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About Kona Coffee

What is Kona Coffee?


"Kona Coffee has a richer flavor than any other, be it grown where it may and call it by what name you please."

-Mark Twain, Letters from Hawaii, 1866


In Hawaiian, coffee is kope, pronounced "CO-pai".


Kona coffee is what we lovingly say when we refer to coffee that is grown and nurtured on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa, the Kona regions of the Big Island of Hawaii. This special kind of coffee has developed a reputation that has made it one of the most sought-after coffees in the entire world. Only coffee from these Kona Districts can be legally described as "Kona".

What Makes Kona Coffee Special?

Hawaii is a coffee-lover's paradise; god-like in its grandeur and exotic in its romantic notions of richness and refinement.

Weather Patterns

Kona weather is a unique micro-climate that is only found in one spot of the world. The unique pattern - sunny mornings, cloud cover or rain in the afternoons, little wind and mild nights - combined with porous, mineral rich volcanic soil, creates world-class growing conditions. Easterly trade winds move across the Pacific Ocean before reaching the Big Island of Hawaii. The winds are tempered as they rise up the eastern slope of the Mauna Loa volcano, which rises to 13,000 feet above Kona. The breezes that make it over the top of the volcano head to Kona on the leeward western slope where they are gentle to the delicate Kona coffee flowers.

Rich History

When you sip a cup of 100% Kona Coffee, you partake in a rich and wonderful history. Reverend Samuel Ruggles brought the coffee plant cuttings to Kealakekua in 1825. It wasn't until the Gold Rush in California in the late 1800s that Kona Coffee gained initial notoriety. Three million coffee trees covered 6,000 acres of Kona hillsides. The coffee was grown, harvested, and roasted by hand. Independent farmers invented ways to produce Kona coffee which included: hand-powered pulpers, 16-hour soaking periods and sun rooms where coffee beans could dry in the Hawaiian air and sunlight.

Today, very little has changed. The processing equipment has become a little more sophisticated but Kona Coffee is still harvested and roasted by independent farmers who keep its tradition and history alive.