If you love coffee you may have heard of Kona coffee.
Considered one of the best gourmet coffees in the world, Hawaiian Kona coffee is a smooth, rich, complex and deeply aromatic coffee.
If you have never tried Kona coffee, then you are in for a treat!
Here we share some of the best Kona coffee brands and how to make sure you are purchasing pure 100% Kona coffee.
Our Top Pick
Koa Coffee Peaberry Medium Roast
This exclusive Koa peaberry coffee is one of the best kona coffee brands.
Shipped direct from the farm, be warned you may not be able to go back once you try one of the best kona coffees from Hawaii.
Best Kona Coffee Beans – Comparison Table
We have shortlisted the best 100% pure kona coffee bean brands for you here.
In our Hawaiian kona coffee review section below we discuss the features in more detail.
|Kona Coffee Brand||Image||Roast||Rating||Price|
|Hawaii Coffee Company Royal Kona Estate Kona Coffee||Medium||4.8||Check|
|Koa Coffee Peaberry Whole Bean Kona Coffee||Medium||4.6||Check|
|Kona Gold Rum Co Kona Whole Beans||Medium-Dark||4.5||Check|
|Hualalai Estate PREMIUM Kona Coffee||Medium-Dark||4.4||Check|
|Blue Horse Kona Coffee||Medium||4.5||Check
What is Kona Coffee?
Kona beans are highly prized arabica coffee beans grown on the slopes of two volcanoes in the Gold Belt of the Kona District on Big Island, Hawaii.
It is also one of the most expensive coffees in the world.
Why are Kona Coffee Brands So Special?
Coffee production is only successful in a limited number of regions around the world. Coffee plants need the right combination of sun, rain and quality soil to produce great tasting coffee.
What makes Kona Hawaii coffee so highly prized is the Kona coffee belt has all the critical factors to produce the best tasting gourmet coffee:
- Nutrient rich volcanic soil on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa volcanoes.
- Little need for irrigation.
- Well drained slopes for ideal coffee growing conditions.
- The perfect island microclimate of warm sunny days, humid wet afternoons and mild overnight temperatures.
Few coffee growing regions in the world can tick all these boxes and this is what makes Hawaiian Kona espresso beans so special.
When you combine these climatic factors with strict quality controls, hand cultivation and generations of family run business experience, you have the best brand of kona coffee.
What Does Kona Coffee Taste Like?
Kona coffee is renowned as a smooth, rich, sweet and medium bodied coffee.
The flavor notes will vary by farm, but many describe their roasts having flavors such as citrus, honey, caramel and chocolate. The aftertaste is often nutty without the bitterness found in many coffee roasts.
Kona coffee is also considered a low-acidity coffee, which is great for digestion.
Why is Kona Coffee so Expensive
Kona is valued by coffee connoisseurs for its highly aromatic, rich flavor but what makes kona coffee special and is kona coffee worth the price?
The stand out reason why kona coffee is so highly prized is due to the perfect coffee bean growing conditions in the kona coffee belt. That reason alone helps produce stunning examples of the best gourmet coffee.
But the price of kona coffee is also higher due to a number of factors relating to their production:
- The Kona region only has ~800 coffee farms, most on small acreages.
- Coffee is hand picked in small batches at peak ripeness during the year.
- Labor costs are higher on Kona coffee farms.
- Total yield is low due to the small number of farms and slow maturation period.
The result? A superior quality coffee in low quantities and high demand results in a high price.
Kona Coffee Grades Explained
The State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture overseas strict standards for grade Kona beans. We summarise the grades of kona coffee here so you understand how to choose between the different the Kona hawaii coffee beans.
There are two types of coffee bean. Type 1 is your typical double coffee bean. It contains 2 beans per cherry.
The quality is assessed based on the size, shape, moisture content and purity of the bean. There are eight grades:
- Extra Fancy (the highest quality Kona coffee beans)
- Number 1
- Number 3
- Natural Prime
- Mixed Natural Prime (the lowest quality Kona coffee beans)
Whilst all of the top 5 grades will produce a quality coffee, the best rated kona coffee is the Extra Fancy Kona coffee. Kona extra fancy beans are the ultimate in quality and will cost more than the other Kona coffee grades.
Type 2 Kona coffee beans are also known as Peaberry coffee beans. These have just 1 bean per cherry and make up only 5% of all Kona coffee beans. There are two grades:
- Number 1
Kona coffee peaberry beans are the champagne of the Hawaiian coffee world and naturally command the highest price.
Peaberry coffee beans have a higher moisture content, less defects and produce a smooth, full bodied coffee considered to be one of the best tasting coffees in the world.
Are You Buying Real Kona Coffee?
Due to the premium price and value placed on Kona coffee, you need to be wary as there are many Kona blend coffee brands out there. Many Hawaiian coffee brands are not 100% pure kona coffee.
A Kona blend coffee needs to include just 10% Kona coffee beans. They are often priced higher than other great espresso beans like these ones but they will not give you the best Kona coffee experience.
It is often difficult to tell at first glance when you buy kona coffee beans whether it is genuine Kona coffee, or a Kona coffee blend.
Here are some tips to ensure you are getting the best kona coffee in Hawaii:
Best Kona Coffee Beans
Just because coffee is grown in the Kona region, doesn’t automatically mean it will taste great.
Differences in the quality of the soil, growing and production techniques as well as roasting methods produce distinctly different Kona coffees.
To help you choose the best Hawaiian Kona coffee beans, we have reviewed some of the best Kona coffee brands.
Choose from this list and be confident you are buying pure kona coffee.
Best Kona Coffee Reviews
All Hawaiian coffee beans in our Kona coffee review are 100% Kona whole bean coffee.
Some Kona coffee brands do offer ground Kona coffee, but honestly, if you are paying top dollar for Kona coffee beans, you need to grind those beans at home to achieve the best tasting coffee.
Hawaii Coffee Company – Royal Kona Coffee Review
Hawaii Coffee Company is the largest Kona coffee maker in the world and one of the best Hawaiian coffee brand choices. With a number of brands under their banner, the Royal Kona Private Reserve Estate is our top rated Kona coffee.
100% Kona coffee, Extra Fancy Grade and hand-picked from a single estate, it has a distinct aroma and smooth finish.
Royal Kona coffee is medium roast but has a light, clean, lively taste unlike some other Kona roasts.
This Kona coffee is great for any style of coffee, but if you love to make coffee in your Aeropress or Chemex, this is a great choice.
Koa Coffee Peaberry Medium Roast Kona Coffee
KOA Coffee company was founded in 1997 and has rapidly established itself as a leading Kona coffee brand.
Koa Kona coffee have a range of awards under their belt including Forbes best Kona coffee in America. They are renowned as one of the best hawaiian coffee brands and they produce some of the best pure kona coffee roasts.
This Koa Coffee Estate medium roast has a smooth, well balanced, crisp flavor and a sweetness often seen in Peaberry coffee. It is perfect for your french press or cold brew coffee maker and is a great choice for black coffee drinkers.
The ultimate in luxury, this gourmet coffee is one of the best Kona peaberry coffee options and makes a great gift for the coffee lover.
Where to buy Koa Coffee
Koa Peaberry coffee demand often outstrips supply. The best place to buy Koa Coffee is direct from the farm. It isn’t cheap, but is worth trying at least once, so you should grab a bag when it is available.
Kona Gold Rum Co Kona Coffee Beans Review
This medium dark 100% Kona coffee by Kona Gold Rum Company was awarded first place in the Kona Crown Competition Division at the Kona Coffee Cupping Competition in 2016.
Hand picked, sun dried and air roasted, these pure Kona coffee beans are the highest Extra Fancy grade and are a top rated Kona coffee.
The taste is smooth, highly aromatic with crisp fruity flavor and tones of molasses and brown sugar. It is low in acid and makes a superb cup of coffee.
Hualalai Estate Kona Peaberry Coffee Review
Hualalai Estate Coffee source the best Peaberry coffee beans from farms across the Kona region to produce a consistent quality coffee every time.
Promoted as pesticide free (although not certified organic) this medium dark roast has a full bodied taste and a more robust flavor than other Kona coffee brands on this list.
If you love strong coffee then the Hualalai peaberry kona coffee is a great choice.
Blue Horse Kona Coffee Review
Blue Horse Kona coffee is a mellow medium roast 100 percent Kona coffee. It is naturally low in acidity with spicy afternotes.
This good kona coffee has a lighter flavor so is best for french press, cold brew or chemex coffee drinkers. For espresso drinkers we recommend the Blue Horse dark roast.
To buy Blue Horse kona coffee beans, Amazon manage delivery with priority UPS shipping. Delivery is direct from Hawaii and takes only 2-3 days!
Where To Buy Kona Coffee Beans
Kona coffee beans are more difficult to find that your everyday coffee beans but the good news is you can buy the best kona coffee online (although it is a great excuse for a Hawaiian vacation!).
On Amazon kona coffee brands include Blue Horse and Kona Gold Rum Co. We recommend you purchase from the producer through Amazon where possible to ensure maximum freshness. And of course be wary of the blends when you are browsing through options.
If you are looking for a special Hawaiian coffee gift for a coffee lover, then BeanBox have a Hawaiian Coffee Sampler Box with 4 different coffees to try.
How to Order The Best Kona Coffee on Amazon
The easiest way to ensure you never run out of genuine Kona coffee beans is to order online through Amazon Prime.
If you aren’t yet signed up to Amazon Prime you can sign up for a 30 day trial here. With free two day delivery, you can have the best espresso beans delivered straight to your door anytime.
The other great option is to order through AmazonFresh, the online grocery store.
Just order your weekly groceries online, include a bag of your favorite Kona coffee beans and choose the best same or next day delivery window. What could be easier?
However you decide to purchase your Kona coffee beans we hope you enjoy this special gourmet coffee. But be warned, it may be hard to go back once you have tried one of the best coffees in the world!
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