04-Growing_Kona_Coffee Credit Christopher Michel

Hawaiian Gifts for the Coffee Lover – Made in Hawaii Kona Coffee

“The call for Kona coffee, which is said to be inferior to none in the world, is much greater than for any other kind, and it is a thousand pities, that beautiful district does not send more to market.”
The Sydney Morning Herald, 1854

The Best Coffee in the World

For over a century Hawaii Kona coffee has been known as the best coffee in the world.  Only coffee beans from the Kona region of the Big Island of Hawaii may be legally labeled “Kona coffee”.  In 1828 Samuel Reverend Ruggles brought Brazilian cuttings of Coffea arabica to Hawaii; Hawaii’s first coffee plant. Coffea arabica is believed to be the first species of coffee to be cultivated well over 1,000 years ago.

What’s so special about Kona?

Kona is a moku or district on the Big Island of Hawaii. Coffee is grown on the volcanic slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa where the soil is nutrient rich, the sun is bright in the morning and intermittently covered by misty clouds in the afternoon. In Kona, only the ripe red coffee cherry is hand picked, wet processed into coffee beans and sun dried.
Read more about this process at the Kona Coffee Council.

Grading Kona Coffee Beans

Usually a coffee cherry will have two beans. These beans are sorted by size (bigger is better), moisture content, and number of defects.
Extra Fancy Kona Coffee beans are the largest variety with a fuller flavor and have the fewest defects.
Fancy Kona Coffee beans are large coffee beans that have medium body flavor with a smooth consistency.
Number 1 Kona Coffee beans are medium-sized with a milder, almost nutty flavor.
Select Kona Coffee beans are a smaller variety that allow up to 5% of defects.
Prime Kona Coffee beans are the smallest that qualify for “estate” grade coffee and allow up to 25% of defects.
Peaberry Kona Coffee beans have only one bean and are very rare. These beans are very small but result in twice the flavor.

Common Kona Coffee Labels

100% Kona Coffee indicates that every coffee bean in the bag originated from Kona.
100% Hawaii Coffee indicates that every coffee bean in the bag originated from Hawaii.  So some beans may come from Maui or another part of the Big Island.
Peaberry usually consists of exclusively peaberry beans.
Private Reserve often contains the cream of the crop.
Estate often means that the package contains a mixture of graded beans from one estate or plantation. (Note: There are over 600 plantations in Kona)
Kona Coffee Blend A Kona Coffee blend is only required to have 10% Kona Coffee. Usually the Prime Kona Coffee is used to meet the 10% requirement resulting in a very affordable coffee blend.

Kona Coffee beans comprise about 1% of all coffee grown in the world. Kona coffee is a rare gift that will be treasured by any coffee lover.

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