The Kona Coffee Belt is a narrow strip of land around 30 miles long and less than a mile broad. Only coffee cultivated in the Kona Belt can be labeled as "100% Kona Coffee." Due to the limited size of the Kona producing zone, the amount of coffee cultivated there is modest in comparison to the rest of the world, i.e. just 1% of the coffee farmed in the world is Kona Coffee.
This premium coffee is grown at an elevation of 800-2500 feet on the slope of the world's largest active volcano on an island. This implies that everything must be brought in by ocean barge.
There aren't any mechanical procedures or harvesting devices. Everything must be done by hand and every Kona bean is hand-picked with love. One pound of Kona begins as eight pounds of fruit implying that a complete coffee tree produces roughly 15-16 pounds of cherries.
That means, the Kona coffee pickers must hand-pick an entire tree to produce 2 lbs of roasted Kona Coffee. That doesn't even take into account the processes such as washing, grading, drying, roasting, or packing.
In addition, real estate there is more valuable than in practically every other nation that grows coffee beans leading to an increase in the price. Transportation costs for fertilizer, equipment, and moving coffee beans from the island also mount up.
Buying directly from the source is cheapest, although Kona coffee will cost more than a regular cup. A cup of coffee at a neighborhood coffee house might cost you between $6 and $8 US. Honolulu, Hawaii is known for being one of the most expensive places to live in the United States with coffee being no exception!
Hence, if you want to purchase 1 - 2 pounds of 100% Kona coffee, it might cost you around $20 – $42 US. Outside of Hawaii, the value of commercial coffee is set by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) traders through the coffee commodities market (or "C-market"). As a result, coffee growers are reliant on global markets, where global supply affects local value.
It's as straightforward as supply and demand.