History of Kona Coffee
For coffee lovers, there is nothing quite like a cup of Kona coffee. Grown on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa in the North and South Kona Districts of the Big Island of Hawaii in the rich volcanic soil of Hawaii, Kona coffee beans are known for their mellow, smooth flavor. Kona coffee is a world-renowned coffee variety that has a long and rich history. In the early 1800s, when coffee was brought to the Hawaiian islands, it was first planted on Oahu. From there, it was introduced to Maui and later to the Kona district of the Big Island, where it found the ideal climate for growth. Today, Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that produces coffee commercially. And of all the coffee grown in Hawaii, Kona coffee is by far the most prized.
What Makes Kona Coffee Unique?
Kona coffee thrives in the Big Island of Hawaii’s unique island microclimate, which provides ideal growing conditions for coffee trees. The mornings are cool and the evenings are warm, with just enough rainfall to keep the plants healthy. This results in coffee beans that are well-nourished and have a nice balance of moisture. Secondly, the soil in the Kona region is rich in volcanic minerals, which gives the coffee beans a distinctive flavor. Additionally, the unique tree stock, the Kona variety, produces coffee beans with a relativity low acidity. Where as most coffee beans clock in around 4 on the pH scale, (with 7 being neutral), it comes in around 6. Many people can enjoy a cup, even if they are sensitive to acidity. Granted, it has to be freshly roasted. Finally, the coffee beans are hand-picked and processed with great care. This attention to detail results in a cup of coffee that is truly unique and enjoyable.
Kona Coffee Farmers
Kona coffee farmers take great care in growing and harvesting their beans. The coffee plant is a delicate crop, and the farmers must carefully monitor the plants for pests and diseases. They also must water the plants regularly, as too much or too little water can adversely affect the flavor of the coffee beans. The coffee beans are grown under a canopy of trees, which provides them with shade and protects them from the wind and rain. Farmers will often use a system of nets and ropes to support the coffee plants, which helps to keep the beans from falling to the ground. During the harvesting process, the farmers hand-pick only the ripe coffee cherries, which are then transported to the mill for processing. Once the coffee beans have been harvested, they are typically sun-dried before being roasted. This process helps to bring out the bean’s natural sweetness and rich flavor. To ensure that their coffee beans are of the highest quality, farmers in Hawaii take great care in every step of the growing and harvesting process. Thanks to the care of the farmers, Kona coffee beans are prized for their quality and taste.
Every year, between February and March,
arch, the Kona landscape is covered in a blanket of snow-like blossoms called “Kona snow”. These white blossoms fill the air with a sweet fragrance, and they also mark the start of the coffee harvest season. During this time, the coffee cherries ripen and turn a deep red color. Once they are picked, the cherries are then processed and roasted to create the unique Kona coffee flavor that so many people know and love.
In conclusion, Kona produces a coffee with a rich, complex flavor that is unlike any other in the world. When you drink 100% pure Kona coffee, you are tasting the unique terroir of Hawaii. Kona coffee farms are small family-run operations, and each one takes great care to produce a superior product. The result is a coffee that is truly special and distinctively Hawaiian.