What To Look For
When purchasing Kona coffee, it pays to do your homework. Consider the background and history of the plantations whose products you are considering purchasing.
With a solid tradition of producing high-quality, pure Kona coffees, well-established farms are the only ones you can trust if you truly seek genuine Kona flavor.
Be aware that Kona blends are usually low-quality mixes with a low percentage of actual Kona coffee. In Hawaii, blends are required to have at least 10% Kona or more.
Before you buy Kona coffee online, here are a quick list of what to look for:
Are you a picky coffee drinker? Because Kona is expensive than your best grocery store coffee, buy a single bag your first time.
Volcanica Coffee Kona Peaberry Coffee
The Volcanica 100% Pure Kona Peaberry Coffee is Rated as a Top 10 Coffee;by Food and Wine Magazine in March 2006. This is as high a quality of coffee as you can find. Peaberry coffee beans are unique and have a much richer flavor. They are only found in 5% of the crop and are removed manually. The flavor of the peaberry is of a finer quality than the rest of the crop and is desired by coffee connoisseurs and passionate fans. This coffee is the simply the best of the best, period.
- Cup notes: 100% Pure Peaberry Kona coffee. Single Origin and Shade-Grown.
- Flavor notes: Smooth, Nutty, and Luscious
- Grade: Extra Fancy
For more information check out our full Volcanica Coffee Review.
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What Is 100% Kona Coffee
September 12, 2017Malia Bolton
Aloha! Whether you are a local, a frequent visitor to the Island, or maybe you were here once for that special vacation, there is a mystique that follows the 100% Kona brand. If you have ever wondered Just what is 100% Kona? and Why does it taste so good?, let us be your guide and well walk you through the basic principles of what makes 100% Kona so special.
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Hawaii Coffee Company Royal Kona Private Reserve
Hawaii Coffee Company has been producing wonderful varieties for decades, and one of its premium offerings is its Royal Kona Private Reserve. Its a pure Kona blend with an aroma thats truly magnificent.
The fragrance that comes from Royal Kona Private Reserve as its brewing truly heightens the experience of drinking it and is only surpassed by its taste.
Because the Kona coffee beans used in this variety are of the highest quality, the resulting brew is smooth and rich with a full body the flavor profile of this Hawaiian coffee is so well rounded that it was judged as Superior by the American Academy of Taste.
Royal Kona Private Reserve is available in whole bean form or as an all purpose grind. The beans are medium roasted to order, which makes this coffee well suited for any occasion or time of day.
Kona Kakao Pooki’s Mahi 100% Kona Coffee
Pooki’s Mahi® has direct trade;relationships with Kona coffee farmers. 100% Kona coffee beans certified Private Reserve, Extra Fancy and Peaberry harvested in Hawaii are used in Pooki’s Mahi® Kona coffee pods. Less than 10 Kona coffee farms are certified Estate and/or Organic.
Pooki’s Mahi;Kona coffee farmers won multiple awards and passed our lengthy selection process.
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History Of Kona Coffee
Don Francisco de Paula Marin is credited for the introduction of coffee to the Hawaiian soil in 1817, though he failed miserably. So, the person who actually put the Big Island on the coffee pedestal is Samuel Ruggles. He succeeded in introducing coffee to the fertile volcanic soil of Hawaii in 1828 and planted the first Kona coffee treein 1928.
In 1892, Hermann Widemann brought the Guatemalan coffee variety to the Hawaiian soil. It eventually became the most preferred variety in Hawaii, which is known as Kona Typica. After big losses in 1860,; coffee production picked up again with the help of this variety.
Though the coffee prices during World War I and the Great Depression plummeted, the industry regained momentum in the 1960s. Hawaii experienced a temporary demise when labor shortage, high-cost production, and low coffee prices occurred in the coffee market. Again, market forces all contributing to this.
What Makes It So Special
Kona is considered an exceptional coffee with a unique flavor and aroma. The coffee farms on the west coast of Hawaii enjoy an island microclimate. The Hawaiian Kona is planted in dark and porous volcanic soil and is given the utmost care it needs to produce a coffee from the Big Island.;
To better grasp what pure Kona coffee offers and why it is sold at such seemingly extravagant prices,; Big Cup of Coffee will take a closer look at coffee production, history, and keys to finding the best place to buy this royal Kona, private reserve Kona beans and other Big Island coffee brands.
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Peaberry Kona Coffee From Koa Coffee
The Peaberry coffee beans are known as the Champagne of Kona. It is a medium roast, whole bean Kona Peaberry coffee that youll consume cup after cup without being able to stop. This high-quality brew is also produced from the Kona Coffee Belt.
- Cup notes: full body and smooth with a big sassy taste
- Flavor notes: subtle, sweet with low acidity aftertaste
- Grade: Extra Fancy
Whole Bean Varieties Of Kona Coffee
When buying premium coffee, its important to purchase whole beans over grinds whenever possible. Any coffee expert will tell you its the best way to experience the flavor of the beans since the beans aroma is released immediately after grinding. If youre already spending twice if not three times more than you would on generic coffee, grinding will help you get the best experience for your money.
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What Is The Best Kona Brand To Buy
The average price of a bag of Kona coffee beans or grinds ranges from around $20 to $40 per pound, which is significantly higher than an average bag of grinds. Its wise to do your research before you invest in a premium bag of coffee to make sure you get the most out of your investment.
Ive researched what brands are the best and will share with you both whole bean and ground varieties that come highly recommended. My recommendations are based on what the experts say about each brand, and more importantly what real customers have experienced and shared in online reviews.
Coffee Berry Borer Infestation
Coffee berry borer , the most harmful beetle to the arabica coffee crop, was discovered in Kona coast plantations in September 2010 by a graduate student of the University of Hawaii. How the tiny beetle got to Kona is unknown, but the size of the infestation indicates it has been going for a few years. Some growers suspected severe drought conditions had reduced the fungus Beauveria bassiana, which might have kept the beetle population under control for years.
By late November 2010, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture declared a quarantine on all green beans leaving the island. Fumigation with a chemical such as methyl bromide or a six-step procedure was required. The price of Kona coffee was expected to rise because the insect has the potential to reduce crop yields up to 90%. In early 2011 the Hawaii State Dept. of Agriculture allowed the import and application of a concentrated naturally occurring fungus to successfully combat the infestation.
As of 2021, Coffee leaf rust also has been found and threatens production.
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Best Kona Coffee Brands: The Top 5
Now you know how to recognise the good from the bad and the ugly: Avoid blends, go for beans grown in the right region, and pay attention to the Kona coffee grade band. To make it even easier to find that perfect taste of Hawaii, weve found a few options for you.
The Hawaii-based Koa Coffee has been in the business since 1997, and their K-coffee has been rewarded with titles like PCCA Coffee of the Year and winner of the Gevalia Cupping Competition. They feature as the number one Kona on our list of best coffee beans here.
Best Coffee: Koa PlantationThis stuff is wonderfully smooth and its lack of a bitter aftertaste makes you think nothing of having that second cup, or third
With Koa Coffee, you know youre buying from a well-established and popular brand: they have a huge reputation to live up to.Koa Coffee also reward loyalty with special discounts for people in their coffee club, and well-priced multi-buy packages.
The Kona Coffee Tripack Medium is an especially good deal,;including three 8-ounce bags of Kona for a bundle discount price. This tripack includes three types of Kona: the Grande Domaine, the Private Reserve, and the Estate.
Their Grande Domaine;is produced from trees that were planted a century ago. It is a rich, smooth coffee with minimal bitterness; ideal easy-drinking coffee for any time of day.
Finally, Their Estate;is a rich and fragrant blend of the three highest-quality Kona grades.
What Is Special About Kona Coffee
Kona coffee is one of the most esteemed coffee varieties on earth. Its highly desirable, therefore a tad expensive, but delivers supreme and distinctive aromas that will have your mouth watering the minute you open a packet.
Grown exclusively in the north and south areas of the Kona district on the big island of Hawaii, the coffee trees nurtured here thrive in the rich volcanic soils on the slopes of the Hualalai and Mauna Loa volcanoes.
The microclimate on these two mountains provides sunny mornings, misty afternoons, and mild nights perfect conditions for growing coffee.
Although Hawaii has a fantastic climate for coffee production due to the fertile, volcanic earth and abundance of sun and rain only coffee grown in the Kona district can be officially classified as Kona coffee.
Kona has around 600 small, independent coffee plantations, most of them family-run. It is estimated there is only a total of approximately 2290 acres of farms, producing about two million pounds of coffee annually.
This makes Kona coffee a highly-limited commodity, with a cap on how much is available every year.
Forget mass-production and automation the farmers painstakingly handpick Kona coffee beans.
Not all coffee cherries ripen at the same time, so handpicking beans enables harvesters only to select the beans that are perfectly ripe and ready.
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Why Are Blends So Popular Among Manufacturers
Kona coffee is one of the most expensive coffees available. Raw coffee bean or green coffee beans are often six times more expensive than other kinds of beans. A Kona coffee blend is a way for big coffee makers to capitalize on the Kona coffee name for cheap.
A Kona coffee blend takes away from the taste of what little Kona coffee is in the bag. Common Brazilian and Columbian coffee varieties make up 90 percent of the bag of a blend. Actual amount of Kona coffee? Ten percent.
In an attempt to safeguard their name, Kona coffee farmers have sued companies claiming to sell Kona coffee. Theyve also sought out federal protection of the Kona name, but larger coffee manufacturers have thwarted those efforts.
In response, Kona coffee farmers banded together to form trade organizations like the Kona Coffee Council. The primary mission of these groups;is to ensure consumers buy real Kona coffee. In addition, they educate coffee drinkers at trade shows. These shows ;familiarize the world with the unique taste of Kona coffee.
Kona also is host to the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, a 10-day event held in November to celebrate Hawaiis favorite crop. Events include art exhibits, coffee farm tours, parades , coffee picking, cupping competitions as well the crowning of Miss Kona Coffee.
Avoid blends if you want to experience real Kona coffee. Seek out and buy nothing less than 100 percent pure Kona coffee.
Hawaiian Kona Mountain Gold 100% Kona Coffee
About $29.99 for a 16-oz. bag;
4.2/5 stars based on 38 Amazon reviews
Hawaiian Mountain Gold 100% Kona Coffee is roasted by Ferrari Coffee Company, a family-owned 100-year-old coffee company with a coffee plantation located in the Kona Coffee Belt. They believe their brand of Kona coffee is the best Hawaii has to offer and invites all to enjoy The Finest Gourmet Coffee in the World. Online reviewers praise this grind for its authentic taste of Hawaii and mild f flavor profile.
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Greenwell Farms 100% Full City Roast Kona Coffee
- Taste: Nutty With Notes Of Vanilla, Chocolate, And Citrus
- Roast: Full City Roast
- Size: 8 oz.
Greenwell Farms is right in the heart of the Kona district and has been maintained by the Greenwell family for over 200 years! The coffee produced here is roasted and packaged on the very same farm that its grown.
This extra fancy Kona has a deep and fruity taste with a mouthfeel reminiscent of syrup. You may detect hints of chocolate and caramel with an afterthought of citrus from this fantastic bean.
If the mild, full flavor of Hawaiian coffee appeals to you, you can be confident that your Greenwell Estate kona beans have been handled with the utmost care.
How To Find 100% Kona Coffee
Many misleading coffee brands had alarmed the Hawaiian government with their rampant abuse of labeling their brands with 100% or 10% Kona, the very reason a coffee statute is established. For you not to fall on the hands of delusive Kona coffee brands, heres the best way to find authentic 100% Kona coffee.
- Check the label of Kona coffee packaging.
Authentic Kona beans have labels of 100% Kona Coffee. So if you come across coffee brands with a tag, Kona blends, better drop it and forget about it. Kona blends have less than 10% actual Kona beans, with 90% made from inferior quality beans.
- Search for the best Kona coffee brands
100% Kona beans can be found on Kona coffee brands with a proven track record in providing only the best Kona beans. Some of these brands are Koa Coffee, Blue Horse Coffee, Hawaii Coffee Company, and Volcanica. You can also find 100% Kona beans on coffee subscriptions like BeanBox.
- Read Kona beans review from Kona coffee companies and coffee blogs.
Reviews of pure Kona beans, 100% Kona coffee, and the like can help you to distinguish genuine Kona coffee beans with high grades from coffee beans with inferior qualities. Reviews are honest opinions and ideas of people who have bought Kona beans before you. Since many people do reviews about coffee beans, it can help you weigh in what and where to buy 100% Kona coffee beans.
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