The Hawaiian Kona coffee is one of the most expensive and exclusive types of coffee in the world , along with the Indonesian Kopi Luwak and the Jamaica Blue Mountain. Kona coffee is characterized by a full-bodied aroma that goes back to its special production conditions. We’ll tell you about the specifics of Kona coffee!
Exclusive enjoyment from the Central Pacific
The original Kona coffee is called “the brown gold of Hawaii” and comes from the Kona district on the west coast of Hawaii. The coffee beans from Hawaii always rank in the top places in global coffee competitions because they shine very nicely and impress with their well-proportioned shape. This leads to sieve sizes 18 and 19, which are very rare and are considered a quality feature.
Hawaiian coffee farmers plant Kona coffee on the fertile slopes of the Hualalai and Mauna Loa volcanoes, because there are perfect conditions for the production of the high-quality coffee . The growing area is limited, which is why real Kona coffee is always scarce. The climate on the volcanic slopes in Hawaii offers ideal growth conditions, especially the moderate temperatures and the nutrient-rich volcanic soils. This ensures the intense, yet delicate taste of the coffee beans. The delicate acidity, the almost nutty taste and the full body give the coffee beans a special aroma.
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The Harvesting Process of Kona Coffee
The coffee beans are harvested between September and January, just before the new coffee beans are covered in snow. This is not real snow, but what is known as “Kona Snow”. In March, the white coffee flowers of the coffee plants sprout and give the impression that the plantation is covered in snow. This phenomenon is over in April: Then the color of the coffee beans changes into green. In August, the coffee cherries are given a red color – now they are washed and handpicked. The coffee farmers also plant bananas to distract thieving birds who would otherwise pounce on the beans. After the harvest, the harvest workers remove the coffee cherries and, after cleaning, place them in the sun to dry. Then they are sorted into different quality classes, which are determined by the size and shape of the coffee cherries.
The Origin of Hawaii Kona Coffee Is from Brazil
In the 19th century, Samuel Ruggles’ coffee beans were imported from Brazil to Hawaii. However, Ruggles initially had little success with the cultivation. It was not until the 20th century that the British merchant Henry Greenwell made this coffee internationally known. He brought the coffee plant to the islands of Maui and Big Island.
Varieties of Kona Coffee
There are Kona coffee types 1 and 2. There are also mixtures of the two types. Type 1 beans are flat on one side and round on the other – two of them ripened in the coffee cherry. Kona Type 1 coffee is sold under names like “Kona Select”, “Kona Prime” or “Kona Extra Fancy”. Type 2 beans are so-called pearl beans that ripen as individual beans and are therefore round in shape. Type 2 coffee is known as “Peaberry Prime”. There is no difference in quality between the two types: Kona type 1 beans, however, have a more special taste and are quite rare.
It is important to pay attention that some coffee blends can be recognized by names such as “Kona Roast” or “Kona Style”. These mostly contain only ten percent Kona coffee – the remaining coffee beans come from growing countries such as Colombia or Brazil .
The pricing of Kona Coffee
One kilogram of Kona coffee can cost a whopping 120 dollars, which is due to the production conditions. The Hawaiian coffee farmers see the price as justified. In particular, Kona coffee is simply underpaid on the rest of the world. Cultivation in Hawaii costs considerably more than in Indonesia or Africa , because the wages on the plantations and the cultivation of the land are expensive.
Equipment and fertilizers are costly to ship to Hawaii, which increases the price of Kona coffee. The high price of this coffee is not only due to its growing conditions, but also because it is very rare and exclusive. Coffee farmers in Hawaii only produce 55,000 sacks of coffee beans per year, with each sack containing around 60 kilograms of coffee. Coffee farmers in Brazil produce over 1,000 times more coffee beans.
Kona Coffee Has an Excellent Taste
The taste of the coffee beans is very full-bodied and smooth. Light aromas of cinnamon, berries, caramel and chocolate ensure a round taste. Coffee connoisseurs from all over the world appreciate the unmistakable taste of Kona coffee. NASA, the best luxury hotels and the White House rely on the fancy coffee beans from Hawaii. Kona coffee is definitely something for the connoisseur. The Arabica beans are very large and have a unique quality. The rule of thumb is that the quality of coffee beans increases with their size. The size of the sieve acts as a measure, which is measured on a scale of up to 20 sieve sizes – plump Kona coffee beans achieve a sieve size of up to 19. The best way to prepare the coffee is with a French press or as a cold drip.
Conclusion: Kona coffee
Kona coffee beans from Hawaii are among the most exclusive types of coffee in the world. They are characterized by excellent taste and the highest quality and have not only conquered the White House for themselves – gourmets from all over the world are convinced of Kona coffee!