By: Blessie Vergara
Photo of Lion Coffee products by Blessie Vergara
HONOLULU, HI — Unsuspectingly tucked away in the warehouse district of Kalihi, is a bright red coffee factory. Within it, workers are meticulously producing bags of coffee—ready to be distributed to stores, restaurants, hotels across the Hawaiian islands, and beyond. Some lucky bags will be placed for sale and to be taken for brewing in its connecting cafe and general store. This is how Lion Coffee operates, how Lion Café and General Store receives only the freshest coffee, and ultimately, how they roar above the rest.
Originally from Toledo, Ohio, and introduced to the Hawaiian islands by James Delano, Lion Coffee has been around since 1864. People loved their original roast and French roast, but what made them uniquely Hawaiian was their introduction of island-inspired flavors. Lion Coffee was the first to bring vanilla macadamia and chocolate macadamia coffee to the market, yet, their products were affordable. The brand has been embraced by the locals so much that it has been a mainstay for generations of families.
The Factory’s Process
In the Lion Café and General Store’s connecting factory, the best Arabica coffee beans chosen from around the world are first roasted to ensure a bold, unparalleled flavor. The beans are ground in bulk, then flavored coffees are tossed in a revolving flavoring chamber. The ground coffee, flavored or not, is packaged in sealed bags to ensure optimal freshness. Customers at Lion Café and General Store receive their bags and cups of coffee directly from the source.
Pouring Into the Community
Not only do customers benefit from Lion Coffee’s spirit of excellence in providing a great blend, but people in the community are also supported by their excellence in service. Some of the ways in which they have given back include educating Kailua High School students about coffee and running a business, and cleaning up the beach on Sand Island. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lion Coffee donated cans of their cold brew coffee to hospitals across the state. Partnering with Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation’s (HAF) Localicious campaign is another way in which they have enjoyed giving back.
Photo of Lion Coffee cold brew by Blessie Vergara
For HAF’s Localicious®/Food-A-Go-Go Week this year, Lion Café and General Store has a BOGO special. Purchase one 100% Kona Cold Brew and get one (of lesser or equal value) for free. Proceeds from each cup go towards funding HAF’s K-12 agricultural education programs statewide.
Other Things to Get Excited About
When customers come in for their cold brew, they can look forward to the spacious seating in the café that is conducive to hanging out or getting work done. They are invited to check out the Lion Coffee Museum located inside the shop. And soon, they can look forward to free coffee factory tours as well!
For more information:
Hours: Monday-Friday from 7:00 am-2:00 pm
Address: 1555 Kalani Street, Honolulu, HI 96817
Facebook: LION Coffee