of Puna sounds like fun, you may want to read on…

We hold 1-week and 2-week coffee courses each year during Hawaii’s coffee harvest season (September–February). Nearly every facet of coffee production can be experienced on our 3-acre farm: growing, processing, drying, milling, size grading, roasting and bagging. In addition to experiencing coffee production, students gain a deeper understanding of specialty coffee and Hawaii’s coffee growing regions through cupping, lecture, farm tours and hands-on experience.

The approach we take is simple and very effective: immerse students in all things coffee. By balancing lecture, practice, and hands-on experience, we provide valuable exposure, time to focus, and the space to engage with coffee craftsmen. You will expand and hone your vocabulary and increase awareness of your palate.

Like us, you will be inundated by coffee at least 5 days per week. On the weekends, you can take a tour through Kazumura cave, bus to Volcano National Park, reflect while swinging in a hammock, or advance your coffee geekery.

Coffee Courses


Lecture topics include:
geography & terroir
general cultivation & varietals
processing techniques & effects
post-process care
roasting thermodynamics & bean chemistry
cupping protocol

Cupping may include:
water quality
ripeness variation
roast profiles
processing changes
Hawaii regions

Hands-on training includes:
daily La Nez Du Cafe practice
regular cupping
sample roasting (Hottop)
profile & production roasting (Diedrich)
harvesting & hand sorting

Iyengar yoga classes, farm tours, Kazumura cave exploration, cooking and food preservation, cliff diving, snorkeling, learn about sustainable living & more.

What’s included?
Bedroom & linens, laundry facilities, kitchen usage, wi-fi, telephone & coffee, of course. Vegetable, fruit and eggs are also included. Students must provide any other food desired. IF we have extra lamb and/or boar, we’re happy to share. Any additional items must be purchased by students. Limited vehicle and/or bicycle usage can be arranged.

We are no longer accepting applications for 2015.

Roasting Course – $2000
2 students per session. Classes run Monday – Friday, 35-40 hours instruction
7/13/2014 – 7/18/2014
2/22/2015 – 2/27/2015 
This course is a 5-day roasting intensive. We begin by covering topics such as terroir, processing methods, drying, storage and green bean analysis. Having some understanding of these concepts will help in your understanding of heat transfer into the bean. Hands-on coffee roasting includes sample roasting and production roasting. We will also cover the profile roasting process. Student must have experience cupping to be accepted to this course.

Tree to Cup – $1600
2 students per session. Classes run Monday – Friday, 30-35 hours instruction. 
9/14 – 9/19
9/28 – 10/3
10/12 – 10/17
10/26 – 10/31
11/9 – 11/14
This is a hands-on experience where you will travel with the bean from tree to cup. Students participate in harvesting, fermenting, milling, grading, roasting and cupping. You will engage all your senses, and we enhance your experiences with lecture. If you’re serious about coffee or trying to determine if you are, this is the course for you.
Brief Overview
Day 1: a.m. harvesting, p.m. processing + cupping
Day 2: drying, storage, milling, grading + cupping
Day 3: geography & terroir, defects, green bean analysis + cupping
Day 4: sample & production roasting + cupping
Day 5: adventure or education of your choice

Tree to Cup: 12 days – $2000
2 students per session. 4 class days + 4 harvest days + 4 free days, 35-40 hours instruction
Dates: 11/23/2014 – 12/5/2014
This is an extended version of the Bean to Cup course for those interested in a more relaxed atmosphere and longer exposure and engagement of farm lifestyle. You will spend more time in the field and have more opportunities to deepen elements of your coffee experience and learning. Explore and enjoy Hawaii, talk with us about your business plans, drink a beer while reading a book and petting cat — you’ll have the time and space to do it.

What now?

When you’re ready to apply, fill out the Coffee School Application.


“From harvesting cherries, processing, milling, grading, roasting and cupping [this course] broaden the knowledge I’ve learned from books, magazines or online. This opportunity gave me a close glimpse at the life of a farmer, sustainability, and transparency, [which is] what specialty coffee is about. [The pathway] from seed to cup – from farmer to barista – is an important chain which ties us together… It’s very beneficial for anyone involved in the specialty coffee industry. I would like to express sincere gratitude to Kelleigh Stewart and Brandon von Damitz for providing the the most incredible learning experience any great barista could wish for. You are brilliant and wonderful. I value your tremendous efforts in making Hawaii coffee as excellent as it should be.” 

– Mikhail Sebastain, 2014


Which side of the Big Island do you live on? Is it near Kona?

We are located on the east side of the Big Island, 15 miles from Hilo and Volcano, and 2 hours from Kona.

Which airport should I fly into?

Hilo (ITO). We will pick you up upon arrival.

What’s the weather like?

Puna is a true rain forest: often rainy, occasionally sunny, and warm all year long.

Will we have to work in the rain?


What are my transportation options? Is there a public transportation system nearby?

There are some ragged bicycles available for use. Even better, there is public transportation nearby. See for details. Otherwise, hitchhiking is very common and generally regarded as safe.




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