Growing Harvesting And Processing Kona Coffee
The process of growing, harvesting and processing Kona coffee is part of what makes it so special, and its also part of what makes it so expensive. So, lets take a look at what it all means and how it affects the end product.
The growing process starts with the bloom and Kona coffee trees actually bloom twice per year, in January and in May. Youll get something thats known to the locals as Kona Snow because the blossoms are small and white, plus them smell sweet.
Once the blooms fade away youll find a green cherry left behind. That cherry will hold the coffee bean and it takes several months to fully ripen. Once its ripe it turns a brilliant red, but it has to be picked at just the right time to make sure the bean inside is just right.
Everything is picked by hand and its judged by hand as well. Which means that the pickers have to be extremely well trained to make sure they dont pick the cherries too early. If they do then the beans wont be the right quality and the coffee wont turn out with the iconic flavor profile.
Once the cherries are picked, they have to be processed properly. This is done by sun-drying them and then raking them across large decks to dry out even more. Only after this is done can the beans be milled and sorted and then graded. Then finally theyll be sent for hand roasting.
The Best Of 100% Kona Coffee Our Process
Mountain Thunders 100% Kona Private Reserve Coffee starts its journey to your cup from the famous Kona Coffee Belt on the Big Island of Hawaii. Our 100% Kona Coffees are grown in an area that is only 26 miles long by 3 miles wide, providing ideal volcanic soil, cool mountain weather, abundant rain, and higher elevations for growing the finest coffee in the world.
At the height of ripeness, our pickers select only the fully ripe coffee cherry and handpick each fruit. Within 24 hours, we begin processing the coffee fruit in our own mill, removing the fruit pulp, and starting the drying process. After our 100% Kona Coffee has reached the proper moisture content, we age it for a few months in our temperature and humidity-controlled warehouse. This resting period helps bring out our famous Mountain Thunder 100% Kona Coffee aroma and flavor.
When our dried coffee is ready, we process it in our own dry mill, removing the parchment layer to expose the green coffee bean. Next, we sort our green coffee by size, density, and color. These are essential quality steps that allow Mountain Thunder to provide only the best of the best 100% Kona Coffees for you.
When we receive your order, we will freshly roast your coffee. Our RoastMaster roasts our Mountain Thunder coffee daily to assure that we ship the freshest coffees from our farm direct to you.
Should You Drink Kona Coffee
If you end up visiting Hawaii, it is crucial that you visit Maui as it is a very beautiful place and is considered a very busy tourist spot.
Trying out the local Kona coffee is surely not a bad idea but do it at your own risk. Its rich and delicate flavor is surely addicting and will leave you wanting more.
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To The Farm Planning Your Own Kona Coffee Tour
Visiting one coffee farms during the day to learn about Kona coffee, to buy some coffee and of course for free tastings, is a great way to spend your day!
In our experience it is convenient to plan the visit to a coffee farm in combination with for example a trip to the Puuhonua O Honaunau national park or with a snorkeling expedition to one of our favorite snorkeling spots: Kealakekua bay or Honaunau bay .
All the Kona coffee farms are located on or near the 20 miles of scenic country roads. Add to that the presence of a few shops, cafes, and the colorfully painted church, and you have the perfect excuse for a self-drive coffee tour. Plan about one hour for your visit, and make sure to check ahead of time whether you need to schedule a tour at your farm of choice.
To give you a place to start we list a few of the most popular Kona coffee tours on the Big Island:
Is Kona Coffee Low Acid
Now, there are a number of different types of coffee out there but when it comes to cutting acid you want to make sure youre getting something that still tastes great.
Your typical coffee usually has an acidity measure of 5, with water coming in at 7 and orange juice coming in around 3. That means its not very acidic and especially not compared to some of your favorite juices. Youll also find that darker roasts of coffee have less acid than light roasts.
In general, Kona coffee can be a low acid variety, but keep in mind that it depends on how theyre roasted. Darker blends are going to give you the lowest acidity, but if you like a light roast youll want to look for ways to cut down the acidity otherwise, such as cold brewing your coffee.li
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Is Kona Coffee The Only Coffee From The Big Island
The Big Island of Hawaii is best known for Kona coffee, but thats not the only coffee Hawaii is known for.
The other kinds of coffee beans you can find in Hawaii are grown in Kau and Puna on the Hamakua coast.
Some of the other Hawaiian islands also have coffee plantations, and each island has their own taste.
Kona coffee is much more popular than other Hawaiian coffee, so the other coffees can sometimes be picked up for much cheaper.
A simple search for Hawiian coffee will yield a lot of results. Remember: if youre looking for real Kona coffee beans, you need to buy 100% Kona coffee.
If your budget does not allow for expensive coffee, consider Kona blends.
Now for the other Hawaiian coffees:
What Makes Kona Coffee So Expensive
Volcanica Coffees Hawaiian Kona coffee sells for over $100 a bag. Why is Kona coffee so expensive?
Well, the main reason is that Kona coffee is grown in a first world country! First world countries have largely service economies, which means there is comparatively less manufacturing and production.
Any manufacturing and production tends to be more expensive!
Because coffee picking is done mostly by hand, the cost of labor really adds up.
Kona coffee farms have a lot more overheads than farms in other coutnries.
For example, a farm worker in Hawaii gets paid a lot more than a farm worker somewhere else, and thats just the cost of labor. Add to that the cost of land, fertilizers, maintenance, fuel, taxes, and the like, and youll end up with a cost of around $50 per pound of Kona coffee.
Add to that the fact that Kona coffee is only grown on the slopes of the two volcanoes, and youve got scarcity thrown into the mix, which further drives the price up.
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When To See The Small White Coffee Flowers Or Kona Snow
When coffee plants bloom in the months February and March they carry lots of beautiful, small and fragrant flowers. These flowers are especially impressive when you see whole fields of coffee covered with them. It almost looks like the coffee plants are covered in snow, and this is why the flowering fields of coffee are also known as Kona snow.
Medium Kona Roast: For The Love Of Balance
Medium Kona coffee roasts, known as City Roast Kona, are the amalgamation of balance. Medium roasts often feature a more toned-down acidic taste while uplifting the light roasts previously subtle bitter taste palettes.
Because medium roasts are roasted longer, the exquisite flavors of the Kona coffee, like the floral notes, are not as apparent. However, in its stead is the chocolate-like bitter flavor of Kona.
At this point, the sugars of the Kona roast have caramelized, creating a new, more mature taste yet still leaving the signature Kona flavors.
This Kona roast is the most traditional in contrast to the dark and light variants. This conventionality makes this roast taste and feel more familiar in comparison, making them suitable for people who are appalled to robust flavors.
The acidity level of this roast is significantly subtler compared to the light roast. With that, since the bean has been roasted until oils start to form, they come with a more oily sheen as well.
Who Suits Medium Kona Roasts?
- People with a taste for conventionality
- Those that like a perfect balance of bitter, sour, and sweet
- People that prefer a smoky flavor yet still have the origin characteristics feel apparent
Who Would Dislike Medium Kona Roasts?
- People that like a lot of acidity in coffee
- Those wanting a more robust coffee flavor
- People that love bitter coffee
- Sweet tooths
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How To Know Youre Getting Real Kona Coffee
The best place to get Kona coffee is directly from the local plantations or from stores on the Big Island. Of course, its not possible to go to Hawaii every time you want to get a cup, so youll need to get your Kona coffee from elsewhere.
Volcanica Coffee is a very reputed retailer of estate coffees and they carry the real deal. Check out their Kona coffee here.
Thanks to the folklore and mystique surrounding Kona coffee, a lot of companies have jumped on the bandwagon and attempt to label their coffees as something related to Kona.
The truth is, very few coffees are actually Kona! Companies use clever marketing tricks to make you think their stuff is Kona when it is really not.
You need to be very careful when reading the label to see if youre getting real Kona coffee or not.
The law in Hawaii states that the percentage of Kona coffee must be printed on the label of the coffee bag/packaging. So if you find a bag saying 100% Kona Coffee, youll know its the genuine stuff.
Kona written in any other way will not be true Kona coffee.
Here are some of the weird labels you can find:
Is Kona Coffee Better
One reason people regard Kona coffee as better than the rest is its delicious, unique taste. When pure Kona coffee undergoes a successful roasting process, you will experience a bright, clean taste with hints of different flavors like honey, brown sugar, fruit, and milk chocolate.
The coffee can also exhibit almost spicy wine notes. The flavors are harmonious, and nothing comes off more potent than anything else. It leaves a pleasant lingering aftertaste reminiscent of nuts and citrus, accounting for its slight acidity.
The coffees aroma is desirable too. It resembles a delicious mix of butter, cocoa, and caramel.
The balance of taste, aftertaste, and scent creates a coffee-drinking experience that is hard to forget. It is worth noting that this experience applies to drinking a cup of pure Kona coffee, not inexpensive blends you find in grocery stores.
Coffee products with a 10% Kona classification are not pure. They consist of 0% to 10% Kona coffee and another coffee from another part of the world. The reason sellers do this is to cash in on the Kona name, which is highly respected.
Unfortunately, the inclusion of lesser-grade coffee reduces the flavors you would expect from a cup of Kona coffee. It wont have the same richness or smooth feel in your mouth.
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Where To Shop For Kona Coffee Hawaii
Are you worried that you have to go to the Kona region in Hawaii? Well, thats a good guess. Besides, Hawaii is the best place to buy authentic Kona coffee.
As much as its the best place to find coffee, you do not have to travel to Hawaii. You can shop for Kona coffee from the supermarkets and coffee stores.
Some of the brands will deliver coffee to your doorstep. All you need is to request for delivery.
What Is Kona Coffee Anyway
Kona coffee refers to a type of arabica coffee grown on the slopes of the Hualalai and Mauna Loa volcanoes on the Big Island in Hawaii. The rich volcanic soil and the weather conditions in that region result in really great-tasting coffee that you cant find anywhere else.
Remember: Kona coffee is only from Hualalai and Mauna Loa, the Kona coffee belt. The Big Island is known for other coffees, but those are not Kona coffee.
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% Hawaiian Kona Coffee
Pookis Mahi® is a premier private label coffee pod manufacturer specializing in producing single-origin 100% Kona coffee pods and luxury tea pods. Pookis Mahi collection of award-winning 100% Kona coffee pods are made from 100% Kona coffee beans grown on several family owned farms certified organic and/or Estate. Less than 10 out of 880+ Kona coffee farms earned this distinction. Pookis Mahi® has direct trade relationships with Kona coffee farmers. 100% Kona coffee Private Reserve, Extra Fancy or Peaberry green beans are shipped from Kona, Big Island to mainland USA.
Kona coffee green beans are stored at Pookis Mahi coffee pod manufacturers HQ. Roasting, pod manufacturing and First Article Inspections are completed on a schedule to ensure our repeat customers receive fresh roasted 100% Kona coffee pods. Pookis Mahi® supply chain regularly scores in the top 1% in operations excellence.
Pookis Mahi offers five distinct 100% Kona coffee grades and coffee roasts in its entire single serve coffee pods product line: 100% Kona Medium Roast, 100% Kona Estate Extra Fancy coffee, 100% Kona Peaberry coffee, 100% Kona French Roast coffee, and 100% Kona Decaf coffee. Pookis Mahi Kona coffee pods work in 1.0 and 2.0 single serve coffee maker. Expiration date and LOT codes are prominently display on the back of each individually wrapped Kona coffee single serve pods.
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What Type Of Kona Coffee Roast Is Fit For Me
I always liked to joke around how If you tell me what your preferred coffee roast is, I will tell you who you are.
Although I confess that there is no correlation between personality and coffee roast , there is a strong relationship between your preferred taste flavors and the type of coffee roast that you like.
Before that, you will need to learn about the three common Kona coffee roasts available. These are the following:
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Why Kona Coffee Is Expensive
We grew up drinking only Kona coffee in our house. Labor costs are the main reason for its high cost. Hand-picked Kona coffee is grown almost all year round by our farmers. The price of mechanically picking coffee is 3 cents per pound, whereas in Kona the price for hand picking coffee is 75-85 cents per pound.
Counterfeit & Blended Kona Coffee
If youre looking for authentic 100% Kona coffee, you should also know that federal laws dont protect Kona coffee labeling only Hawaiian state laws do.
That means that counterfeiting and mislabeling is not a crime outside of Hawaii, unfortunately. The best way to make sure youre getting genuine 100% Kona coffee is to purchase it from a reputable company that roasts and sells it in Hawaii, rather than buying it and roasting elsewhere.
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A Note About Peaberry Coffee
Kona beans are classified according to seed. Namely, Type 1 and Type 2 .
Type 1 beans
Type I beans consist of two beans per cherry: one side flat, the other oval. Extra Fancy, Fancy, Number 1, Select, and Prime fall under this classification.
Type 2 beans
Type II beans, also known as peaberry because of their shape, consist of one round bean per cherry.
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How To Identify Authentic Kona Coffee
If youre buying coffee for the first time, its not easy to identify whether youre buying authentic Kona coffee or a fake blend. To make it easy to recognize Kona coffee Hawaii, heres what you should check.
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Three Other Great Big Island Coffees: Kau Puna And Hamakua Coffee
Most of the coffee grown on the Big Island of Hawaii is Kona, however you will find three other varieties, Kau, Puna and Hamkua, which are grown in each of these respective areas. Whats good about these coffees is that they have their own unique flavors and theyre less expensive than Kona.
Of course, only about 5% of the coffee that youll find on the entire island of Hawaii is anything other than Kona, which means these are actually even more rare than the Kona variety, but they dont have quite the same flavor, and thats what keeps the price down.
The History Of Kona Coffee: How Did Coffee End Up In Hawaii
Hawaii is a very isolated island in the Pacific ocean, so one may wonder how coffee got to Hawaii in the first place!
Coffee history buffs will know that coffee originated in Yemen and Ethiopia, and it was slowly exported to the rest of the world and cultivated in other places.
The history of coffee in Hawaii is very interesting. The first attempt to cultivate coffee in Hawaii was actually a failure!
A renowned horticulturalist named don Francisco de Paula Marin was the first person to try to grow coffee in Hawaii. This was back in 1817. He was able to introduce many other species of plants, but his experiment with coffee failed.
The next attempt to bring coffee to Hawaii was a success! A man named Samuel Ruggles was able to grow coffee successfully in 1828, and coffee has been in Hawaii ever since.
Back then, the main crop of Hawaii was sugar, so not much attention was given to coffee. However, coffee persisted over the next century and a half. Enter the 21st century, and nobody has heard of Hawaiian sugar, but everyone knows about Hawaiian Kona coffee!
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