Are you a coffee buff, a connoisseur, a taste-chaser? Then you need to know what Kona coffee is and why it’s so special!
by Troop Atomic Mommy
This post contains affiliate links. To learn more about affiliate links and how they work, please read our Affiliate Disclaimer HERE.
Kona coffee is one of the most sought-after coffees in the world. It’s a major part of Hawaiian culture from plantation life to modern times, and it is 100% the heart of Hawaii’s coffee industry. Places like Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Nestle have all made bulk buy-outs of the famous coffee simply to control it and bring it to the masses at a hefty price. That’s how good it really is!
When you think of coffee, you probably envision a small cup of black liquid that gives a little pick me up. But the origin of your morning elixir is actually more complex than that. Most people don’t realize that there are several different types of coffee beans that create that special coffee flavor. Depending on the tree, soil, and harvesting methods used, your morning coffee can be super tasty or quite painful to swallow.
However, Kona coffee is known for its amazingly superior flavors which is why it it considered to be such a rare commodity. Kona coffee comes from a specific type of tree known as the Coffee arabica plant, and while it can grow in many climates and locations worldwide, it’s history in Hawaii is quite special.
The history of coffee in Kona.
Mauna Loa and Hualalai, two active volcanoes that emerge from a lush rainforest environment, are where this beautiful coffee is farmed. The climate and nutrient-rich soil are perfect for growing this high-quality coffee, which has been cultivated since 1828. In fact, there are hundreds of farms currently producing these coffee beans. Some offer tours of the land, mills, and the chance to watch the bean process. At one point, Kona coffee was grown in every part of Hawaii, and some boutique farmers are bringing this tradition back.
What makes Kona coffee great?
The Kona coast is the perfect place to grow coffee. The weather is cold and wet, which keeps pests and diseases at bay; it’s also warm so that the plants can flower. The sun shines over 5 hours per day at high altitudes (above 2,000 feet above sea level), which means you get plenty of photosynthesis even in the winter months.
That’s not all. Only volcanic soil may be used to grow these coffee beans. Yes, it’s true! This means that once you’ve tasted a cup of this coffee from these magical islands in Hawaii, there will be no going back. All other coffees will taste bland by comparison.
Hawaiian coffee beans are so much more than beans! With such a rich history, it’s no surprise that this coffee has become so popular. However, you might not know that this coffee goes far beyond just beans.
In its most basic form, this coffee is made by harvesting the red-and-yellowish berries of the Coffea Arabica plant. These berries are then dried and roasted at various temperatures until they become brown and glossy (this process is called “roasting”). The final product is ground into crushed bits called “beans.”
While these steps may seem simple enough, there are many ways in which they can be altered. For example, some roasters prefer to add sugar or salt during roasting to give their beans different flavors; some prefer lighter roasts because they think it makes for better tasting brews; some even use machines instead of people! Because of these alterations, the final product varies from farm to farm.
Where to get your Kona coffee fix?
If you’re planning a visit to the Hawaiian islands, make sure to stop by one of the many local coffee shops. These coffee farms and roasters have locations across the state, from Hilo on the east to Waimea on the west.
If you can’t make it to Hawaii or just want some of this coffee at home, there are numerous online merchants who sell this unique beverage on the internet. This list includes Amazon, Fresh Direct, and specialty stores like Blue Bottle Coffee. You can even try our favorite, Royal Kona 100% Kona Coffee – the flavor is superb!
Now that you know everything there is about Kona coffee, you’re ready to go out and get your caffeine fix! Not only did you learn the history of this coffee, you also learned about its production process and how to try this at home. And if you happen to be in Hawaii, be sure to check out some of the local coffee shops where you can get your hands on some delicious brews and maybe even taste some free samples.