Who among us can help themselves when faced with the proposition of sampling forbidden fruit? And in this case, who would want to? When that rare treasure is a true representation of the paradise from which it belongs too.
Kona beans are the pride of Hawaii, and the crown jewel of the coffee cornucopia. Envied for their bold flavor, and prized for their rarity; one can consider themselves privileged upon consuming such a precious commodity.
So what makes Kona beans so prestigious?
Below, our comprised list will endeavour to unlock the secrets it holds, and promises to captivate your senses along the path of coffee discovery.
Introducing Kona Coffee and Tea Peaberry. It’s fitting we start with an award winning coffee that sits high on its pedestal and is brimming with pride. 2018 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival’s first place winner, and 2017 West Hawaii Today’s number one pick; this choice stands above the rest and needs no convincing of it’s status. These beans are sustainably hand sourced and are single origin. Grown with upmost respect and love for the land.
Barbarossa Coffee, the name inspired by the infamous sea pirate, is the brain child of naval veteran Ozzy Guragac, who like his brands namesake, sailed the world and experienced the delicacies different cultures had to offer. Ozzy’s passion was coffee, and his Hawaiian Kona blend is one of those fruits his labour has bared. Barbarossa has managed to merge the grace of the islands with the zest of Central America. 100% Kona beans are matched with other high quality beans from Latin America, resulting in a nutty yet floral flavor profile, with a clean honey after taste.
Bundled up in fully biodegradable and compostable pods. Good as Gold harnesses a myriad of pleasures to enjoy on every cup. Beans from Hawaii and Latin America come together in these single serve, convenient pouches that won’t harm the environment after discarding.
Another award winner graces our list with “extra-fancy” classification, Hawaii’s highest grading for moisture heavy and blemish free coffee beans. Winning first place at the AVPA Paris Silver Awards, and top prize at the 2016 Kona Coffee Cupping Competition; Kona Gold Trading Co. is in fine company among the elite in Kona coffee.
The first coffee on our list in capsule form, Hayman Finest World Coffee Hawaii Kona is well worth the mention.
Classified “extra-fancy” and only using 100% Kona coffee beans, this option literally boils down to a most luxurious and pristine coffee, worthy of any high end boutique or coffee house.
This family-owned farm is situated in prime position along the Kona coffee belt at 1500 ft above sea level. High altitude farms produce greater quality coffee beans, and Morning Glory Farms is among such locations.
Here we have another capsule form coffee grown in two separate locations in Kona, and then roasted in Maui. First-grade beans from high altitude farms are roasted dark, and combined with fancy-grade beans, grown on lower slopes that are roasted light, to achieve a versatile blend of 100% Kona quality.
Possibly the poshest of our selections, Greenwell Estate Private Reserve Hawaii Kona flaunts all of the attributes of sophisticated refinement. Winners of the 2010 Great Taste Awards, Sea Island Coffee Greenwell Estate Private Reserve Hawaii Kona is great for a sneaky indulgence, or would make a memorable gift.
Rounding out or list of top Kona beans is this beauty from Mauka Honaunau. Volcanic soils high in nutrients, are the back bone for growing these single origin, 100% Kona beans overflowing with high quality characteristics.
It’s hard to imagine that Hawaii could become an even more wondrous utopia, but when you experience the mind melting sensation of a Kona brew, you will have plenty of reasons to visit and sample some of the islands local produce first hand.
We hope this little tour of paradise has intrigued you enough to explore the tantalising world of Kona coffee for yourself.
Please browse our frequently asked questions below for further information. And as they say in Hawaii, “Aloha”
A: Kona beans are only grown in Hawaii. Due to very limited space, Hawaii can only produce a certain amount of coffee a year. To make this a sustainable source of income for the growers, they are required to price their produce higher in order to continue growing crops. Many coffee brands mix Kona beans with beans from other countries to legally keep the right to claim there product is Kona. Only 10% of Kona beans are required in a blend to be able to legally sell it as a Kona product. When you see a product labelled 100% Kona, it usually carriers a heavier price tag however, you are getting a product that is purely grown in Hawaii.
A: Hawaii is home to highly fertile volcanic soil. It is also in prime location for desirable climates perfect for growing coffee beans. The combination of soils, climate and varying altitudes, all play vital roles in producing premium quality coffee beans. A bean grown in one part of the island can differ in taste and strength from a bean grown elsewhere on the island, all depending on these factors among others. To add to this, consumers always love to try rare commodities, and Kona beans certainly belong in that category.
A: Like peanuts, coffee grows in two halves occupying one shell. In the case of a “Peaberry” bean, this is a rare mutation that results in only one half of the bean maturing, and thus not having to share the nutrients it absorbs while growing. They are considered rare as only 5% of all harvested beans become peaberry. Reportedly, peaberry beans may have sweeter and more pronounced flavors due to the extra nutrients they receive during the growing period.
A: Artisan roasted coffee refers to the process of roasting the coffee beans using hand crafting methods as opposed to mechanical methods. Typically, artisans will monitor the coffee while roasting and use their knowledge of the product to determine the correct level to roast too. Artisans are trained to examine smells and tastes to develop a high quality product.
A: Extra-fancy grading is the highest grading given by the State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture to coffee beans from single origins that present no more than twelve imperfections per every three hundred gram sample. It’s fair to say that you are getting premium and near flawless quality beans when purchasing extra-fancy coffee. The only coffee that may be considered higher quality are peaberry beans.
A: Generally speaking, Kona beans come from the Hualalai and Mauna Loa volcanoes ( beans grown in other parts of the island are not considered Kona ) They are situated in perfect conditions for coffee growing and flourish under plenty of sun, adequate shade and suitable rain. The nutrient rich soil consistently produces top-grade beans that are cherished among coffee enthusiasts.
A: If you are truly in the market for good quality Kona coffee, there are a few things you should know beforehand. For example: the words “Kona roast” does NOT indicate the presence of Kona beans and can be misleading.
Similarly, “Kona style” may also NOT contain actual Kona beans unless stating the percentage used on the packaging.
“Kona blend” will contain Kona beans however, legally only 10% of Kona beans need to be present to pass as a Kona blend product.
The best option, and usually the most expensive is 100% Kona beans. This is the real deal and the purest representation of Kona coffee.