Coffee Investigator
Collecting information on coffee and the different machines used to grind and brew coffee

Kona Coffee - Gold Of Hawaii

There are many good coffees that are produced around the world to give coffee connoisseurs a delightful variety of flavors and aromas to try. There is one coffee that is one of a true connoisseur favorite and that is the a coffee from Hawaii called Kona Coffee.

Pure Kona coffee comes from the Kona region on the big island of Hawaii. This is a volcanic island in Hawaii and the Kona coffee that is produced there is highly sought after all round the world.

This volcanic island has perfect soil that gives the coffee a richer flavor than other coffee's produced elsewhere. The afternoon clouds also provide a good cover for it to grow. These factors give Kona coffee its character that is loved by many around the world.

A Peek At History

The first coffee plant was introduced to Kealakekua-Kona by Reverend Samuel Ruggles in 1828 but was not considered a viable agricultural commodity at that time. It was not until much later before this coffee  got attention. During the California gold rush era, demand for coffee from this region starts to pick up and farmers started planting their crops along the slopes of Mauna Loa and Mount Hualalai. There are now about 600 plantations all around the district and each of them rather small in size and most not more than 5 acres.

Coffee Farming & Process

The blooms appear on the trees in February and March, and the small, white flowers that cover the plants are known as “Kona snow.” Green berries will soon start to appear after the flowers have been pollinated. The beans are harvested from August to January every year, and the trees are picked over many times to ensure that the harvest is complete. It is estimated that each tree can produce around 20 to 30 pounds of berries

During peak harvesting period, most mills work round the clock. All the berries will be processed within 24 hour time frame to maintain quality. The berries will be tested for freshness and color before being sent to the pulper. The pulper will strip the flesh leaving the beans. The flesh is transported back to the farms to be used as fertilizer. The stripped beans will next undergo a fermentation process of around 8 to 18 hours in giant tanks. After completing the fermentation process, the beans are cleaned and dried on drying racks covered by hoshidanas. Depending on the weather, it might take about 10 to 14 days before the Kona coffee beans are ready for the next process.

It is essential to constantly rake the beans during the drying phase. This is to prevent mildew from forming and maintain consistent quality throughout the batch. The beans are then graded according to size, shape and weight.

Controversial Kona

There is a high demand for Kona coffee due to its unique taste and quality. Many large corporations have tarnished the name by selling Kona coffee that was mixed with lower quality beans. Sometimes there was as little as 10% real Kona in the blend. Often even cheaper Robusta beans were in the mixture. This hurt the industry in Kona and gives a false impression to the consumers about the quality of pure Kona coffee. Some so call Kona coffee has shown up on discount store shelves for as little as $6 a pound. Looking at the label you would think it was pure Kona but when you brew it and taste it you will know it was definitely not the real 100% Kona. The farmers have been fighting a loosing battle to trademark the name. More of them have been rallying together to make labeling identifying it as true 100% Kona and selling it from their farms in Hawaii. The internet has opened up a whole new avenue for this great tasting specialty coffee. Even though there are labeling laws in Hawaii, there is no corresponding Federal law to support it.


There is no denying in the quality of Kona coffee. Great care is taken to ensure quality from the many who toil in the farms and mills to deliver you that perfect cup of beverage possible. They are all committed to deliver you the true taste of Kona - Gold of Hawaii.

Kona coffee offers a flavorful cup of coffee with a rich aroma, and is known throughout the world as one of the best coffees available today. While it tends to be much pricier than many other types of coffee, one taste of this delicious beverage will convince you that Kona coffee is worth every penny.

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