Kona Coffee 101: Overview of a Great Hawaiian Coffee!

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Once you’ve sampled the best Kona coffee Hawaii has to offer, there’s no going back. Your tastes are changed for life and you understand what seriously gourmet coffee is all about. But to truly appreciate Kona coffee, you need to understand its origins. As is the case with most of the world’s specialty coffee, the best Kona coffee Hawaii produces has a rich and interesting history.

The term Kona coffee refers to coffees that are grown on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa in the North and South Kona Districts of the Big Island of Hawaii. Along with being regarded at the best Hawaiian coffee money can buy, Kona coffee is also one of the most expensive coffees in the world. Production of the very best Kona coffee beans is dependant on very specific and rare climatic conditions, which are exclusive to very small regions of Hawaii. This enables only very small amounts of Kona coffee beans to be produced every year – hence its exclusivity and high price.

History shows that arabica coffee plants were first brought into the Kona region by Samuel Reverend Ruggles in 1828, imported from Brazil. It wasn’t until much later in the 19th century that an English merchant by the name of Henry Nicholas Greenwell created the Kona coffee brand as it still stands today. His original speciality coffee farm and store were transformed into museums and continue to attract coffee-lovers from all over the world today.

The growing popularity and value of best Kona coffee Hawaii spurred the opening of plantations across the region, most of which were operated as small family businesses. Over the years, the number of plantations continued to increase – there are currently around 800 Kona coffee farms up and running across the island. Nevertheless, the entire Kona coffee production region covers no more than about 2,290 acres, resulting in total annual output or around 2 million lbs. This is dwarfed by the 100 million+ lbs the Dominic Republic produces every year, which goes some way to explain the value and exclusivity of Kona coffee.

In fact, the region as a whole has become something of a successful tourist attraction for those who take their coffee more seriously than others, often called the Third Wave Coffee movement. As is the case with many other premium coffees from across the region, the very best Hawaiian coffee is only expected to increase in value and exclusivity going forwards. If anything, restrictions and regulatory requirements in terms of how Kona coffee is produced are becoming stricter and more specific all the time. In order to safeguard the reputation and the quality of this exclusive commodity, the government is extremely meticulous when it comes to allowing the official Kona coffee label to be used.

So if you’re hoping to pick up a bargain batch of Kona coffee beans in the near future, you might not want to hold your breath!

Still, these are exactly the kinds of restrictions that result in genuinely superior coffee that’s second to none. The best Hawaiian coffee may be expensive, but it’s worth every penny and more!

To order your fresh roasted Kona coffee from Hayman's online store click here, we offer free worldwide shipping! At our speciality coffee store, the best Hawaiian coffee is available as unroasted coffee beans / raw coffee beans (for home roasting), roasted whole bean coffee, roasted ground coffee, Nespresso compatible pods *, and coffee pods compatible with Keurig K Cup coffee makers (incl. Keurig 2.0 models)**.


* 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®.