Is Your Coffee Pure Kona — or a Kona Coffee Blend?

Why your Kona Coffee might not be Pure Kona Coffee — but a Kona Coffee Blend!

“Blended” Kona Coffee?

A Kona coffee blend may not mean what you think it might mean.

Do you think it’s a melange of beans from Kona? You’d be wrong,  In this case, a Kona coffee “blend” is a coffee made up from other regions — and the lowest quantity might be Kona coffee. These other coffees in a blend are often from plantations far from Kona, or even Hawaii, for that matter.

The minimal amount of Kona Coffee is added to satisfy labeling requirements. In many cases, these blends take away from the enjoyment of drinking a pure cup of Kona coffee. Also, they may use substandard beans.

Why are blends so popular among manufacturers?

Kona coffee is one of the most expensive coffees available. Raw coffee bean — or green coffee beans — are often six times more expensive than other kinds of beans. A Kona coffee blend is a way for big coffee makers to capitalize on the Kona coffee name for cheap.

A Kona coffee blend takes away from the taste of what little Kona coffee is in the bag. Common Brazilian and Columbian coffee varieties make up 90 percent of the bag of a blend. Actual amount of Kona coffee? Ten percent.

100% Pure Kona Coffee direct from Kona, Hawaii
100% Pure Kona Coffee direct from Kona, Hawaii

In an attempt to safeguard their name, Kona coffee farmers have sued companies claiming to sell Kona coffee. They’ve also sought out federal protection of the Kona name, but larger coffee manufacturers have thwarted those efforts.

In response, Kona coffee farmers banded together to form trade organizations like the Kona Coffee Council. The primary mission of these groups is to ensure consumers buy real Kona coffee. In addition, they educate coffee drinkers at trade shows. These shows  familiarize the world with the unique taste of Kona coffee.

Kona also is host to the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, a 10-day event held in November to celebrate Hawaii’s favorite crop. Events include art exhibits, coffee farm tours, parades , coffee picking, cupping competitions as well the crowning of Miss Kona Coffee.

Avoid “blends” if you want to experience real Kona coffee. Seek out and buy nothing less than 100 percent pure Kona coffee.