Grinding beans is a treat all its own, with its rich, spicy aroma. Also a secret to good coffee often starts with its grind. It’s important to know what of grind works best for the flavor you’re chasing — whether its coarse, medium or fine.
French Press, Toddy Makers (cold brew method), Vacuum Coffee Maker, and Percolaters
Generally, a good rule to follow is to use 2 tablespoons of coffee beans for every 6 to 8 ounces of water. Adjust for taste.
Using a blade grinder:
Load your fresh beans in the top of the grinder. Once the grinder is loaded, use the grinder in short bursts a few seconds each so the coffee doesn’t overheat. Also shake the grinder as it’s grinding to get an even grind size.
Using a Burr Grinder:
Burr grinders offer coffee drinkers greater precision and consistent grind size. It’s a more expensive alternative to other grinding methods, so some time needs to be spent figuring out what burr grind works best for you.
We recommend using filtered water for brewing. The better the water, the better the end result. Public water systems tend to add undesirable flavors.
Brew your Kona coffee
It’s not enough to bring your water to a boil. You want that water the right temperature — between 195 and 205 fahrenheit. Just below boiling. Any hotter, and you’ll run the risk of burning the grinds when you add the water.
If you’re using a drip coffee maker or using the pour over technique, we recommend using a natural paper filter. Cloth filters can add undesirable tastes to your cup of Kona. For drip or pour over brewing use the approximately the same amount of coffee described above.
Occasionally people ask “If Peaberry coffee beans are so rare, why don’t you plant more peaberry coffee trees?” Unfortunately, that is not how it works.
How Kona Peaberry beans form
Like all 100% pure Kona coffees, peaberry beans are grown in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii (also known as Hawaii island). In most cases, the berry, or red fruit of coffee plant, develop two halves of a bean. But in very rare instances, some berries only have one “pea” shaped bean. Peaberry beans get their name from this shape . Albeit peaberry beans are a little more oval than round. Continue reading What are Kona Peaberry Coffee Beans?
Information about Kona Coffee Family Farms in Kona
Kona coffee family farms are found in the district of Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii, the youngest of the island chain. Furthermore they are on the Hualalai and Mauna Loa mountains western slopes. In the Kona Coffee Belt. On the leeward side of the Big island. For these reasons and more Kona is the tiny area of the world where the world’s best coffee is found. Continue reading Learn More about Kona Coffee Family Farms!
The Kona Coffee Council is an organization of Hawai’i farmers, processors and retailers who grow, process and sell the World’s Best coffee! In this case over 175 years of development. Particularly to legally be labeled Kona, the coffee beans must be grown only in the North or South Kona districts. Located on the west side of Hawai’i Island (the Big Island). These heritage trees thrive in the unique combination of sunshine, rainfall, location, and volcanic soil . In fact this combination is only available in Kona, Hawaii. The combination of these unique elements create our award-winning coffees.
The main objective of the Kona Coffee Council is to protect the interests of the Kona Coffee industry.
The Kona Coffee Belt is a strip of land running almost parallel to Kona’s famed “gold” coast. This zone, approximately 30 miles long and 2 to 3 miles wide, has proven to have ideal coffee growing conditions. Some say the best natural growing conditions in the world for coffee.
This “lower humid zone” lies between approximately 700 ft and 2500 ft elevation. It begins in the north at approximately Makalei and extends south almost to Oceanview. Also, the zone includes the west slopes of both Hualalai and Mauna Loa mountains.
Average Annual Rainfall
Annual rainfall in the belt is in an ideal amount and distribution. Consequently coffee in Kona typically has not been irrigated.
The winter dry season forces the coffee trees into a state of semidormancy. This period promotes flowering. Following the dry season, rainfall gradually increases as the crop matures. Then, rainfall decreases as the harvest season approaches and the fruiting cycle starts as the winter dry period begins. The last of the beans are harvested during the low rainfall in December-February.
Rainfall increases rapidly after mid-April in the coffee belt. Higher temperatures and high humidity provide the elements for rapid progression of the present crop. Decreasing rainfall in mid-September promotes harvest of the ripe cherries.
Ideal Coffee Growing Temperatures
In the heart of the Kona coffee belt lies CTAHR’s Kona Research station. This station records the annual average temperature is 69°F, the average minimum is 60°F, and the average maximum is 78°F. Simultaneously with drought, seasonal temperatures drop. Thus causing the coffee trees to slow their growth and develop flower buds. Kona Research Station temperatures for December, January and February average 67°F (57°F minimum, 77°F maximum).
Interesting Note: Previous to 1983, the annual rainfall averaged 68 inches. Although since 1983 when Kilauea began erupting, it has been drier, averaging only 49 inches.
History of coffee in Kona is as rich as its taste! With an area of over 4,028 square miles, the island of Hawaii, also known as “The Big Island”, is home to a beautiful region in the west known as the Kona District. The Kona District is home to many different and wonderful attractions, including the Hawaii Ocean Science & Technology Park, the world-famous Ironman World Championship, the rugged “Gold Coast” with some amazing beaches, sea-turtle habitats, and Kona coffee farms.
Coffee isn’t native to Hawaii — it was brought to Kona by Samuel Reverend Ruggles in 1828. He brought arabica cuttings from Brazil to see how well it would take to the Big Island’s climate.
As it turned out, Kona’s daily cycle of morning sunshine, afternoon cloud cover and rich volcanic soil was perfect for the coffee plants. Consequently coffee established itself as a major crop in Hawaii by the end of the 1800s.
A crash in the price of coffee in the late 1890s led to today’s system of independent family farms. The plantations which had been producing most of the coffee beans were forced to sell their land. As a result the workers bought or leased the land. Generations later, many of these plantation worker descendants are still farming Kona coffee on the same land.
Harvesting and Processing – little change throughout history.
Harvesting (picking) and then processing coffee is a tradition in Kona that you’ll see typically from August to January. Farmers and hired pickers collect the red coffee berries. These berries contain the coffee beans. Then they pulp the fruit. Also known as “wet milling”. Separating the inner bean from the skin or outer layer. The sun, breeze and consistent raking dries the parchment beans. With the exception of some machinery this is the same system used for generations. Then after dry milling the green beans are roasted, bagged and sent around the world. And finally, into your coffee cup.
The dry mill grades the green coffee beans according to size and number of defects in a given batch.
Grading the Beans – Size differences
Fancy or Kona #1 beans make up about 75 percent of the harvest. These are the beans most coffee drinkers are grinding when they’re making their cup.
Extra Fancy beans make up about 20 percent of a farm’s crop. They are heavier and larger. They are the biggest in size and will have the least amount of defects.
Peaberry is the rarest of the beans, typically accounting for 3-5% of the total crop. They are genetic anomalies. Normally, two coffee beans are in a berry. However, in the case of peaberry, there’s just one bean. Regular coffee beans are also flat on one side and round on the other, but peaberries look like almost like little footballs. They have a lower acidity and because of their shape, they roast differently and have a slightly different taste. Connoisseurs say they are the smoothest of all and have more of a chocolaty flavor than the other Kona beans .
Also, you might hear the term Estate Grown. Estate means all the beans are all from the same farm. Estate is usually not graded so it may contain a mix of all grades of Kona.
No matter what kind of bean you choose to drink, make it 100 Percent Pure Kona Coffee. Its balanced flavor, low acidity and world renowned quality is unparalleled.