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?
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.
“Kona Coffee has a richer flavor than any other, be it grown where it may and call it by what name you please,” said Mark Twain in 1866. Indeed, people recognize and value Kona Coffee around the world for its special aroma and unique flavor. Rare and unique, Kona coffee is precious to the people of Hawaii and to the people who have tasted it at least once. But what makes Kona coffee special?
Why Does Kona Coffee Taste so Good?
What gives Kona Coffee its unique taste prized all over the world? The rich volcanic soil, high elevation, ideal temperatures, and cloud coverage from Hualalai and Mauna Loa Mountains make Kona region the best place to grow coffee beans. The Kona Mountains protect the land from harsh weather. Moreover, sunny mornings and light rains in the afternoon provide the perfect climate for growing coffee. Consequently, this unique environment gives Kona Coffee an advantage over other types of coffee grown in different parts of the world.
People of Hawaii Take Great Care of Kona Coffee
Kona Coffee trees usually bloom after the winter and are ready for harvesting by the end of the summer. Before the harvest begins, you can see the change in the coffee trees. Instead of the beautiful white flowers, “Kona Snow”, the trees have red beans resembling cherries. It is not cheap to grow coffee free of infestation. Ordinarily, this is what makes Kona coffee special and more expensive than many other types of coffee.
After the coffee is hand-picked, it might take two weeks for it to be ready for sale after pulping, drying, and hulling before grading. Only the best coffee beans make it into the final product. The 100% Kona coffee directly from the Kona region of the Big Island of Hawaii meets very high standards. People working on the coffee fields and farms, at the mills, and over the roasters take great care to make sure customers drink the best coffee. Furthermore, there are strict rules for labeling coffee in Hawaii, and only true Kona coffee can receive a label 100% Kona coffee. The Kona Coffee Council was formed to protect Kona coffee.
Kona Coffee Is a Rare Find
Real Kona coffee is very rare. Only coffee from the South and North districts of Kona region of the Big Island of Hawaii is truly Kona Coffee. If you purchase a Kona blend in a store, it might have as little as 10% of Kona coffee beans. Meanwhile, the other 90% is made up of less expensive types of coffee beans.
Drinking real Kona Coffee is a wonderful experience. The best way to find a truthful product is to order it directly from a locally owned and operated source. This is why we offer 100% Pure Kona Coffee directly from Kona, Hawaii with FREE shipping options on select products. It is no wonder people from all over the world love Kona coffee. Its unique blend of aromatic flavors and rich taste make it the best coffee around! Some say its the best in the world. Give it a try, and you may never want to drink any other coffee again.