Kona coffee comes from the land where palm trees sway.
That alone makes it pretty special and noteworthy. But there are several reasons why it’s amazing coffee.
If you’ve never had Kona coffee, it’s really a treat. It should be, considering it’s one of the more expensive coffees out there.
But there are reasons why it’s so expensive, and why it’s so delicious. While some insanely expensive coffees are really gimmicky or maybe just fraudulent, if you get 100% Kona coffee, it’s great stuff. (And not nearly as expensive as those gimmicky frauds)
The well-known coffee from Hawaii is a popular item and many people know that it’s supposed to be really good. But why is it so good?
Here are a few reasons and some information about it, along with an amazing recommendation from a great brand at the end!
Where Is Kona Exactly?
If you don’t know much about Hawaiian geography, Kona is a district located on the big island of Hawaii. It’s on the westward side of the island.
There is much volcanic rock in Kona, giving it a unique feel in the Hawaiian landscape.
There are two volcanoes in the Kona district, Hualalai and Mauna Loa, and these are where Kona coffee is grown. It’s one of the few coffees that’s grown on the slopes of volcanoes.
Kona is known for at least a few things. It’s where the Ironman triathlon takes place, of course there are gorgeous beaches and landscape, and it definitely has the most famous coffee from the Hawaiian islands.
It’s possibly one of the more well-known coffees from the states.
Why The Coffee Is Such Good Quality
If you’ve had 100% Kona coffee before, you know and probably love its sweet, fruity, nutty flavor.
It has a unique, excellent taste that’s worth the price tag. One of the reasons that it’s special and has it’s unique, wonderful flavor and aroma is because of where it’s grown.
The rich volcanic soil produces an ideal growing environment for coffee. The elevation, 1,500 to 2,000 above sea level, is also perfect for coffee trees to thrive.
Kona has sunny mornings, and often cloudy afternoons with light showers throughout.
The western slopes of the volcanoes provides the coffee trees shelter from the tradewinds. Because of the volcanoes and the clouds, the trees are usually protected from a harsh midday sun.
The tropical weather, elevation, climate, and all the other conditions of the Hualalai and Mauna Loa volcanoes create a wonderful coffee which produces sweet notes and low acidity.
These conditions are superb for many plants to grow, and it shows in Hawaii’s lush landscape. So it’s no surprise that coffee thrives in Kona. These conditions to coffee are like what Napa Valley or Tuscany is to wine.
How Does It Taste?
As mentioned above, the coffee has a sweet, fruity and sometimes nutty flavor.
Of course, different roasts and different coffee farms can taste different. But when you think of tropical taste, maybe bright, fruity, citrusy, floral notes, low acidity, and a nice light/balanced body, these are characteristics you will usually find in Kona coffee.
Because of the ideal climate and conditions, it just has a certain brightness to it that only Kona can produce.
For those who love low acidity and are in the mood for a wonderfully smooth, crisp, clear cup of coffee, it will absolutely give you the refreshment you’re looking for.
It’s almost like it has all the tropical beauty of Hawaii – hibiscus flowers, blues ocean waves, swaying palm trees, and lush green paradise – in coffee form.
DO NOT Buy “Kona Blend”
This is very important to note.
Unfortunately, there are companies who have really taken advantage of the Kona coffee craze. If you travel to Hawaii or just want to buy Kona coffee online and you want the real thing, do not buy anything that says “blend” on the label.
If you’re looking for a true Kona coffee experience, you are being robbed of it in the “Kona blend” coffees.
Usually they will say that it’s Kona coffee in big letters on the package or bag, but in smaller letters close to the bottom it will say “Kona blend”.
It’s the blend part you want to steer clear of. This means exactly what it says… it’s Kona coffee mixed with other average coffees from Brazil, Colombia, Africa, etc.
There might not be anything bad about the coffee itself, it can taste just fine. It’s just a misleading label that has conned many people into thinking that they are having real, 100% Kona coffee when they’re not. The traditional amount of Kona coffee in the blends is 10%.
That’s 10% Kona coffee, 90% whatever else. In that case, you might as well buy another great tasting coffee that doesn’t cost as much.
If you get a blend you’re actually tasting more Brazillian or Colombian or whatever coffee than Kona.
Usually the price of the these blends is expensive enough to make you think it’s genuine Kona coffee, but cheap enough to make more people want to buy it.
Those clever marketers. Popular Kona blend brands are Lion Coffee and Hawaii Coffee Company.
The bottom line is that while these coffees taste ok, if you’re looking for 100% Kona coffee and want to actually taste Kona coffee, don’t buy “Kona blend”!
So, Is It Worth It!?
If you’ve never tried Kona coffee and really want to, give it a try and the chances are that you’ll like it! I certainly really enjoy it and like I said above, the taste is unique and delicious.
The thing is that in our modern coffee culture, there are so many micro roasters and a large multitude of brands that sell delicious, high quality coffee for pretty reasonable prices.
Kona coffee, and Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee, are two types that have some hype behind them and are more expensive than most other coffees on the market, but it’s for a reason. They are rare but they have a taste to back their price.
I’m not saying you should make Kona coffee your new favorite and coffee of choice. Many of us don’t have the money for that. But I can definitely recommend trying it!
Here’s a brand I would recommend if you want to buy 100%, real Kona coffee. Forbes magazine has named it the best coffee in America! They’re packaging is gorgeous and they are known for great tasting Kona coffee.
*I receive commissions from purchases made through product links in this post. I sincerely appreciate if you use my links if you decide to buy something and help me in this way! And if not, no problem. To learn more click here. Coffee cheers!*
I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. Let me know if you have any questions about Kona coffee, or Kona! I have lived in Kona for about 6 months. Enjoy your coffee tasting!