Kona coffee beans are grown on the big island of Hawaii.
Grown in hard-packed volcanic rock, with near-perfect weather conditions, the coffee trees in the Kona area produce the highest yield of beans in the world.
The taste is unique, and the price fits...at about $30 for one pound of 100% Kona.
Kona coffee has a very aromatic scent and a sweet taste that is quite different from most bland coffees available in the supermarkets. It also has a wonderful aroma with a light, mild body and a clear, sweet, mellow flavor.
And this is a big however...there is an enormous amount of skullduggery at play when you scratch the surface of the Kona coffee industry.
First, there are constant legal battles over the right to use the Kona name. This lines the pockets of the lawyers, but does nothing to reassure buyers that they are getting what they think they are getting.
Also, because of the high value of Kona coffee beans, labeling of bags varies from the imaginative to the outright dishonest.
Often, when you think you are buying Kona coffee, what you are really getting is a small amount of Kona, with the balance coming Kauai, or even South America.
So if you pick up half a pound of Kona from the airport and find the result slightly disappointing, it’s probably because you are not drinking 100% Kona coffee beans at all.
The best Kona coffee is not what you buy through the big name brands, but comes direct from small farms which sell direct to the consumer.
Just be sure to read the descriptions carefully.
Finally, it's worth knowing that Kona is not the only coffee you can buy from Hawaii. You can also find some excellent Maui and Kauai estate coffees.
Hawaii may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about gourmet coffee, but it offers some wonderful choices.
About the author: Nick Usborne, aka Coffee Detective, is a writer and long-time coffee enthusiast. Read more…