What’s This Kona Coffee Everyone is Talking About?
While there are many coffee blends and roasts from all over the world, coffee connoisseurs are turning their attention to the islands of Hawaii to talk about a unique and rare blend of coffee called Kona coffee. Hawaii has a rich history of farming and harvesting coffee beans, but it is only recently that the world is opening up its senses to the wonderfully bold and aromatic flavors of this region-specific coffee. Want to know more about Kona coffee and why you should choose it for your next cup of java? What makes it so unique? Why are people falling over themselves to get a cup of this coffee? What do you need to look out for? How is this world-famous coffee prepared? Lots of questions. We’ve got the answers.
What Makes Kona Coffee Unique?
Kona coffee beans are found in only one part of the world: Kona, Hawaii. Bean farmers grow them at high elevations above sea level across hundreds of coffee bean plantations. The villagers and farmers of Kona celebrate their rich coffee history each year during the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. People come from all over the islands to celebrate this incredible product that results from elevation, humidity and moisture, as well as the volcanic infused soil. The combination of location and care help to make this coffee bean one of a kind in a world of millions of coffee bean choices.
Why Is Kona Coffee So Sought After?
“Real” Kona coffee is actually really rare. What most consumers are drinking is a specific blend of Kona beans and another type of coffee bean such as brazilian, or arabica. Some Kona blends contain as little as 10% of actual Kona bean product. As you can see, drinking a real cup of Kona coffee is truly a thing of wonder. Because of the rarity of authentic Kona coffee, trademarks have been developed to require blends of Kona coffee to state whether they are 100% authentic or not. Many passersby might not realize that what they are drinking is not 100% authentic.
People love rarity and uniqueness, and people love to make personality statements with their coffee. Think Starbucks: their coffee isn’t any better than the rest of the coffee in the world, but the brand is an important part of how we tell the world we are coffee drinkers. Kona coffee is like that to the people of Hawaii, and the quickly expanding market that is finding its way to Kona, to bask in this wonderful bean.
How is Kona Coffee is Harvested and Prepared?
Kona coffee beans start to grow in the middle of North American winter, and are ready for harvesting by mid summer. The trees, which produce red “cherry” looking beans, will be harvested many times during the six-month harvesting season. It can be expensive to grow an infestation-free crop such as coffee, which is part of the reason why the prices of Kona coffee may appear higher than other types of coffee. The government of Hawaii has banned all unfermented coffee beans from leaving the islands because of infestation problems.
It can take up to two weeks before the harvested coffee bean is properly prepared for sale to the public, and during that time, only the best beans make it into the bag and into your grinder.
Get to Know Kona Coffee
Think its just coffee? Think again. Kona coffee is so highly regarded and cherish by the people of Hawaii that there are laws in place to make sure people don’t mislead consumers into thinking they are buying the rare and coveted Kona coffee, when really they are being sold blends that don’t even resemble real Kona coffee.
Be sure to pay attention to the markings on any bag of Kona coffee you purchase from a grocery store. A real bag of Kona coffee will be visibly marked with a symbol that confirms it is 100% real Kona coffee, unless you buy small batch coffee straight from the farmers. You are most likely to find real coffee beans in the markets and small shops around Kona, or by visiting one of the farms in the area.
If you have had the pleasure of drinking real Kona coffee, you know that the unique taste and blend of rich aromatic flavors is worth the money you’ll pay. If you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting Kona coffee, you’ll want to put it on your bucket list. Rare, unique, tasty: no wonder people love it. And it’s no wonder the people of Kona, Hawaii take such pride in their wonderful product. Happy sipping.