In order to truly appreciate the very best Kona coffee Hawaii produces, you need to understand the production process of this gourmet coffee. While some coffees are overpriced simply for the sake of it, the best Kona coffee beans justify their premium price tag. It is a top arabica coffee, considered one of the most deliciously indulgent coffees money can buy. The very best Kona coffee Hawaii produces is also a product of an extremely meticulous and intensive cultivation and production process.
Kona coffee trees burst into blossom in February and March, when they produce the most beautiful white flowers that cover the entire tree known as "Kona snow". Around mid-August, the fruits of the trees develop a beautiful bright red colour as they ripen. These fruits are referred to as cherries due to their similarities at the time they’re ready to harvest. Each tree is capable of producing approximately 15lbs of cherries, ultimately resulting in no more than around 2lbs of kona coffee beans. Due to the importance of meticulous quality control, each and every cherry is inspected and picked by hand.
Once picked, the delicate Hawaiian coffee cherries must be entered into the production process within the first 24 hours. The production process for the best Kona coffee Hawaii involves careful separation of the beans from the pulp, followed by a period of fermentation – the length of which is determined by the altitude. The fermented kona coffee beans are then rinsed and distributed evenly along a drying rack – a traditional approach to processing that has remained unchanged for generations.
The best Kona coffee beans need between one and two weeks to dry to an optimal moisture level, which according to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture is between 9% and 12%. If moisture levels are even slightly too high or too low, the quality of the resulting arabica coffee can be severely affected.
Once the gourmet coffee beans have been fully processed, it’s then a case of inspecting and grading them in terms of their size and quality. There are various official classifications of Hawaiian coffee beans, which include 'Kona Extra Fancy', 'Kona Fancy', 'Kona Number 1', 'Kona Select', and 'Kona Prime'. There are also a series of second-grade coffee classifications which include 'Peaberry Number 1' and 'Peaberry Prime'. Along with a lower grade of coffee, called 'Number 3' (or 'Triple X'), which is prohibited from being sold as Kona coffee, but can nonetheless be labelled as Hawaiian coffee.
Kona coffee blends
If out to sample the real thing for yourself, don’t make the mistake of buying Kona coffee blends. While it’s not to say that Kona blends cannot be delicious, you’re actually looking at a blend that may contain no more than 10% Kona coffee. In fact, there’s no legal requirement for the rest of the content to include any quality Hawaiian coffee whatsoever. If you do decide to go for a Kona coffee blend be sure to read exactly what goes into it beforehand.
So once again, while it’s true to say that the very best Kona coffee Hawaii produces is far from cheap, you really cannot put a price on the best Kona coffee beans.
Hayman's online coffee store offers the best Kona coffee beans. This incredible Hawaiian coffee is roasted at Hayman's roastery and shipped on the same day to our customers. It is available as green coffee beans (i.e. unroasted coffee beans / raw coffee beans for home roasting), roasted whole bean coffee, best ground coffee, Nespresso compatible pods*, and as coffee pods compatible with Keurig K Cup coffee makers (incl. Keurig 2.0 models)** - click here to order now, we ship worldwide!
* Nespresso® is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., unrelated to Hayman®. Our espresso pods are not created or sold by Nespresso®.
** Keurig and K-Cup are registered trademarks of Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. unrelated to Hayman®. Our pods are not created or sold by Keurig®.