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10 Best Kona Coffee Brands (Review) In 2020

The best Kona coffee listed below has been selected by MyFriendsCoffee because of its exceptional taste, full-body, and flavors of tropical fruits and sweet-spicy.

If you have never tried Kona coffee, then you are probably wondering: what’s in it? Real connoisseurs of the invigorating drink claim that Kona is so silky and soft, aromatic and tasty that if you try it once, you will no longer want to buy other beans.

Do not rush to buy a package of Kona beans: we need to warn you. Best Kona coffee beans is considered the most expensive in the world. This fact is used by deceivers, diluting Kona with cheaper beans. Fraudsters may not sell the real product at all.

Here are a complete buying guide and the benefits of these premium beans. All Kona Coffee brands are exceptional and lush, and many of them have received awards to prove it. The flavor and mixture are in place, so all you need to worry about is keeping the beans fresh!

Best Kona Coffee

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OUR TOP PICK

Kona Gold Coffee

  • 100% Pure Kona Coffee
  • Volcanic coffee beans dried by the Hawaiian sun
  • It is really smooth with no bitterness

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Best Kona Coffee Blend

Hawaiian Isles

  • A blend of Hawaiian coffee and the best Arabica beans from around the world
  • The flavor is smooth with a sweet vanilla tone and very mild macadamia note
  • Ideal for brewing in the French press or Aeropress

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Premium Kona Arabica

Kauai

  • Product from the largest coffee grower on Hawaii
  • Eco-friendly premium arabica

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Best Fresh Kona Coffee

Blue Horse

  • Coffee is delivered immediately from the farm, making it as fresh as possible
  • Hand-picked eco-friendly coffee

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Air Roasted Coffee

Imagine

  • Ideal for brewing in a French press, drip coffee machines, automatic coffee makers and cold coffee
  • Hand selected and sun dryed coffee beans

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Therefore, it’s hard to choose only the best Kona coffee brand from the market. Everyone has different reasons for buying such a product. To help make your choice easier, we have organized the best Kona coffee on Amazon by value for money. Here are the MyFriendsCoffee’s top 10 best Kona coffee 2020:

1. Kona Gold Best Kona Coffee Whole Beans

Do you want to buy the best Kona coffee from Hawaii? You’re in the right place.

Although some brands claim to be Kona, they often contain only 10 percent of genuine Kona beans mixed with lower grades. Kona Gold beans are 100 percent authentic and carefully grown in the Kona area on a large island that has the perfect microclimate for growing coffee beans.

Kona Gold Natural Coffee Beans are hand-picked, moistened, dried in the sun and roasted in the air. This process provides a cup with a clean taste and aroma. Their full city roast (medium / dark roast) combines fresh fruity notes with creamy tones of molasses and brown sugar for a simply wonderful cup of coffee.

Also, their whole Kona Gold Medium / Dark Roast beans took first place in the Kona Crown Competition at the much-anticipated 2016 Kona Coffee Cupping.

2. Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee

Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Co. – A second-generation family coffee roaster located in the heart of the Hawaiian Islands. These guys seek to share Hawaii’s exotic tastes with the world through the aroma of their coffee.

A gentle combination of rich vanilla and Hawaiian macadamia. Tasty, aromatic and so indescribably satisfying. A popular choice among their fans! This Hawaiian coffee blends use Kona coffee beans grown on the Kona Coast on the Big Island, where natural elements combine to create ideal conditions for growing beans throughout the year.

The company mixes these rich beans with the best Arabica from around the world to give you a truly unique gourmet taste.

3. Kauai Whole Beans Kona Coffee

Kauai Coffee is committed to farming practices that are sustainable for the environment. The company is proud to be one of the largest drip irrigation coffee houses in the world.

Also, they have a sustainability program for gardens, including a cover crop and composting program to create healthier soils, reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers and herbicides, reduce irrigation requirements and improve coffee quality.

The warm Pacific sun, rich volcanic land, plentiful mountain rains, and cool Kauai trade winds create ideal conditions for growing outstanding coffee.

Kauai Coffee Company, which grows about 4 million coffee trees on 3,100 hectares, is one of the largest coffee producers in Hawaii and, therefore, one of the largest coffee producers in the United States.

All Kauai Coffee products, including Single Serve Pods, are made from pure Arabica beans, which provides a smooth, delicious taste and amazing aroma.

Each cup is an enjoyable experience!

These guys grow five varieties of Arabica coffee beans: yellow katuai, red katuai, tipika, blue mountain, and Mundo Novo.

4. Blue Horse 100% Kona Coffee

What is the best 100% Kona coffee? Definitely it’s Blue Horse.

You can be sure that all statements made by the manufacturer are 100% true, as this product has been tested and is certified.

Blue Horse is made using beans from only one coffee bean farm. Unlike other brands that can safely mix beans from various farms.

Another important feature of Blue Horse coffee is that each bean was hand-picked and dried directly in the sun!

The company is famous for its attention to every detail in the production of coffee and this guarantees the highest quality guarantee for their Kona coffee.

5. Kona Coffee Beans by Imagine

Imagine Kona coffee are so gorgeous thanks to their excellent taste. 100% pure Kona coffee beans are grown in rich volcanic Hawaiian soil on a single site more than 600 meters high (never mixed with lower quality coffee beans, like some brands).

This Hawaii coffee with the Extra Fancy quality mark are the best you could get!

The sweet, vigorous taste of this luxury drink is saturated, while there is no sour or bitter taste. Beans have a medium-dark roast. They are roasted in hot air and are ideal for drip coffee, cold preparation, use in a French press, and automatic coffee machines.

6. Hawaiian Gold Kona Blend Coffee

A delightfully magnificent mixture that uniquely combines quality Kona beans with other pristine, alpine, estate-grown, 100% Arabica beans. Well rounded and smooth aromas merge with a radiant spark in the cup, creating an irresistible aftertaste, each cup is as delicious as the first.

Gold Coffee Company, owned and operated by a family that has been a direct multinational importer of Single Estate for over 25 years.

The guys at Hawaiian Gold manually select their coffee beans to ensure maximum quality in each batch. Only this type of love and care can make a drink so rich, smooth and delicately aromatic. This seductive blend produces a vivid taste, with a striking exotic character that enhances this world’s favorite.

Gold Coffee travels around the world in search of only the best coffee beans. From the lush tropical jungle of Costa Rica to the rich soils of Ethiopia, only a handful of carefully selected coffee plantations meet their requirements for an excellent product.

7. Mountain Thunder Kona Coffee

Mountain Thunder 100% Kona Coffee is grown at high altitudes in the heart of the world-famous Kona Coffee belt on the Big Island of Hawaii. Quality is an essential component of the Mountain Thunder coffee plantation. Make sure that you drink the Private Reserve 100% Kona Coffee with the best taste because directing you to the best quality drink is our goal here.

Beans are grown, processed and roasted on the slopes of the active volcano Hualalai. This area provides rich growing conditions due to volcanic soil, mild climate, light winds, heavy rains in summer, high altitude and sunlight. Their Hawaii coffee beans are thoroughly cleaned, sorted and processed using the Satake optical color sorter. This sorter removes black, orange and yellow beans that leave a bitter taste. The volcanica Kona coffee beans are then roasted with their signature did rich roasters to French or Viennese roasts.

Mountain Thunder Kona is known for the nutty, chocolate and light cinnamon shades found in their most popular roast in Vienna. Their French roast provides a stronger aroma and a slightly stronger taste.

8. Kona Bloom Coffee Beans

Kona Bloom solid coffee beans have an “Extra Fancy” quality rating. These beans were hand-picked from the Big Island of Hawaii at Hualalai Farm.

Kona Bloom – medium roasted coffee. This drink is saturated with bright floral, peach tones. You can enjoy flavors reminiscent of cocoa, honey oil, butterscotch. In the mouth, it feels soft and pleasant. This manufacturer recommends drinking Kona without milk and preparing it using a prover or drip method. Perhaps, enjoy a beautiful cup of Kona with cookies or sweet Belgian waffles!

The Hawaiian coffee beans are packaged in bags of 10 ounces or 5 pounds with degassing valves for freshness. There’s always a roasting date on your bag so you know how fresh it is.

However, roasters on large islands are not just coffee makers. They also offer bean roasting and chopping services, advice and cup quality assessment. The sign of true coffee lovers! You know that Big Island Coffee Roasters are true experts; they are passionate about coffee and know how to make it perfect for drinking.

9. Kona Coffee Medium Roast

Rich and soft taste with hints of chocolate, caramel, and light floral notes, this coffee is sure to impress!

Last year, the company celebrated its 20th anniversary of growing 100% Kona coffee. For more than 20 years, they have been constantly investing in their farm, processing facilities, technology, physical retail space, public relations, and customer relations. As they move forward, looking to the future, they remain committed to providing the same quality and stringent standards that have earned them many awards and fixtures over the years.

Participation in the first Kona Coffee exhibition and the Cultural Festival Crown Cupping last year (November 2018) helps to confirm the hard work, time, emotional and financial investments that they made.

Nowhere on earth do farmers have greater respect and love for Ainu (land). Malama `Aina (care of the land) is the predominant ideology of Hawaii and is reflected in all aspects of island life. From surfers to farmers, respect is paramount.

At Kona Coffee & Tea Environment and Sustainability are always at the forefront of all their solutions. The company firmly believes that we can produce the best 100% Kona coffee in the world while preserving and improving the environment.

10. Royal Kona Coffee

This medium-roasted Kona is the perfect choice for those seeking a balanced taste and aroma. It is also not as sour and intense as lightly roasted coffee.

100% pure beans are selected from the best Kona crops; large, aromatic beans that are skilfully roasted to create a unique and truly exquisite Kona cup.

Always fresh and offered to you by the largest producer of Kona in the world and the leading supplier of coffee in Hawaii for hotels, restaurants and retail stores of the island. The company could be said to proudly represent the very taste of Hawaii.

Many of his customers were also pleased with the closing coffee clasp. This allows Royal Kona Coffee to maintain freshness even after opening, preventing the destruction of beans by air and other external irritants.

Best Kona Coffee Buying Guide

What is Kona coffee?

Kona Coffee is an Arabica variety cultivated on the slopes of Mauna Loa and Hualalai, in the south and north of Hawaii. Only sparkling white wine from the Champagne region in France can be called “champagne”. Similarly, only coffee that is grown in the Kona area can be sold under the name Kona.

Kona coffee is grown under ideal conditions: it is sunny in the mornings, and cloudy, rainy in the evening. The climate is mild, there is practically no wind. In this paradise, coffee trees grow on mineral-rich, fertile volcanic soil. It is worth noting that each Kona coffee farm produces a special variety of beans because everywhere has its microclimate.

What does Kona taste like?

The taste characteristic of real Kona coffee is unique. It is a mixture of six properties. Thanks to each of them, Kona coffee is second to none. When preparing a drink, the first thing you notice is a sweet aroma. Having taken the first sip of Kon, you will experience a sweet and rich, juicy taste with a touch of nuts or honey. It resembles caramel, butter, cocoa, and fruits.

Also, the drink has low acidity, so that it carefully treats the stomach and feels very soft. You will like the bitter aftertaste of citrus and nuts. Not only are the taste qualities of Kon’s coffee unique, but its physical effects also digress from the norm. It doesn’t bring on the jitters like ordinary coffee and has a much more gentle invigorating effect. You will feel calm, but at the same time, you will be able to restore strength.

Hawaiian coffee from different farms has different taste properties. Some beans have a distinctly berry-like aroma, while others ooze vanilla. The notes of taste can also change. However, from all of Kon’s beans, a rich and sweet, soft and rich drink is obtained. You probably have already salivated.

Why is Kona’s coffee so expensive?

You have probably noticed that the manufacturers of Kona recommended by us sell their product at a higher price than usual. Unlike cheaper coffee varieties that are grown on large plantations, Kona is produced on a small scale. This process is very time consuming and pedantic.

The vegetative period of Kona coffee is 12 months. In February and March, coffee trees bloom, natural pollination occurs. From April to August, fruits are formed. From September to January, ripe fruits are harvested. Nature likes to keep you waiting for Kona beans. For the coffee tree to start to bear fruit, three years must pass!

Even after this period, only 24lb of fruits can be collected from each tree. Do not forget that 1lb of coffee accounts for almost 9lb of fruit. This will help to understand that in a season it will be possible to collect so many fruits from one tree that only 3lb of the finished product is enough. There are currently around 700 Kona coffee producers in the Hawaiian Islands. It is here that the world stock of this variety is concentrated.

Fruit picking

When the fruits of the coffee tree ripen, they become not green, but burgundy. Because of this, they are sometimes called “berries.” Each berry contains a pair of beans, which will subsequently be sold. Manufacturers manually harvest coffee fruits, which is extremely time-consuming. Why not use a car? The fact is that the fruits of coffee trees do not ripen at the same time. Because of this, vigilant human vision is required when picking berries. Although the volcanic landscape of the Kona region is ideal for growing beans, this area is mountainous and rocky.

Mechanical cultivation and harvesting are not possible here. From this, we can conclude that the cultivation of Kona requires widespread use of manual work. This is the most time-consuming process in the world!

This is another reason for such a high price. People picking fruits choose them by density, color, and size. After that, the machine removes the flesh and only the beans remain. They are cleaned and dried in the sun. After harvesting the beans, the process of processing the beans takes 24 hours. Such a high speed of the procedure is very important: the beans should not go bad, they need to stay fresh.

Beware of scammers

I recommended to you the 10 best manufacturers of real Kona whose products you can try. Like most other home baristas, at some point, you will probably decide to independently explore the market so you can be sure that you are not missing anything.

I understand that you are naturally curious. But I don’t want you to give money to deceivers who often they sell a product and call it “Kona”. It contains 10% of Kona and 90% of Brazilian or Colombian Arabica. Unfortunately, there is nothing illegal about it. To be honest, it would be better to save money and just as easily buy standard ground coffee from Brazil.

You will not notice differences in taste between fake Kona and standard Brazilian. If you want to enjoy proper Kona, be sure to buy a product that is certified as 100% Kona. There are several ways to check if you are buying real Kona. Find out if the brand in Hawaii is mentioned in the ad or the product description. If there is nothing, then you should not buy this product. Go to the brand’s website and see where they get the beans from. Coffee should be made in the Kona area of ​​the Big Island of Hawaii. If another place is indicated, then this is not technically Kona.

Avoid brands that speak of “Hawaiian tastes,” but don’t mention the Kona area. Most of the Hawaiian Islands are not suitable for growing beans: it is either too humid or too hot there.

Some manufacturers using products from other areas are trying to increase sales by saying that their beans have a Hawaiian flavor. But this is not real Kona! In a nutshell: Look for brands that include Hawaii and Kona on their product labels. Better yet, if the company speaks of the volcanoes of Mauna Loa or Gualala.

What are the Kona mixes?

Kona Blends are a mixture of less expensive beans. They can be obtained from Africa, Brazil, Central America or Indonesia. Mixtures of Hawaiian Kona must include at least 10% Kona. Outside of Hawaii, a mixture may have only 1% or less Kona. Technically, a mixture can only have one Kona bean!

The mixed state laws must include Kona percentages on labels. For clean products, the words “100% Kona” should be visible on labels.

Does Kona coffee have a guarantee of quality?

Kona is a small region where beans are grown. However, in it, all the same, different areas are producing a product of different quality. Each Kona packaging is tested and evaluated by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDA).

If you need top-quality products, look for the HDA mark on the packaging. Evaluation is based on various criteria: shape, size, rarity, moisture content, and bean composition. Most often, quality is high. Roasters prefer to use the least imperfect beans. If the product has chips, cavities or deformation, then it will not be roasted evenly. Because of this, the beans will not be as tasty as they could be. There are eight categories of quality guarantee: Extra Fancy, Fancy, 1, Select, Prime, 3, Natural Prime, and Mixed Natural Prime. Kona Beans rated “Extra Fancy” are of the highest quality. They are the most expensive. Coffee connoisseurs believe that beans of categories 1-5 belong to the highest class, and there is practically no difference in taste. Only category 3 and below should be avoided. They allow the largest number of defective beans – 35%.

Where to buy Kona?

Most manufacturers of this Kona have their websites. You can order directly from them. A list of manufacturers is available on the Kona Coffee Farmers official website. If you buy directly from KCF member farms, you will get the freshest coffee. Also, support small business. Also, genuine Kona can be purchased from some manufacturers on Amazon.com.

Types of Kona coffee

Kona Arabica is classified by type of bean:

Type I – two beans in one berry, the beans are flat on one side and oval on the other. Further gradation depends on quality:

  • Kona Extra Fancy;
  • Kona fancy;
  • Kona Number 1;
  • Kona Select;
  • Kona Prime.

Type II – one round bean in berry (peaberry):

  • Peaberry Number 1;
  • Peaberry Prime.

The lowest grade is called Number 3 or Triple X and cannot contain the word Kona; it is marketed under the brand name “Hawaiian coffee”.

Kona Coffee History

English sailors brought the first coffee seedlings from Brazil to Hawaii at the beginning of the 19th century.

It is believed that Spaniard Francisco de Paula Marina, an adviser to King Kamehameha I, first planted coffee on the island of Oahu. Then in 1828, American missionary Samuel Ruggles planted coffee trees on the Big Island in the Kona region, where they brought an excellent harvest. It was here that everything turned out to be extremely favorable for coffee growth: rich volcanic soil, special weather conditions and plantation heights above sea level.

Very soon, people began to plant trees all over Kona. So the industrial production of coffee in Hawaii was born, and the coffee there was called Kona. The high quality of Kona coffee was first recognized in 1873 at the World Exhibition in Vienna when its seller Henry Nicholas Greenwell was awarded the prize for the excellence of this variety.

Today, Mr. Greenwell’s store in Kealakekua is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and functions as a museum. The descendants of Greenwell continue to grow, process and roast Kona coffee, and also organize excursions to their farms, where they acquaint those who wish with the process of growing coffee, the ways of its processing and roasting.

At the end of the 19th century, German breeder Hermann Weidemann brought a new coffee tree to the Kona region.

This plant, originally related to Guatemalan Arabica, became known as “Kona typical”
(in Hawaiian it is “Melian Koppe” – American coffee) and is now the most cultivated in the Kona area.

In 1899, when world coffee prices fell sharply and it became unprofitable for large plantations to grow beans, they leased small areas of plantations (from 5 to 15 acres) to farmers – this was the origin of the family farm tradition that exists in the Kona region to this day.

Conclusion

If you are a coffee fan, like me, then you need to try Kona at least once in your life. Although true Kona is more expensive than other varieties, it is worth it. You will be rewarded with a delicious taste. Do not forget to enjoy every sip of this delicious, soft, aromatic drink with pleasure. Do not rush perfection!

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