Hawaiian coffee brands, despite being very expensive, are very highly rated and well-spoken about by coffee lovers from all over the world. I have to admit myself, Hawaiian coffee makes a truly amazing cup of coffee that I honestly, think you will enjoy.
By the time you have finished reading this article, you will know all about Hawaiian coffee, what the tastiest Hawaiian coffee brands are, why Hawaiian coffee is so special, why it is expensive and a lot more.
As a bonus, you’ll have a list of coffee farms that you can visit while on your Hawaiian island trip. I also go a little further and name a few tasty Hawaiian coffees that are worth trying. Stay tuned and keep reading!
What Is Kona Coffee?
Kona coffee is synonymous with Hawaiian coffee, but it is not the unique coffee from Hawaii. Kona coffee, like many coffees, is location specific and comes only from the North and South Kona Districts of Hawaii’s big island.
Hence the name “Kona coffee”.
The coffee plants are grown on the slopes of Mauna Loa and Hualalai. Only coffee that is cultivated in the Kona districts of Big Island can legitimately and legally be called Kona coffee.
The coffee plants grow in mineral-rich volcanic soil and a climate that can be described as sunny mornings with cloudy or rainy afternoons and very mild and cool nights.
These conditions and the volcanic soil is what makes their coffee so great. Interesting, the local word for coffee is kope, which is incredibly similar to the Malaysian word, which is Kopi.
Read: Is Kona coffee Arabica or Robusta?
What Are The Most Delicious Hawaiian Coffee Brands?
Let’s get down to the meat and bones of this article and talk about Hawaiian coffee beans, both Kona and non-kona.
This list contains a list of Hawaiian roasters, coffee farms and coffee brands, above all grown on Hawaiian soil.
Heavenly Hawaiian Kona Coffee Farm
This is a lovely little and well celebrated Kona coffee farm that produces a beautiful volcanic coffee – Hawaiian in every detail. If you happen to be on or visiting the Big Island of Hawaii they are open for tours.
When visiting the Heavenly Hawaiian Kona coffee farm you can and will learn a lot about coffee, and improve your knowledge.
Their Kona Bold has won 7 awards and their highly recommended Kona Silk has won almost twice as many with currently 13 awards to its name.
Kona Peaberry Coffee
This is also referred to as Peaberry Kona coffee or the Champagne of Kona. It’s a whole bean medium roast that is subtle, smooth, notably sweet with a light acidic after-taste. The acidity after-taste is notable.
It is a top quality brew and one of the most amazing coffees I have tried. Literally I could not get enough of it.
Kaui Coffee Company
The Kauai coffee company is a standout unique Hawaiian coffee brand as it is the only coffee company on the Hawaiian island of Kaui.
They have a wide range of coffees available, including:
- Sun Dried Chocolate Macadamia Nut Coffee.
- Kaui Blue Mountain Poipu Estate.
- The Roast master’s Choice.
- Kaui Sunrise Coffee
With 4 million coffee plants under their management, there is no shortage of coffee or selection of coffees from this brand, all of which are volcanic coffee – Hawaiian style!
Like Heavenly Hawaiian Kona coffee farm, you can take a tour of their coffee farms and enjoy a sample of dozens of different coffees. If you want, you can buy your favorite one!.
Fun Fact: Kaui is one of the 40 (out of 830) coffee farms that are not in Kona.
Royal Kona Coffee
Royal Kona Coffee is a custom medium roast Kona coffee brand which is grown, harvested,milled and roasted in what is considered the heartland of the Kona coffee region, Captain Cook.
Royal Kona is considered as a whole bean estate coffee that has smooth sweet tones and no underlying hints of bitter notes. It’s full-bodied, clean and vibrant. Tasting it, you will notice light floral notes with a buttery flavor with slight caramel hints.
It certainly advises you grab a bag of this authentic, Hawaiian-grown Kona coffee beans as the taste is as unique as it is outstanding.
Hula Daddy Kona Coffee
The Hula Daddy Kona coffee and brand is a coffee farm that produces only 100% coffee that is at the center of Hawaiian culture, and that is Kona coffee.
This is most certainly a coffee farm and roaster to visit on the Big Island of Hawaii where you will learn all about Kona coffee, the role the nutrient rich Hawaiian soil plays, and experience how traditional Hawaiian roasters treat and roast their coffee beans.
You can also enjoy a free coffee tasting session while you are there. The must-try coffees they have are:
- The Kona Sweet.
- Karen J Red Bourbon Coffee.
- Laura’s Reserve SL 34.
If you love their coffee, the great news is they have a coffee club where they will deliver to your home.
Koa Coffee is well respected as one of the top Hawaiian coffee brands that harvest 100% Kona coffee cherries. It is definitely something that you should try on your coffee journey.
Due to their excellent coffee farming techniques and the deep and delicious coffee flavor, they have won a number of well-respected awards and accolades, including:
- The Gevalia cupping competition.
- The Forbes best coffee in America.
- The PCCA Coffee of the year.
Koa Coffee’s products include a range of dark roast, medium roast, light roast and Peaberry roast that have a flavor profile and flavor notes that hit the spot for coffee lovers.
It was after trying out their Hawaiian coffee that turned me into a Kona Coffee Lover.
Hawaii Coffee Company
The Hawaii coffee company is the biggest Kona Coffee roaster and the best known Hawaiian coffee brand. They own Royal Kona coffee, LION Coffee and Royal Hawaiian coffee to name a few.
Stand out coffees to try from this brand or their sister company include:
- Royal Kona Coffee Delicious Private Reserve Estate Medium Roast
- Lion Coffee’s Amazing Vanilla Macadamia Nut Coffee
- Toasted Coconut Coffee By Lion Coffee.
The same parent company owns the brand Hawaiian Island teas.
Blue Horse coffee
This is one of the famous and popular whole bean Kona coffees that is produced from the Kona Typica coffee trees. The freshness factor of these beans is A+ due to being nitrogen flushed to eliminate all oxygen in their coffee bags.
The beans are oily with fragrant notes and after-tastes of chocolate with hints of caramel, vanilla and almond.
Blue Horse Coffee is enjoyed by coffee lovers due to the very tasty texture and coffee experience.
Big Island Coffee Roasters
The big Island coffee roasters stands out for their responsibility as coffee growers and their ethical approach to sustainability by paying above the minimum wage with all their employees earning a fair salary and uses 100% renewable energy.
This Hawaiian coffee brand donates some of their profits to habitat restoration and wildlife rescue charities. Honolulu magazine recently rated them as the best local coffee company and won the small business choice award.
What Does Kona Mean?
The meaning of the word Kona in the coffee world is in reference to the unique and tasty coffee that comes from Kona district of Hawaii’s Big Island.
The coffee is grown at an elevation in the volcanic rich soils of Hualalai and Mauna Loa mountains.
What Does Kona Coffee Taste Like?
The taste profile of Kona Coffee is one of the smoothest coffees in the coffee world. They are sweet, fruity with hints of nuts and low in acidity with a very smooth body. Some Kona coffees can have a hint of spice.
What Is Special About Kona Coffee?
Kona coffee is special as it is the dominant coffee product that is made in America and the only coffee that comes from and is cultivated in a first world western nation. Typically, we don’t think of coffee coming from countries like America.
Kona Coffee is also very special as it, alongside Indonesian Sumatran coffee, is one of the few volcanic coffees.
Why Is Kona Coffee Expensive?
Kona coffee is expensive due to some basic economic reasons and factors.The production costs are significantly higher than other coffee brands and types.
Kona is made and produced in the United States Of America where the cost of labor is several times higher than other coffee producing regions across the coffee belt of Central and South America, Africa and Asia.
We can add to that that Hawaii is a tourist destination and is generally more expensive than other parts of the US and has increased costs of living and of labor. Being based in the US and on the islands of Hawaii, this elevates transportation costs.
There is also the market factor the product, Kona coffee being delicious and thus in demand which increases the price more.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hawaiian Coffee Brands
What Is The Most Popular Hawaiian Coffee?
Kona coffee is unquestionably the most famous Hawaiian coffee. It’s tasty, aromatic and with great floral notes with hints of milk chocolate, brown sugar, caramel and dried fruits. It is expensive, but it is certainly a worthwhile tasty treat.
Is Kona Coffee A Brand?
No, Kona coffee is not a brand; it is a specialty coffee from a particular growing region of Hawaii’s big island.
Is Hawaiian Coffee The Same As Kona Coffee?
No, not all Hawaiian coffee is Kona coffee. There are other types of coffee from Hawaii that are not classed as Kona coffee due to their origins being from a different growing region of Hawaii.
What Coffee Do Hawaiians Drink?
Hawaiians love to drink both Kona coffee and the less common Mokka coffee, which is also from Hawaii but less popular due to less of this type being produced. Hawaiian mokka coffee has low production volume due to being more difficult for coffee farmers to produce.
Why Is Hawaiian Coffee So Good?
Hawaiian coffee is considered to be good and highly desirable due to the perfect climate, high altitude and mineral rich volcanic soil the coffee plants are grown in.
Why Is Kona So Special?
Kona is a specialty coffee, the highest grade given to coffee. A number of factors are taken into consideration to obtain the mark of quality to consider a coffee a specialty grade coffee. Coffee farmers must ensure that they maintain the grade to be considered with this special accolade.
The quality of soil, the plants, beans and flawless process and final taste of the cup of coffee brewed all contribute to making Kona so special.
Frappé-Ing It All Up – Hawaiian Coffee Brands
If you have not tried any of the Hawaiian coffee brands mentioned or visited any of the mentioned coffee farms, now is as good a time as any! A visit to the Royal Kona Estate Kona coffee farm is a bucket list must for all coffee enthusiasts.
If you have never tried a volcanic coffee, then a Kona coffee is a good place to start.
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