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Kona Coffee: Sure To Become One Of Your Favorites

Nowadays there are thousands of different types of coffee available. There’s a large variety of coffee beans, and combined with various roasting and preparation methods along with the numerous flavors, makes it impossible to try all the different combinations in a lifetime. One of the types that should be on the top of your list is kona coffee.

Kona coffee gets its name from the locations where it is grown. Only the coffee beans grown on Mount Hualalai and Mauna Loa in the Kona Districts of the Big Island of Hawaii can legitimately be identified as kona. No other coffee can rightfully use that term.

One rare coffee that is cherished by gourmets and coffee lovers is Kona coffee. The supply is limited for this unique coffee because it is finicky to grow and must have the precise combination of climate and soil as well as temperate evening temperatures with warm mornings with plenty of sunshine, and sufficient afternoon precipitation to do well.

When sold, Kona coffee is divided by quality or seed type. Two basic types of bean exist. Type I coffee consists of a variety with two beans for every cherry, with one flat side and one oval side. In comparison, Type II only had one round bean per cherry. Coffees made from Type I beans include Kona extra fancy, Kona fancy, Kona number 1, and Kona prime, while peaberry number1 and peaberry prime come from Type II. These Type II beans are usually more difficult to find.

You may have noticed coffees labeled as kona blend on your grocer’s shelves. These coffees are usually blends of true kona and more common coffees, and the proportions vary widely from brand to brand. In fact, there may only be as little as ten percent of true kona in some kona blend coffees. The remainder is typically Brazilian, Central American, or other beans. In Hawaii, state laws mandate that manufacturers indicate the proportions on the labels. Federal law does not require this however.

Many retailers sell this kind of coffee, both in Hawaii and outside of it. In addition, you may be able to find it at your local coffee shop or in some restaurants. No matter where you first try it, you are likely to discover kona coffee to be one of your new favorites.

Who knew coffee could be so complicated? Now, with all sorts of establishments offering many different coffee beans, one is sometimes confused. Why not cut to the chase and go for kona coffee, a bona fide star in the crowd? Kona is special and delicious in part because it cannot be grown just anywhere but only on the Big Island in Hawaii. There are two ways to get kona; straight up or in a kona blend. Begin with kona plain. Your pocketbook may eventually dictate the cheaper blend but try it unblended to savor its distinctive quality. As always, knowing your roaster/dealer will be your best guide.

– Sveinung Skoglund

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