Why is Kona Coffee so Special?

Kona coffee is one of the rarest and most prized coffees in the world. But what exactly is Kona coffee, and what makes it so special?

"Kona coffee has a richer flavor than any other, be it grown where it may and call it by what name you please." ~Mark Twain, 1866

What Is Kona Coffee?

Kona Coffee describes the coffee beans grown on the slopes of Hualalai, in the Kona district of the Island of Hawaii. The area (sometimes called the Kona Coffee Belt) is small, only stretching along 30 miles of coastline, but it produces perfect coffee beans for world-class coffee. Kona coffee is grown from Guatemalan Typica, fondly known as “Kona Typica,” a high quality variety of Arabica coffee.

What Makes Kona Coffee Taste So Good?

There are many tropical places, including other parts of Hawaii, that produce wonderful coffee, but what makes Kona coffee extra special is its unique microclimate. Located at 1,000 to 3,500 feet above sea level on the leeward side of a volcano, this unique pocket of land provides a magical blend of conditions for growing delicious coffee. The Kona Coffee Belt has:

  • Morning sun
  • Afternoon clouds and showers
  • Rich, well-drained volcanic soil
  • Perfect tropical temperatures

Hawaii Island has a rich history of farming coffee, and the coveted Kona coffee is its crown jewel. This coffee is so highly-regarded, in fact, that the state has laws in place to ensure customers buying 100% Kona coffee are getting the real deal.

Kona Coffee Buying Tips

If you want to indulge in a cup of Kona coffee, keep these buying tips in mind, so you an inauthentic “Kona blend:”

  • Only purchase coffee labeled “100% Kona Coffee” (anything else could have as little as 10% real Kona coffee)
  • Splurge for the bags labeled “100% Estate-Grown or Single-Sourced Kona Coffee.” These labels mean all the coffee beans were grown, sorted and roasted on the same farm. They will have the purest taste, and best flavor profile.
  • If you are lucky and get the timing just right, you can indulge in one of the rarest coffees in the world: 100% Peaberry Kona Coffee.” Made from a special coffee bean that only makes up a fraction of a total coffee harvest, peaberry coffee is the “champagne” of coffee.

Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or just like a good cup of coffee in the morning, true Kona coffee is a must-try. Rare and uniquely delicious, it earns its title as one of the best coffees in the world.