As coffee becomes more of a specialty good, we’re seeing more Kona coffee brands and blends popping up all over the place. While you can now buy Kona coffee in huge supermarket chains and mega online retailers, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.
If you buy Kona coffee from the wrong store, you could end up with a bag of low quality beans with not much flavor at all. The key to buying a bag of Kona beans that is truly worth the price is to buy from directly from the growers. Check out our online store, featuring 100% Kona Coffee straight from our farm to your door.
Buy Kona Coffee Direct from the Farmer, Not from a Mega Store
If you buy your bag of Kona coffee from a grocery store or online retailer, you will never know how old it is. Coffee needs to be transported from the grower to the distributor(s) to the retailer, which could result in three or four different moves. The bag of Kona coffee you end up buying could have spent months or even years sitting in storage. Along with the age of the beans, poor transportation or storage environments can severely diminish flavor.
There’s only one way to get the freshest and purest Kona coffee beans available: buying directly from the grower. The farmer should know the best method for storing and shipping the beans in order to best preserve their flavor. After all, the farmer did grow the beans from start to finish. Since the beans will only be shipped once - from the farm to your door - there is much less of a chance that the bean’s quality will be reduced by poor transportation and storage.
Make Sure it’s 100% Kona Coffee, Not Blends
You may see brands with coffee labeled “Kona blend” or “Kona coffee”. If the coffee isn’t labeled “100% Kona coffee” it’s usually only made up of 10% Kona coffee beans. The remaining 90% can be made up of beans from anywhere else in the world, often lower quality and treated with chemicals during the production process.Experience 100% Kona Coffee
If you’re buying a 10% Kona blend, you might as well buy any coffee. The unique and complex flavors of the Kona beans will be diluted by inferior quality and processing. Wherever you choose to buy your Kona coffee, make sure that it’s labeled 100% Kona coffee. This way, you will actually get what you are paying for: Kona quality.
Learn About the Grower’s Harvesting Process
But just because you buy 100% Kona coffee beans doesn’t mean that the beans will be very high quality. Make sure to learn about the farmer who grew the beans that you’re buying. Try to find answers to these questions before you buy:
- Does the Kona coffee farmer hand-pick his or her cherries, ensuring that only the ripest cherries are harvested?
- Does the farmer passionately tend to his or her trees, providing enough water and nutrients for vigorous growth and maintaining the health of the trees through proper and consistent pruning and care?
- Does the farmer naturally dry their beans for richer flavor?
Scott Burr, the founder of Carta Coffee, completes every step of the coffee-making process by hand. As a winemaker turned coffee farmer, he takes extra care to ensure that he is growing the healthiest trees possible to produce the highest quality beans possible.
Buying an Experience
If you buy 100% Kona Coffee directly from a farmer who is passionate about what he or she does, you’re not just buying high-quality coffee; you’re buying a sensory experience.
Like grapes, Kona coffee beans hold the “goût de terroir,” or taste of the land. The entire coffee making process affects the flavor of the beans, from the elevation and sun’s position to the watering, pruning and soil. As you sip Kona coffee, delight in the sweet, smooth and rich flavor of Kona. Always sniff before you sip - and swish the coffee around in your mouth - to truly get to know the flavors of Kona.
At Carta Coffee, we build on the Kona coffee-drinking experience by offering side-by-side tastings. Our side-by-side tasting samplers offer you and your loved ones the chance to explore the flavors of 100% Kona beans processed in two different ways. It’s a fun and exciting way to learn about Kona coffee and discover your favorite types of Kona coffee beans.
We hope this article helps you choose the best place to buy Kona coffee. Remember, if you truly want to experience Kona quality, you should buy bags labeled 100% Kona Coffee directly from the grower. You can buy the highest quality Kona coffee beans directly from Carta Coffee’s Nolyssa farm here.