Like fine wines, Hawaiian Coffees are blended to enhance complexity, texture, flavor and aroma.
Layers of flavor and rich aroma come from subtle characteristics of different coffee beans and Hawaiian Island micro-climates.
Coffee that is 100% grown and roasted in Hawaiʻi is some of the finest, most unique and rare coffee in the world. Not at all the same, Kona Blend and Hawaiian Blend coffees have negative connotations with many coffee lovers and coffee connoisseurs.
Background and Origins
The Island of Hawai`i, also called Hawai`i Island or the Big Island, is larger than all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined. It is also an incredible collection of diverse micro-climates that provide unique influences on the taste and aroma of the coffees grown in different regions or coffee growing districts of the Island.
When we first imagined the Hawai`i Island Blend we envisioned a coffee that was as rich and bold and as distinct as Hawai`i Island itself. And that is exactly what we have to offer. The Hawai`i Island Blend is crafted and roasted from coffee that is 100% grown on the Island of Hawaii.
Most people know about Kona Coffee, and the generations-old coffee farms in the district of Kona on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. Kona coffee is famous as some of the best coffee in the world, routinely winning international awards each year as it remains a favorite among coffee connoisseurs.
Ka’u coffee has also now earned a reputation as of one of the best coffees anywhere. In 2010, professional tasters gave extremely high scores to Ka’u Coffee, elevating the Kau district of Hawai`i Island and its coffees to cult status.
Many people have never heard about Hilo grown coffee and assume that coffee can’t grow in a wetter climate. But in the 1800’s nearly 6,000 acres of premium coffee were in production on the East side of Hawai`i Island until sugar took over as the more profitable crop. The decline of sugar in recent years has made it possible for small coffee farms on Hawai`i Island’s Hilo side to make a comeback.
Current labeling regulations allow coffee companies, many that are not even based in Hawaiʻi, to label coffee as a Kona Blend if only 10% of the beans in the blend are grown in the Kona region. The remainder of the beans in the blend (all 90%) can come from anywhere in the world. The same is true with Hawaiian Blend coffees where only 10% of the beans in the blend must be grown somewhere in Hawaiian Islands.
The reality is that in most cases, these blends and their labels are designed to confuse the consumer, especially visitors to Hawaiʻi, into purchasing coffee they believe is 100% from Kona or Hawaiʻi, exploiting the stellar reputation of true Kona Coffee and Hawaiian coffee from other islands of Hawaiʻi.
Coffee Bean Blending
Great and memorable wines are made from single grape varieties grown in a single wine region. We’ll drink a good California Cabernet or Merlot or an Argentine Malbec just about any time its offered. But we love Bordeaux wine too, which by law can only be made from specific varieties of grapes grown in the Bordeaux region of France that include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec.
Wines from Bordeaux are some of the most wonderful and prized wines in the world and are almost all made from a blend of different grape varieties. The blend is the character of the wine and the style of the winery, intentionally providing for layers of flavor that come from subtle nuances in each variety. The blend is crafted to enhance flavor not hide flaws.
Hawaiian coffee producers blend coffee for the same reason. They believe the layers of different aromas and flavors from the beans we select and blend, combined with the way we roast each particular blend make the whole greater than the sum of the parts.
Good coffee is a discovery and flavor adventure and it should invite you to savor each sip, and the moment. Hawaiian coffees are intentionally blended to evoke a flavor experience and to urge you to reminisce and “ponder paradise”.
Kona Coffee: When You Care Enough To Drink The Very Best
There are many good coffees that are produced and developed world wide to give coffee connoisseurs a delightful variety of flavours and aromas to try. One of the best coffees by far that is on the market today is Kona coffee, which is grown and roasted with utmost care to provide the very best coffee experience for those who care to indulge. Kona coffee is grown in the Kona region on the big island of Hawaii, and has been produced since the 1800’s. Coffee plants were originally introduced into the area by Samuel Reverend Ruggles, when he brought Brazilian cuttings into the region to grow. Although it took many years for the plants to take off, coffee has now become a big business in Hawaii, with over 600 Kona coffee farms in the area today.
Kona coffee beans are grown in the ideal conditions of this region, offering the plants the optimum amounts of sun, moisture and temperature to grow the best beans possible. The blooms appear on the trees in February and March, and the small, white flowers that cover the plants are known as Kona snow. The beans are harvested from August to January every year, and the trees are picked over many times to ensure that the harvest is complete. Once the cherries housing the coffee beans have been picked and the beans are extracted, they will go through a sun-drying process before they are sold to roasters, or roasted by the farmer himself for a unique, customised coffee.
Where to find Kona Coffee
Many coffee distributors will offer Kona coffee, although it may not be available all of the time. It is important if you are shopping for Kona coffee to watch out for terms like Kona blend, or Kona roasted. Coffee makers who have picked up on the idea that Kona coffee is big business will try to use the terms in a variety of ways to market their coffees more effectively. Keep in mind that most Kona blends on the market are only ten percent Kona coffee, and the rest is probably Columbian or Brazilian. If a coffee is truly a Kona coffee, it will have been grown in the Kona region, and it will bear a unique stamp to that effect.
Kona coffee offers a flavourful cup of coffee with a rich aroma, and is known throughout the world as one of the best coffees available today. While it tends to be much pricier than many other types of coffee, one taste of this delicious beverage will convince you that Kona coffee is worth every penny.