100% Hawaiian Kona Coffee
Aloha! 100% Hawaiian Kona coffee is a single origin coffee, not a blend like many others.
Kona coffee is the market name for coffee (Coffea arabica) cultivated on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa in the North and South Kona Districts of the Big Island of Hawaii. It is one of the most expensive coffees in the world. Only coffee from the Kona Districts can be described as "Kona." The weather of sunny mornings, cloud or rain in the afternoon, little wind, and mild nights combined with porous, mineral-rich volcanic soil create favorable coffee growing conditions. The loanword for coffee in the Hawaiian language is kope,pronounced [ˈkope].
Kona coffee blooms in February and March. Small white flowers known as "Kona snow" cover the tree. Green berries appear in April. By late August, red fruit, called "cherry" because of resemblance to a cherry, start to ripen for picking. Each tree, hand-picked several times between August and January, provides around 15 pounds of cherry, which result in about two pounds of roasted coffee.
Within 24 hours of picking, the cherry is run through a pulper. The beans are separated from the pulp and then placed overnight in a fermentation tank. The fermentation time is about 12 hours at low elevation or 24 at higher elevation. The beans are rinsed and spread to dry on a hoshidana or drying rack. Traditional hoshidanas have a rolling roof to cover the beans in rain. It takes seven to 14 days to dry beans to an optimal moisture level of between 10 and 13% (by Hawaii Department of Agriculture regulations: 9.0-12.0%). Too much moisture content in coffee allows the growth of ochratoxin A, a harmful mycotoxin, hazardous to human health. From here, the beans are stored as "pergamino" or parchment. The parchment is milled off the green bean prior to roasting or wholesale.
Kona coffee beans are classified by law according to seed. Type I beans consist of two beans per cherry, flat on one side, oval on the other. Type II beans consist of one round bean per cherry, otherwise known as peaberries. Further grading of these two types of beans depends on size, moisture content, and purity of bean type. The grades of type I Kona coffee are 'Kona Extra Fancy', 'Kona Fancy', 'Kona Number 1', 'Kona Select', and 'Kona Prime'. The grades of type II Kona coffee are 'Peaberry Number 1' and 'Peaberry Prime'. Also, a lower grade of coffee, called 'Number 3' (or 'Triple X') can not legally be labeled as "Kona" but as 'Hawaiian' coffee. Any bean grade below Number 3 is considered 'Offgrade' coffee and can only be labeled as generic coffee. Not an official classification grade, but commonly used by Kona coffee farmers, is the 'Estate' grade where the various grades are not being separated from each other. Only the 'Number 3' and 'Offgrade' beans are being sorted out.