Rise and Shine, with your toes in the sand and a coffee in your hand because adventure in life is good, but a jolt from your coffee is always the best! What if that cup of coffee tasted like freshly ground paradise and smells like Aloha? Interesting right!
From the windward and the wet side of the Hawaiian Islands, the aromatic Kona coffee beans arrive. Kona Coffee is solely grown in the Hawaiian area of the United States, and the distinctive flavor of this specialty coffee is attributed to the rich Hawaiian soil and climate. Hold your cup in place! You're just about to take a journey to the richness and evolution of Kona Coffee.
Kona Coffee From The History Textbooks
While coffee has been a predominant beverage of Hawaiian culture for hundreds of years, it is important to remember the story behind its legacy. When Hawaiian King Kamehameha II and Oahu's governor, Chief Boki, traveled to England in 1823, the concept of Kona was conceived. Unfortunately, the king contracted the measles on his voyage and succumbed to it before reaching the Big Island in 1824.
Chief Boki stopped in Brazil on his journey home and bought some coffee plants to Hawaii. Later, Samuel Reverend Ruggles was the first to plant a coffee tree in Hawaii in 1828. However, the islands were unfamiliar with this brewed beverage before it.
Kona's Journey To International Fame
Despite the fact that coffee has already taken its place in farms of the Big Island, Hawaiian coffee was never the most important commercial crop: traditionally, sugar and pineapple were the most important agricultural goods in Hawaii. However, Kona coffee gained its first worldwide plaudits during the 1873 World's Fair in Vienna, Austria, hinting at the coffee's future specialty status.
Kona coffee, and Hawaiian coffee in general, had phases of expansion and contraction in response to key events such as the Klondike Gold Rush, US annexation of Hawaii, and the two World Wars of the twentieth century. During these years, migrant workers cultivated most of the Kona region in tiny family holdings when they weren't contracted to work on the much bigger, more lucrative sugar and pineapple plantations. Throughout it all, though, the Kona coffee varieties continued to develop and improve silently.
Finally, during the early 1980s, Kona coffee and the rest of specialty coffee worldwide began to see its long-awaited revival. Kona restored its former prominence when sugar and other commercial crops plummeted, and coffee connoisseurs shifted to richer tasting and more ethically raised coffees worldwide. It is now one of the most favored originals.
Authentic Kona Coffee is a renowned product of Hawaii's Big Island, praised worldwide for its full-bodied, delightful flavor and peculiar aroma. Many factors like the type of seed, geography and the methods of growing or harvesting matter in nurturing a specialty coffee like the Kona. Here is a brief insight into a few of the factors.
- The Seed Variety
Guatemalan coffee seeds were brought to Hawaii in 1892 to enhance the existing Brazilian supply. The new cultivar is an old classic variety transported to the United States when coffee cultivation began worldwide. Coffee mutates and adapts to its environment everywhere it is planted, and this Guatemalan Typica became so popular in Kona that it is now designated its variety, known as Kona Typica.
The terrain and climate of Hawaii also impact the quality of Kona Coffee. Coffees cultivated in Hawaii are grown at a relatively lower elevation than coffees grown elsewhere in the world. Because Hawaii is so far north of the equator than many other coffee locations, slight elevation changes have a greater influence on coffee quality by giving access to cooler air and the essential balance of sunshine and moisture. The Kona area of Hawaii's mineral-rich volcanic soils of Mauna Loa's steep slopes provides ideal circumstances for cultivating some of the world's finest coffees.
Hand-Picked With Love
After carefully hand-picked from the bushes, the coffee seeds are stacked in a basket before processing through a machine to remove the berry pulp and uncover the bean. The beans are fermented for 12 hours at lower elevations on Kona's highlands and around 24 hours at higher altitudes, and they are then air-dried before being roasted.
The Custom Roasting
Kona Coffee is sun-dried and then custom roasted based on the beans' desired characteristics and moisture variances. Many people in the industry consider roasting an "art form" because a perfect roasting technique and a roast master can make all the difference. 'Kona Roast' or 'Kona Style' are a couple of terms frequently used by some coffee merchants, and they are almost synonymous. A Kona Roast may be prepared from any coffee bean and will almost certainly include 0% Kona coffee.
Dark roasts are often referred to as French, Italian or Espresso. Full-City and Vienna are both medium roasts. Further, flavored coffee is sprayed or powdered shortly after roasting to enhance flavor absorption.
While Medium Roast is sweeter and less acidic than its darker counterpart, the aroma is as unique as the flavor, and it will not leave your senses in a hurry.
If you don't want to go hard on your cup of coffee, you can always choose the lightly roasted Kona beans for lesser intensity. Get the goodness of signature fusion with a kick of flavors.
The Layers Of Kona Coffee
Kona coffee has a light and exquisite flavor with a complex aroma. It is a mellow Arabica coffee that's lively on the tongue with a gentle, smooth finish and no harsh aftertaste. A Kona coffee bean is usually dark roasted and brewed with extraordinarily rich tastes of caramel, brown sugar, milk chocolate, and rich dried fruits, all with a lively acidity.
A good Kona coffee frequently displays spicy and buttery characteristics with delicate winey tones, and it is intensely aromatic with a perfect finish.
In the year 1866, the brew had won the heart of none other than the 'father of American Literature -Mark Twain', who happened to quote that, "Kona Coffee has a richer flavor than any other, be it grown where it may and call it by what name you please."
Types Of Kona Beans
Based on the type of seed used to generate the different varieties of Kona coffee, coffee beans are further classed as Type I and Type II beans.
- Type 1 - These are considered to be the beans of highest quality. The Type 1 Kona coffee beans end up in generating flavors like Kona Extra Fancy, Kona Prime, and Kona Select.
- Type 2 - The type 2 beans are simply known as Peaberry Number 1 or Peaberry Prime. Peaberry is a "double" coffee bean. According to coffee folklore, peaberry beans taste better because of their increased bean density, which increases heat transfer during the roasting process.
A coffee can only be named Kona if it is made from one of these two beans.
Blends To Balance
Due to the limited availability of Kona Coffee, a lot of traders sell "Kona Blends," which are not distinct Kona coffees combined together, but rather a mixture of Kona and Colombian, Brazilian, or other foreign coffees. Typically, they contain just 10% Kona coffee and 90% lower priced imported beans.
Current Hawaiian law mandates blends to specify the proportion of Kona coffee on the label, to identify "the genuine deal" by the phrase "100% Kona Coffee" emblazoned on the label to avoid flavor disappointments.
Is Kona Coffee A Luxury?
Coffee as a crop is undervalued globally owing to weak workforce and an excess of supplies in underdeveloped countries. Kona coffee is unique because it is grown and processed in the United States. Minimum wage laws exist in the United States, and because coffee is a labor-intensive product, costs climb.
Green (raw) Kona coffee costs $20 to $25 per pound, but coffee from other regions, such as Central America or Africa, costs $6 to $9 per pound for the same (or greater) quality.
Not only that, but the entire process of cultivating Kona coffee is entirely natural. Fertilizer is often generated on a farm in the region, using compost made up of seaweed, pruning clippings, cherry skins, coffee husks, and other organic materials. Donkeys, lambs, geese, and chickens wander the property, helping to remove weeds and pests while also providing natural manure.
Bringing You The Best Kona Coffee
A good cup of coffee can take you places, refresh memories and hug you with its beautiful aroma. If you have missed out on an exotic vacation to Hawaiian paradise, don't worry! We at Social Brew have brought the calm of the ocean packed in every roast of our 100% pure Kona coffee beans. To bring all the love from Big Island, we are more than delighted to get you the world's best gourmet and specialty coffees.
Did you know that you could be helping people fight their past just by sipping some heavenly coffee from your cup? Yes! Our e-commerce business is committed to giving a share of what we receive to the victims of human trafficking, who are working on rebuilding their life and wish to see the light at the other end of the tunnel
Come, dive into the universe of coffee through Social Brew to fall in love with unique blends and notes that Hawaii is introducing to the world. Experience the goodness that goes beyond your cup.