Ok. Coffee is a huge part of American culture. We love it. There are so many coffee shops across the country. There’s even Starbucks’ across the street from other Starbucks’. We are obsessed.
I’ve tried all sorts of coffee. But every time I go to Hawaii, I always get sucked into bringing back as many bags of Kona coffee as my suitcase can hold. Why? I have no idea. I don’t know if it’s actually better, or my mind tells me it is because of all the hype. So what is it that makes it supreme?
Where It’s From
Well this is pretty self explanatory. It’s from the North and South districts of Kona on the big island of Hawaii. There are several farms that grow the tree that produces the coffee.
The trees produce a small white flower in Spring. From there a fruit that looks similar to a cherry grows the months of August thru January. The fruit is picked and separated from the bean inside. Each tree will produce enough beans for 2 lbs. of ground coffee, per year. What? That is not a lot for one tree!
There are around 800 farms that produce Kona coffee. Because of the rarity and limited amount, the price of the coffee is quite expensive. Many times you’ll see Kona blends. Legally they only have to put 10% Kona coffee in and then mix it with another type of cheaper bean. This makes the coffee more affordable.
The rarest batch of Kona coffee is called Peaberry Kona. This can run $180 for 5 lbs. Of all the beans harvested, the peaberry only makes up 4%, making it very rare. When the beans are in the fruit, they generally have two halves, each being flat. Every now and then, only one half gets fertilized and the bean comes out more round. These are the peaberries. They have to be separated and roasted differently and they are thought to roast better, producing a tastier coffee.
Does this mean that Kona coffee tastes better than all the rest? Not necessarily. That depends on the drinker. However, it is in low supply and very rare. And almost every farm is family run and local to the area. So buying a bag supports local business, which is a great thing!
I think the coffee tastes great, and will probably always scramble when leaving Hawaii, to capture a little bit of the islands in my morning cup of joe.