The Original Kona Coffee Variety: Kona Typica
The Kona Typica variety is responsible for the soft, lush, chocolatey, and floral profile thats found in 100% Kona coffee.
We refer to this as being the heritage Kona style this is because Kona Typica has been grown in the district since 1832 more than 180 years.
Today, coffee growers are planting a range of exotic new varieties across Kona, such as SL-28, Geisha, and Bourbon. While these arent the traditional Hawaiian Kona coffee varieties that made the region famous, they offer exciting new flavors and experiences for coffee lovers.
Its also important to remember that the State of Hawaii doesnt regulate coffee varieties in the same way that France regulates Champagne grape varieties. So, if youre a coffee lover on a quest for traditional Kona coffee in Hawaii, youll want to stick to Kona Typica.
While many of the new varieties are dynamic and amazing, theyre also stark departures from the smooth, chocolatey, and peachy profile of a traditional Kona Typica. We love them both.
The Buying Guide To Kona Coffee Beans
In case you want to look for Kona coffee outside of this list, heres a quick guide so you can better understand the label on your Kona Coffee.
The first step is to understand the Types of Kona better. But first, to be clear not every Hawaiian Coffee brand grows Kona. But, every Kona Coffee falls under the region of Hawaii and, more specifically, the Big Island of Hawaii. All Kona brands roast beans harvested from coffee plants surrounding the Mauna Loa volcano.
Cleanliness, color, roasting quality, allowance for defects, sizing, and moisture determines the classifications.
For example, there is a less -10% tolerance for undersized Kona Coffee beans by weight for Extra Fancy, Fancy, and Hawaii No. 1. For the rest, its optional.
As for moisture, they allow 9-12% from Extra Fancy to Hawaii No.3. It then becomes 8-13% for Hawaii Natural Prime and Hawaii Mixed Natural Prime.
Before I get on with a quick list summary of the Kona Hawaiian coffee, lets run through imperfections. Hawaiian law counts physical imperfections as full and partial, based on an eye test of all Kona beans before roasting. Full defects found count as a point, while partial flaws are 1/5 of a point.
Review Of 5 Best Coffees From Kona
Now that you know a bit about this unique coffee, its time to try it. Here we rounded up five of the best Kona coffee brands we could find.
The Hawaii Coffee Company is a group of several coffee companies that banded together to serve a common goal. This group includes the popular Lion Coffee, which has been around since 1864. Royal Kona Coffee got its start in 1969. The founders made a commitment to the Hawaiian coffee growers to buy 100% of their coffee crop. The coffee cherries are always picked by hand, leaving the green cherries on the plant to fully ripen. The company has a coffee mill in Captain Cook, in the Kona region of the Big Island. You can even take a trip to Royal Kona’s Visitor Center in Captain Cook! In addition to bags of 100% Kona beans, Royal Kona also has a 10% Kona blend coffee, flavored coffees, and decaf. You can buy the Estate Kona as whole bean or pre-ground. Kona Estate comes from a single coffee plantation at a high elevation. This coffee is listed as a medium roast, but it is lighter than other medium roasts. The brew is bright and lively with a clean taste. A lighter roast preserves more of the delicate Kona flavor. But it has a little less body than other Kona coffee beans on this list.
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Best Kona Coffee Taste Test
To prove my point, I once taste tested coffees from 9 different countries. Each sample was hand picked, sun dried, imported the same year, stored in the same warehouse, shipped via the same carrier, roasted identically, and brewed identically. In every conceivable way, each sample was identical, except in one aspect where they were grown.
With 9 pots, 9 cups, and 9 note cards, I taste tested each and took notes. By the way, this was a blind test, I did not know which pot came from which country. Keep in mind that Im a professional master coffee roaster and taste tester. Can you guess the results? The first time I finished the circuit of 9 coffees, I couldnt taste a notable difference. And yes, I did wash my mouth out each time. So, I started the test over again. The second time through produced the same results. It wasnt until the 3rd time through that I started to notice a very slight difference between a few of the samples. So, I took notes of the differences. After an hour and five complete tests of each coffee, I had 5 samples that stood out three were a bit better and 2 were a bit worse. The remaining 5 samples were equal in every way.
Best Kona Coffee In Maui
Beginning in central maui, maui coffee roasters kahului is known for specializing in 100% hawaii grown coffee, 100% kona coffee, hawaiian blends and hawaiian flavored coffee. The coffee store island vintage coffee best coffee in kihei kraken coffee akamai coffee co lava java coffee roasters the market maui best coffee in central maui, upcountry, and north maui.
Green Forest 100 Kona Coffee Vienna Roast 6 oz Kona
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Which Brand Is The Best
While all of the Kona brands on this list are worth considering , the one that is a definite purchase is none other than our top pick: Blue Horse Farm Fresh 100% Kona Coffee.
Whereas all had their own strengths and weaknesses to them. Blue Horse consistently sat at the top as having the highest quality and taste for the best value.
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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Imagine Kona Organic Coffee Beans
Slightly different from the other Kona blends, yet still 100% authentic Kona, the Imagine Kona coffee is a medium-dark roast that can satisfy those who prefer a little bit stronger but not bold. With that relatively greater boost in caffeine, the robust blend can complement the lifestyle of workaholics.
Not to mention, the gourmet beans went through a high-quality process called Air Roasting, which allows the Kona beans to slowly mature under macadamia trees and involves careful handpicking. Thus, enabling that desirable smooth-buttery taste. Truly imagine every sip you get that combines an intensely dark flavor with a subtle note of sweet caramel.
Of course, quality can vary for some coffee-aholic. This particular roast is fairly fresh but might not be ideal for coffee lovers who are new in the caffeine game. We recommend starting with a light roast or a medium-bodied blend of Kona beans and then gradually building your way towards this medium-dark oasis.
Best Original Tour: Greenwell Farms
Founded in 1850 by Henry Nicholas Greenwell, Greenwell Farms is one of the largest producers of coffee on the Hawaiian Islands. The family-run company maintains coffee orchards on 85 acres and controls and manages another 60 acres of coffee for other landowners.
Greenwell Farms Coffee thrills visitors via a walking tour of the coffee fields and processing facilities, as well as the ability to see a working Hawaiian farm. Like many farms across the Kona area, Greenwell offers free samples of various 100 percent Kona Coffee products. Depending upon the season, it is possible to learn about each stage of production of Kona Coffee. Greenwell Farms offers complimentary farm tours every day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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Beanboxs Keala 100% Kona Coffee
BeanBox is here to offer some more delicious Kona Coffee for you to indulge in.
You can choose between a one-time purchase, or weekly, biweekly, and monthly subscription offers, with the last two offering coffee discounts and free shipping for selected locations.
With a balanced flavor profile, this coffee offers fruity flavors combined with toasted coconut notes but the most exquisite thing about the taste is the passion fruit.
The coffee ships freshly roasted, so you can enjoy the strong aroma and flavor thats still there by the time your coffee bag reaches you.
Who Would Enjoy This Coffee?
If you want a coffee with low acidity and youre a fan of medium roasts with fruity tastes, then youre bound to like Kealas Hawaiian Coffee. Its also a great option for those looking for a Kona coffee subscription delivered to their doorstep at their frequency of choice.
What Is Fake Kona Coffee
According to the Hawaii law to label it Kona Blend a minimum of 10% pure Kona coffee must be contained.
The Kona-Kai coffee scandal took place between 1993-1996 when a coffee supplier by the name of Michael Norton was repackaging low quality dark roast and city roast for resale value.
Having a major impact and tarnishing the Kona coffee name, these blends were a mixture of Colombian and Brazilian fillers.
Dont be fooled by paying more for Kona blends as youll be paying for a cheap filler of low-quality. So What Do You Look For?
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Runner Up: Kona Gold Coffee Whole Beans
We cant help but award the second best Hawaiian Kona coffee to Kona Gold Coffee. And you know what, were already shooting for the stars by giving them this award!
With an Extra Fancy coffee grade, the highest of all grades, what else could you ask for? A bag gives you the highest quality Hawaiian coffee you can ever enjoy.
Serious coffee enthusiasts will love this one, thanks to its complex and delicious flavors!
Although it comes with a costly price tag, all we can say is that its worth every coffee bean.
Medium Roast Hawaii Royal Kona Coffee
Illustrious Kona coffee for Royalty\s PRIVATE RESERSE 100% Kona coffee is a full-bodied medium meal. Radiantly sweet-smelling and smooth, it has an aftertaste like it ought to be held uniquely for quality. Our most well known unadulterated Kona espresso! This full-bodied, medium meal is brew roasted and smooth. Judged unrivaled by the American Institute of Taste, this 100% confirmed this Kona Company is the ideal completion to any event. Accessible in entire bean or generally useful roast. This may the view Amazon we have ever had PERIOD!!!!
Company dont spend too much on most things, yet this is our exemption.We appreciate this espresso each morning.100% Unadulterated Kona coffee from Hawaii\s Kona Belt. Regal Kona coffee is chosen from the best of the Kona coffee harvests enormous, tasty type that are expertly cooked to deliver a reliable and genuinely gourmet cup of Kona. Continuously grown and offered to you by the brew roaster of Kona coffee on the Amazon and Hawaii\s driving provider of espresso to the Island\s lodgings, cafés, and retail view. We are a sample of Hawaii.
- Freshness is all in or all out.
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The History Of Kona Coffee
Kona coffee has a rich history comparable to the rich soil it is grown in. The story of Kona begins in 1823 when Hawaiis King Kamehameha II traveled to England with his wife and Oahus governor, Chief Boki. Sadly, both the King and his wife became ill with the measles while in England and died before they were able to return home. Chief Boki sailed back Hawaii, stopping in Brazil on his return journey. There, he snatched up some coffee plants and brought them back to the islands. In 1828, a man by the name of Samuel Reverend Ruggles brought coffee to the Kona districts of Hawaii, where the plants prospered. From the 1850s to the 1880s several Kona coffee plantations were established, several of which are still in business today. Many Kona coffee farms are family owned & operated and have been passed down for generations.For a complete history of Kona Coffee, spanning the discovery of Kona in 1823 to the contemporary producers of today, check out this video:
The Aroma And Flavor Of Kona Coffee
True Kona coffee direct from Hawaii has an amazing aroma and flavor profile that includes hints of honey, chocolate, brown sugar, and just bit of bright fruitiness.
You might describe the top notes of Kona coffee as bright and crisp, with afternotes of nuts and citrus. And the aroma is just as amazing, with a mix of cocoa, caramel, butter, and fruit.
Kona coffee has low acidity, too, so its easier on the stomach. Together, the flavor, aroma, and afternotes of 100% Kona coffee create a unique and beautiful coffee experience thats almost addictive.
Of course, your Kona experience will vary a bit depending on the roast you choose, how you brew it, and the freshness of the beans.
Yes, 100% Kona coffee is expensive. But its totally worth it if youre into truly exceptional coffee with unbeatable aroma and flavor.
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Your First Kona Coffee Experience
With a fresh-brewed cup of Kona coffee in front of you, the first thing you notice is the sweet fragrance that the brew exudes.
You tilt the cup towards your lips. Itâs sweet and rich at first taste but not overpowering. More subtle than anything. Then comes nutty, honey-like notes accompanied by flavors like caramel, butter, and cocoa.
Being naturally low in acidity, itâs gentle on your stomach and smooth on your palate.
While you bask in all of the savory glory of the nectar of the Hawaiian Gods, you also notice that there is a lingering aftertaste of citrus and nuttiness thatâs both bitter and sweet. If you werenât already sitting, you are now.
Physically speaking, you donât get the jittery over-caffeinated feeling either. In fact, well-roasted Kona does the opposite to you, making you feel lively and rejuvenated.
This is the good stuff. If only you broke college students could afford it.
Peaberry Medium Roast Whole Bean 100% Kona Coffee
With only three to five out of 100% Kona Coffee beans being of the Peaberry variety, you can understand that were dealing with a might rare product and one that coffee drinkers and experts often label as being the most delicious Koa Coffee product of them all.
If you find that Peaberry Kona coffee is hard to find, its most likely because the demand exceeds the supply.
The flavor of the Peaberry Kona coffee is very sweet and smooth and, even if there are other brands that sell Peaberry coffee, Koa is a brand you know you can trust, so we recommend buying this variety from them.
Who Would Enjoy This Coffee?
If you have tried regular Kona coffee before and would prefer something sweeter or if you enjoy sweet coffee overall, we recommend going with the Peaberry Medium Roast Whole Bean.
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What Is Peaberry Coffee
Peaberry coffee is coffee with one bean in the cherry. Usually, coffee cherries have two beans. One bean means more flavor, higher bean density, and a large and rounder bean.
Peaberry beans also roast differently because of the round shape, and the concentrated flavors make them rich and flavorful. Only 5% of coffee beans are peaberry and are usually roasted separately.
Winner: Koa Coffee Private Reserve Medium Roast
Koa Coffee is the best Kona coffee beans that you can get. The medium roast is the perfect setting for this coffee bean.
Koa Coffee is roasting 100% Hawaiian Kona coffees. The Koa Coffee company supplies coffee to national retail chains and hotels and ships their roasted beans worldwide to destinations as far away as Australia.
A Kona coffee gives you an exclusive experience that comprises only 1% of the coffee grown in the world. The heavenly aroma, coupled with the smooth and rich taste, will definitely get you begging for more.
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Blue Horse 100% Kona Coffee
Blue Horse Kona is another truly exceptional, 100% authentic Kona thats conveniently available on Amazon. Blue Horse is a small, family owned Kona farm that hand-picks their coffee and uses no herbicides or pesticides in their growing process.
Their Kona is available in a mild, yet flavorful medium roast or a bold, full-bodied dark roast, depending on your preference.
Its grown in the shade for best flavor, then its dried in the sun. They roast and ship fresh in small batches, which is why theyre often sold out. If you experience this issue, dont worry! Check back in a day or two and it will likely be back in stock.
This companys customer service is on point, too. If you love an artisan coffee experience, this is the Kona for you. Yes, its expensive, but its totally worth the splurge if you want the best Kona coffee available on Amazon.