You might have heard of Hawaiian Kona Coffee, but do you know what makes it so special?
Below we cover everything you need to know, including what it tastes like and why it is one of the most desirable coffees in the world.
Where does Hawaiian Kona Coffee come from?
Hawaiian Kona coffee is grown on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa, in the North and South Kona Districts of the Big Island of Hawaii.
Hawaii is one of America’s main coffee-producing regions.
In fact, California is the only other state that produces coffee.
What is so special about Hawaiian Kona Coffee?
Hawaiian Kona Coffee is a single-origin coffee. It is classified as a speciality coffee, which means it has a minimum score of 80 on 100 point scale by the Specialty Coffee Association.
Because Hawaiian Kona Coffee is grown in an extremely specific region (Kona only occupies two miles) and also at a high altitude, it has a very specific flavour profile.
The Kona region of Hawaii is perfect for coffee growing. It gets an average of 60+ inches of rain per year and has volcanic soil that drains well, which makes for great coffee trees.
That unique flavour profile has helped drive up demand for this highly coveted coffee bean.
Is Hawaiian Kona Coffee arabica or robusta?
Hawaiian Kona coffee is grown from the arabica species of coffee bean, which is favoured for its unique flavour and complexity.
The other main species of coffee bean is robusta, which grows at a lower altitude and has a less nuanced flavour profile. It’s also generally much cheaper to buy than arabica.
What does Hawaiian Kona Coffee taste like?
Hawaiian Kona Coffee is light to medium-bodied and can be described as having a bright, clean and delicate taste with a sweet and floral aroma.
It has a rich flavour with a caramel-like sweetness. Hawaiian Kona Coffee is often described as having a sweet flavour profile with notes of fruit, spice or nuts.
How is Hawaiian Kona Coffee processed?
Kona coffee beans are processed using the wet (or washed) method.
In the washed process, all of the fruit flesh is mechanically removed from the coffee beans using a depulper.
Then, the coffee cherries are placed in water tanks. The coffee beans are fermented in these tanks to remove the mucilage, which is the sticky pulp-like substance that remains on the bean after pulping.
After fermentation, coffee cherries go through a second round of washing in channels or clean tanks.
Once clean, the beans are then spread out to dry—which can take up to 4 weeks.
Where to buy Hawaiian Kona Coffee in Australia
There are several local Australian roasters who import, roast, and sell Hawaiian Kona beans.
Expect to pay upwards of $45 per 250g bag for Hawaiian Kona Coffee in Australia.