Kona Coffee Vs Arabica - Is Kona Coffee Arabica Or Robusta

Kona Coffee Vs Arabica – Is Kona Coffee Arabica Or Robusta?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 20:36

Some of the most common questions asked about Kona coffee are is Kona Coffee Arabica or Robusta and Kona coffee vs Arabica – which is best.

To clarify the questions above, it is not a question of Kona coffee Vs Arabica as Kona coffee is a type of Arabica coffee – more on this later.

By the time you have finished reading this article you will have a great grounding, pun intended, of Kona coffee beans.

What Are Kona Coffee Beans?

Kona coffee beans are Arabica coffee beans from the coffea arabica coffee plant. To be more detailed and specific, the exact species of plant are Guatemalan and Brazilian, depending on which brand of Kona coffee you buy.

Coffee is not native to Hawaii; it is an imported plant whose history dates back 200 years. The term Kona refers uniquely and specifically to the beans that are grown in the Kona district of Hawaii’s Big Island.

The Kona Coffee belt is only 30 miles wide and 1 mile long, making it one of the smallest coffee growing locations in the world. Another record it holds is that of being one of the most coveted and expensive coffees that you will come across.

Kona coffee beans and other Hawaiian coffee are the only beans produced in America and the western hemisphere, which goes a long way to explaining why they are so expensive when compared to other coffees.

Adding to that, Kona coffee is a specialty coffee due to both its location and being one of the few coffees that are grown on volcanic soil.

What Are Kona Coffee Beans
Kona Coffee Beans Make Amazing Coffee

Read: Kona coffee Vs Ethiopian coffee

Is Kona Coffee Arabica Or Robusta?

Kona Coffee beans belong to the type of coffee beans that you can classify as Arabica coffee beans as they come from the Coffea Arabica coffee tree.

The predominant coffee plant in Hawaii is the Arabica coffee plant with origins in Brazil as this is the original plant and seedlings that were brought to the island.

Kona Coffee Vs Arabica

Arabica coffee beans are lower in caffeine and more fruity and sweeter than Robusta. It is not really a question of Kona Vs Arabica, as Kona is an Arabica bean. This was a great choice by those that brought coffee to Hawaii as Arabica beans are far more flavorsome than Robusta and the volcanic soil and climate of the district and Hawaii’s Big Island are perfect for this type of coffee bean.

If Robusta was used, you would probably end up with a weak, watery tasting brew due to the moisture content of the soil and the lack of flavor produced by robusta beans.

Kona Coffee Vs Arabica
Kona Coffee Is Amazing With A Touch Of Cinnamon

How Is Kona Coffee Different From Other Arabica Coffee Beans?

100% Kona coffee is unique to other Arabica coffee beans in the same way that you differentiate wine by its location and vineyard.

The unique climate and soil of each location, as well as a number of other factors, like the quality of the rain water as well the quality of the coffee tree, affect the end result.

Hawaii, and the Kona district with its clean air, free from pollution, has high quality clean rain, which is very different from coffee plantations in Vietnam’s central highlands and Thailand’s Northern regions which have a lesser quality environment due to pollution and thus a more acidic and more contaminated rain, the result of which will be seen on all their crops, be it coffee or whatever.

Also, what stands out about Kona coffee is that, due to the slopes they are cultivated on, they can only be harvested by hand. This adds to the quality as there is no sulfur or other products or byproducts from the exhaust fumes being absorbed by the plants.

No two coffees are the same in the same way that no two wines are the same. I’d go even further and suggest that coffee is more complex than wine as unlike wine, coffee has a number of different ways in which it can be brewed and enjoyed.

Kona Coffee Flavor Profile

Traditionally and typically, Kona coffee’s flavor profile is light bodied, fruity and sweet with hints of spice and/or nuts.

As you move up through the roast profile, the flavor changes slightly as the fruitiness and sweetness reduce and a fuller, deeper body develops and a deeper, darker flavor develops.

What Coffee Is Most Like Kona?

For me there is nothing quite like Kona coffee. In my opinion, the types of coffee beans that produce a cup of coffee that is like Kona are Sumatra Mandheling Indonesian coffee, Guatemalan Antigua coffee beans and Coperaco Chipas, Mexicano.

These three, like Kona coffee, are all volcanic coffees.

Sumatra Mandheling from the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is rare and delightfully smooth with a very exotic flavor, low acidity and very sweet after-taste. It’s a very earthy coffee and the dark roast makes a truly outstanding espresso.

Guatemalan Antigua is a high quality single origin coffee from the Guatemala Highlands. The high altitude and rich volcanic soil contribute to this coffee’s smoky aroma and floral undertones. It is a very fine, top-notch coffee that is incredibly similar to Kona coffee.

Coperaco Chipas, Mexicano, is a handcrafted, high quality gourmet with a velvet-like texture with well-balanced floral notes of Central American Arabica beans. It’s bold, it’s beautiful, it’s balanced and very flavorful.

I loved the toasted almond and chocolate tones.

Is Kona Coffee Good?

Kona coffee is very good, it is really good coffee. I’m not here to sing the praises of any particular coffee, coffee producer or seller. I am a very positive person and as a coffee enthusiast I highly recommend that you try different types of coffee beans and Kona coffee is a must try on your coffee bucket list.

They are rare, unique, and make a fantastic cup of coffee. Sure they are expensive, but a kilo or two (2.2 to 4.4 pounds) once or twice in your life.

You deserve to spoil yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions About Kona Coffee Vs Arabica

Is Kona Coffee The Same As Arabica Coffee?

Yes, Kona coffee is Arabica coffee. They belong to the Coffea Arabica family, botanically called Kona Typica.

Starbucks has Kona Coffee available to purchase on their website and in their stores. Their coffee is not made with Kona coffee as standard but can be upon request (outlet depending). Most of Starbucks coffee drinks are made with their signature Pike Place coffee beans.

Yes, McDonald’s uses Kona coffee, but only in all of their restaurants in Hawaii. The particular brand used is Royal Kona and has been the coffee of choice for McDonald’s in Hawaii since 1968!

Kona coffee has a unique flavor due to being grown in mineral-rich volcanic soil at a perfect elevation and receiving an abundance of both rain and sunshine. The perfect climate and conditions contribute to their earthy rich taste.

The smooth taste of Kona coffee beans is due to Kona coffee having its own custom roasting process. They roasted slowly after being sun dried. 

Is Kona Coffee High In Acidity?

All dark roasts are lower in acidity. A Kona coffee roast has a nice sweetness to them due to the honey aroma which comes out very well in the cup of coffee. It’s a low acid coffee. 

Frappé-Ing It All Up – Kona Coffee Vs Arabica

It is not a question of Kona Coffee vs Arabica coffee because kona is Arabica coffee grown in a specific location, namely the Kona district of Hawaii’s big island.

What kona is, it is a must-try lovely coffee that you will enjoy.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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