Kona Coffee from Carta Coffee - Where to Start?

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Kona coffee is arguably some of the world’s best and tastiest coffee that you can buy.  There’s really no other coffee bean that is as good as the ones grown on the Kona plantations on the big island of Hawaii.

Due to a unique combination fertile volcanic soil, gently caressing Pacific Ocean trade winds, and the manual-labor intensive roasting processes, it’s no wonder that Kona coffee has such an excellent reputation among coffee drinkers.

Kona – Or Not?

When it comes to Kona coffee, there is some confusion among people as to precisely what it is. For example, if you walk down the coffee aisle in any given grocery store in the U.S., you’ll find multiple packages of coffee that are labeled “Kona.”

This is actually a blend of Kona and some low-grade coffee beans that are most likely already stale by the time they hit store shelves.

True Kona coffee – the stuff that’s grown on the big island – can’t be purchased in grocery stores.  Instead, you’ll need to buy it directly from such coffee plantations as roasting, packaging, and shipping the beans.

We’re going to look at the seven different Kona roasts that we offer.  We’ll explain the different tastes and flavors you can expect from each of our bespoke coffee roasts.

Meridian Roast

Meridian Roast is our newest Kona offering. It’s the lightest blend in our portfolio of coffee. We use beans from a collective of independent Kona farms, including our own Nolyssa Farm, and dried them with both natural and traditional techniques.

The result is a lighter, yet complex roast that has delicate notes of citrus flower and fruit which give this expression bright acidity that’s tempered by the deeper, earthier nuances of chocolate, subtle smoke, and hazelnut. It’s slightly creamy and sweet in texture.

Captain’s Roast

Our Captain’s Roast is where it all began.  Scott Burr, the founder of Carta Coffee, created his first signature roast using a deeper roasting technique which produced a dark, rich, slightly smoky cup of coffee that he still drinks every morning to this day!

Utilizing a carefully-guarded secret of sources and processes, the Captain’s Roast is a delicious balance of silky-smooth sweetness that features clean citrus highlights brought out by the traditional approach and rich roast.

Project Open Hand Roast

Project Open Hand Roast began as a charity endeavor for the sick and infirmed of Oakland and San Francisco. Every day over 2,500 meals and 200 bags containing healthy groceries are distributed to needy family and individuals throughout the area. Carta Coffee donates a portion of the proceeds from every sale of this delicious blend.

We use both traditional and natural processes to take our green beans from the tree to your coffee cup. The aroma from this blend is smoky, rich, and features a natural sweetness that’s been artistically combined with hints of nutty spices and citrus.

Latitude – Natural Process

Latitude is our very first expression and is featured in our inaugural signature SBS (side-by-side) tasting sampler. We use an old and incredibly manual labor-intensive process to harvest and roast the beans. The extra attention and effort give Latitude Natural a taste and aroma that no other coffee can come close to replicating.

This bespoke picking and roasting process gives the coffee smooth, sweet, and nutty complex flavors thanks in part to the natural drying process where the coffee cherries are dried under the warm Kona sun as the breezes from the Pacific Ocean gently flow over them.

Latitude – Traditional Process

The traditional process of Latitude Kona coffee is processed via the “wet” method in which the bean is extracted from the cherry via a mechanical process. The natural water used washes away any impurities which gives the coffee bright, clean, and distinctive citrus notes.


Peaberry is a term used amongst coffee growers to describe a natural process that occurs very rarely in the growing of coffee beans. In three to five percent of all coffee beans grown, the two beans of that single coffee bean merge, forming a peaberry or “caracol.”

These hand-selected beans offer a richer, more complex, and a fuller-body cup of coffee. Peaberry has vibrant, bright, and sweet characteristics followed by complex notes of roasted almost, blossoms, honey, and caramel. This rare Kona coffee must be experienced by everyone at least once in their lives.

Latitude – Black and Tan Roast

Our Latitude Black and Tan Roast is created by a unique blend of green beans which uses both natural and traditional processes. The coffee is allowed to dry under the gentle tropical Kona sun before it’s split in two and each batch is roasted to a dark black, and lighter tan, then mixed and packaged.

This unique way of roasting beans gives Latitude Black and Tan a complex roast with a harmony of flavor.  The coffee is creamy in texture and has notes of nutty, earthy, chocolate, mellow acid, and bright citrus.


Growing and roasting Kona coffee beans is a manually-intensive labor of love that results in some of the best coffee you will ever try.

When bring a cup of Carta coffee up to your lips, the rich and flavorful aromas will instantly transport you to the gentle slopes of the Kona coffee plantation.

If you’d like to learn more about our farm or our bespoke growing, picking, and roasting processes, visit our website for more information.

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