If you love coffee, you've probably heard of Kona coffee. This world-famous brew comes from the Big Island of Hawaii, and is known for its unique flavor and rich aroma. But what do you really know about Kona coffee? In this blog post, we'll share 10 things that you may not have known about this delicious drink!
- Kona coffee is made from a specific type of coffee bean, called the Coffea arabica. This bean is native to Ethiopia, and was first brought to Hawaii in the early 1800s. The most prevalent tree planted is called Kona Typica.
- Kona coffee is grown in the rich, volcanic soil of the Big Island, at an elevation of between 500 and 2500 feet. The climate and soil conditions in this region are ideal for coffee production, and result in a coffee with a unique flavor profile.
- Kona coffee trees grow fruit called "cherry". Each cherry contains two coffee beans, which are then roasted and ground to create the final product.
- Kona coffee blossoms are referred to by the farmers as "Kona snow". The flowers are white and have a sweet fragrance. The "snow" blankets the trees in the orchard and is a welcome sign for Kona coffee farmers.
- High elevation Kona coffee farms have a distinct advantage. The higher elevation results in cooler temperatures, which slow the ripening process of the coffee cherries. This allows the coffee to develop a deeper flavor.
- On high elevation farms, the Kona coffee harvest takes place between September and April. During this time, the Kona coffee cherries are hand-picked and sorted to ensure only the reddest and ripest ones are used. Unlike large commercial farms in other regions, Kona coffee farms do not use mechanized picking to strip the cherry from the trees. Though more labor intensive, this method yields a better result by picking only the cherry that is ripe.
- After the Kona coffee cherries are picked, the beans are removed from the fruit and then cleaned using water and machinery. The pulp is removed from the bean, and the beans are then dried in the sun or in mechanical dryers.
- Kona Coffee Farms are often small, family-owned farms. In fact, over 90% of Kona Coffee Farms are less than five acres. This allows for a more personal relationship between the farmer and the coffee trees, resulting in better care for the coffee trees and enhanced flavors in the beans.
- Single-estate Kona coffee is often preferred by specialty coffee drinkers. These coffees are grown on a single farm and can be traced back to that specific farm. This allows the coffee drinker to know exactly where their coffee came from and how it was produced. Buying Kona coffee directly from the farm is a wonderful way to support local family farms and to gain a deeper appreciation for the special nature of Kona coffee.
- Kona coffee is typically medium-bodied, with notes of chocolate, nuts, and caramel. The acidity level is moderate, making it a very smooth and enjoyable cup of coffee.
So there you have it, ten things that you may not have known about Kona coffee! If you are a coffee lover, be sure to give this unique brew a try. You won't be disappointed!
If you'd like to buy single-estate, high elevation, Kona coffee directly from a family-run farm in the heart of Kona, try Kona Earth.