Best Kona Coffee 2020: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

1. Hawaiian Gold Blend2. Royal Kona3. Royal Kona

Royal Kona 10% Kona Coffee Blend

Royal Kona 100% Hawaiian Kona Coffee

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If you love coffee, you must have tried the most popular beans, like Arabica, Dark, Light, Robusta, and many more. But according to avid coffee lovers, none of them can come close to the taste of Kona.

If you have never heard of this invigorating drink, you are missing out on the taste of one of the smoothest coffee in the world. And this article is here to make sure that you catch up with the magic of Kona. The authentic beans that are grown on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa are considered to be the best Kona coffee. There are many brands that trick you into believing that they are selling true Kona beans but in reality, these beans are not real at all.

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Since Kona beans are one of the most expensive kinds of coffee, the brands are readily scamming people by swelling “Kona blends” that actually don’t really have the original taste to them. If you’re new to this market, it’s easy for you to fall prey to them, buying their fake products. This is where this article will come to your rescue. It lists out the best Kona coffee perfect for your coffee gear and relishes the true taste of these beans.

The Identity of An Authentic Kona Coffee

There are certain things or labels that you should look at before buying the Kona coffee beans.

While shopping, the shop shelves, or while browsing online, labels are quite hard to trust. Generally, you think that if the label says “Kona Coffee,” it should definitely be Kona coffee. But the truth can be very different from what you believed. There may actually be no authentic Kona beans in your coffee. If you want to taste the true flavor of Kona, then you need to know about the terms mentioned below.

1. 100% Kona Coffee

Some companies may not even use pure Arabica coffee beans. They use imported Colombian and Brazilian blends with very less Kona beans to produce a cheap version of this rich beverage. These blends may contain as little as 10% of Kona to almost none at all. And even if you think you have the most perceptive and sensitive taste buds, you won’t be able to taste that 10% amidst the other 90%.

Be cautious of tagging which reads “Kona Roast” or “Kona Style.” These phrases indicate blends. Labeling statutes only mandate the percent of Kona coffee to be listed, not the quantity and quality of other beans. Authentic Kona coffee will always have the label of, “100% Kona Coffee” on the packaging.

2. Estate-Grown Kona Coffee

The coffee beans that are grown, picked, and roasted on the same plantation elicit the best flavor and aroma. The best Kona coffee can only be grown from “100% Estate-Grown Kona Coffee.”

You have to be careful about the location mentioned on the package. The Hawaii coffee which is grown outside the Kona belt is not Kona. True Kona beans are only grown on a narrow slope of the Big Island of Hawaii and other beans that come from outside this belt cannot be labeled as “Kona Coffee.” There are companies that export their beans from Maui or Kauai which taste delicious but they aren’t Kona beans.

3. Be Sure To Check The ‘Grade’

The coffee beans that come from Hawaii go through one of the most comprehensive testings in the world. Each batch of Kona is thoroughly examined and checked before being transported. After the examining process, the coffee is graded based on the guidelines of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDA).

If you are not worried about the price and are someone who just wants to taste the best Kona coffee, all you have to do is pay attention to these grades. The grade HDA gives is based on a number of factors, including the size, the amount of moisture they contain, the uniformity of their shapes, and many other such things.

Hawaiian coffee is allocated into eight grade bands that are termed as:

  • Extra fancy (the highest quality)
  • Fancy
  • No.1
  • Select
  • Prime
  • No. 3
  • Natural Prime
  • Mixed Natural Prime (The lowest quality)

Although any of these categories consist of true Kona beans, “Extra fancy” has the most superior and exceptional class of coffee beans. These beans are truly termed as a “high-class bean.” They consist of the best Kona coffee in the entire world. They mostly have the peaberry beans that are considered as the best category of Kona beans. This class of coffee has one of the most uniform and rare beans.

Extra Fancy ratings are identical in color, length, and contain nearly no poor beans. They’re the freshest and luxurious Kona beans you can get. Therefore, the cost you’ll have to pay for them will be premium too.

But your taste buds will thank you for every single penny.

Top 10 Best Kona Coffee Beans 2020

1. Hawaiian Gold Kona Blend Coffee

Hawaiian Best Kona Coffee

Hawaiian Gold Kona Blend is a gourmet blend of hand-picked coffee beans, including Hawaiian Kona and other mountain-grown Arabica beans. One pack of this blend contains about 2 lbs of coffee.

These coffee beans are roasted in small batches, depending on the ability and mastery of their roastmaster instead of the mechanical equipment. They believe that, just like fine wines, each regional coffee bean has its own set of aroma and taste.

The distinct flavor of each coffee needs a specific roast level that will circulate the sharp flavor of each regional coffee. The most adequate roast is attained by using a mixture of scientific accuracy and lifelong knowledge. Hawaiian Gold Coffee implements these methods to give you the perfect harmony of every characteristic taste of their high mountain estate-grown coffee beans.

Pros

  • It is affordable.
  • Skillfully crafted and hand picked coffee beans.
  • These beans are delicately roasted in small batches.
  • They implement ethical agricultural practices.
  • One packet has a good quantity of coffee beans.

Cons

  • It is only a 10% blend, which means that it has only 10% of Kona beans.
  • The most dominant flavor won’t be from Kona.
  • It will taste like your general Arabica coffee.
  • It does not contain the authenticity of Kona beans.
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2. Royal Kona 10% Kona Coffee Blend

Royal Kona 10% Kona Coffee Blend

The vanilla macadamia Royal Kona 10% Kona blend ground coffee is a light-medium roast with a smooth texture and enticing flavor. This coffee is developed from ground Kona coffee beans skilfully hand-picked from Hawaii’s Kona region combined with deliciously pleasing international coffees.

Royal Kona has been making premium 10% Kona blends for the last 50 years. With their coffee mill in the Kona region on Hawaii’s Big Island, they are right in the heart of the thriving region of one of the world’s most prominent coffees. The company offers a variety of premium 100% Kona, 10% Kona blends, decaf coffee, and many more just so you can bring an aroma of aloha to your home.

Pros

  • It offers a 40-ounce bag at a very affordable rate.
  • It contains 10% of pure Kona beans.
  • The company is very trustworthy and reliable.
  • It has a blend of the best international coffee beans.
  • It has a fresh taste to it.
  • This coffee comes in various other flavors.

Cons

  • Usually, coffee blends with only 10% of Kona don’t taste authentic.
  • It has a mild artificial taste to it.
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3. Royal Kona 100% Hawaiian Kona Coffee

Royal Kona 100% Hawaiian Kona Coffee

This medium roasted coffee was judged “superior” by the American Academy of Taste. The Royal Kona is full-bodied premium coffee beans that are available in the whole bean or in the form of an all-purpose grind. The taste of this product is superbly authentic, smooth, and incredibly aromatic which makes it feel like it was made for royalty.

These beans are carefully selected and skillfully roasted to give you the perfect cup of hot steaming Kona. The packaging of this product is also great. It comes in a resealable packet to prevent losing any flavor or aroma of these coffee beans. This commodity truly brings you the true taste of Hawaii.

Pros

  • It is 100% pure which makes it one of the best Kona coffee.
  • The taste is authentic.
  • It has a mild coffee taste, smoothest texture, and an incredibly aromatic flavor.
  • It comes in a resealable packet.
  • The beans are hand picked and carefully selected.

Cons

  • The quantity is a little less for the price.
  • The amount you’ll be getting is only 7 ounces in one packet.
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4. Tassimo Gevalia 15% Kona Blend Coffee

Tassimo Gevalia 15% Kona Blend Coffee

This brand is a 15% Kona blend which gives you a cup of deliciously brewed coffee. It is a taste that’s straight from the slopes of the Hawaiian Islands. Each cup of coffee is filled with velvety smooth deliciousness with a mildly roasted flavor and nutty undertones.

One pack of this coffee contains 4.93 ounces of beans. It comes in the form of discs called “T-discs” and they can be made very easily. All you have to do is to open the brew lid and add the T-disc into the machine.

Pros

  • It has a nutty undertone which gives it a unique flavor.
  • The taste of this coffee isn’t too strong. Best suited for all the mild coffee lovers.
  • These discs are very easy to brew.
  • It is affordable.
  • It offers a good amount of product at the given price.

Cons

  • It has a mild almost watered down Kona taste.
  • This coffee can only be made in Tassimo Brewing Systems.
  • You may have to add creamer to get the full taste of Kona.
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5. Mark Ferrari Specialty Coffees 100% Pure Kona Coffee

Mark Ferrari Specialty Coffees 100% Pure Kona Coffee

This coffee is rightfully called the “Ferrari of Kona coffee.” It has a distinctively smooth and rich flavor to it that has the complete authenticity of Kona. Your senses will be captivated by its rich, wine-like aroma, along with its nutty undertone. This coffee has 100% pure Kona beans which makes it one of the best Kona coffees.

This is grown only on the volcanic slopes of the Hawaiin Islands, yielding a superior quality of beans that is flavorful, incredibly aromatic, and has one of the finest beans in the market. This product is certainly not a blend of Kona. One bag of this product contains 2 lbs of premium high-quality pure Kona beans.

Pros

  • It has a rich, smooth, and velvety flavor.
  • This is pure Kona which means it has the taste of authentic coffee beans.
  • The aroma is wine-like.
  • It is a single origin estate-grown coffee.
  • It has a nutty undertone.
  • The packaging is great.
  • This is a dark roast coffee but the flavor doesn’t taste burnt at all.

Cons

  • It is expensive.
  • This isn’t suitable for mild coffee lovers.
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6. Hualalai Estate Kona Coffee

Hualalai Estate Kona Coffee

This medium to dark roasted Kona product does not believe in using lower-grade beans for their product. This is one of the best Kona coffee because their method of preserving the true authentic taste is different from any other brand. They believe that if you roast the same kind of coffee together, without considering their shape and size, then you will lose their intense flavor.

This is the reason why they roast only one batch of coffee, with a uniform shape and size. They carefully select the beans and categorize them. A particular size of the Kona beans is roasted at a specific temperature. This is done to attain the perfect roast and give you the true authentic taste of Aloha. This product is also free from any chemicals or pesticides.

Pros

  • It is made of 100% Kona pure Kona beans.
  • The flavor and aroma are incredibly smooth.
  • The coffee is well-balanced.
  • Estate grown coffee.
  • It’s great for mild coffee lovers as well as dark coffee drinkers.
  • This product has no pesticides.
  • The acidity in this coffee is balanced.

Cons

  • This is a bit overpriced.
  • Quantity is less for the price.
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7. Kona Gold Rum Co. Kona Gold Coffee

Kona Gold Rum Co. Kona Gold Coffee

This pure Kona coffee is grown in the shade of Macadamia Nut and Ohia trees in the rich soil of the Kona belt of Hawaii. The beans are carefully selected, sun-dried and then they are roasted to perfection. It results in a smooth and highly aromatic coffee.

Instead of drum roasting, these beans are air roasted to prevent the bitter and burnt taste of dark roasted coffee. It gives you a cup of true authentic tasting Kona. The Kona Gold Coffee Beans can be brewed in drip coffee machines, automatic coffee makers, cold brew, French press, and pour-over coffee makers.

Pros

  • It has the true taste of Kona.
  • It doesn’t have a bitter or burnt undertone.
  • The texture is highly flavorful.
  • It can be brewed in any coffee maker.
  • It has 100% pure Kona beans.
  • It is rated as “Extra Fancy”, the highest grade awarded by the Hawaii Agricultural Society.
  • It also blends the sweet, crisp notes of apple, peach, raspberry, citrus with undertones of clove, molasses, melon, and brown sugar into
  • one delicious beverage.

Cons

  • It is very expensive.
  • This may not be the right choice of coffee for mild coffee drinkers.
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8. Mulvadi 100% Kona Coffee

Mulvadi 100% Kona Coffee

Mulvadi Coffee Ground is known all over the USA for its amazing taste and refreshing aroma. One batch of Mulvadi contains 7 oz of coffee that comes in a resealable foil bag packed nicely with a freshness clip.

These 100% Kona beans are not acidic at all. They are alkaline based and are scientifically proven to be beneficial for your overall health. You can brew it in any coffee maker and relish the taste of one of the best Kona coffee.

Pros

  • It has authentic 100% Kona beans.
  • They have no acidity.
  • Estate grown coffee.
  • It is beneficial for your body health.
  • This coffee is great for dark coffee lovers.

Cons

  • It does not work well with a French press.
  • It can be too dark for mild coffee drinkers.
  • It has a bitter or mild undertone.
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9. Kona Java Kona Coffee

Kona Java Kona Coffee

These gourmet coffee beans follow traditional Hawaiian coffee growing and processing procedures that have been passed down for generations. This is a true coffee product and not a Kona blend.

One bag of this product contains 15 ounces of coffee. These beans are grown on rich mineral-filled volcanic soil that was formed on older lava flows, making this coffee a really unique flavor experience.

Pros

  • It has a distinct flavor.
  • It is affordable.
  • They have pure Kona beans.
  • It has that authentic Kona flavor.
  • The packaging is great.
  • An extremely dark roast fit for dark coffee lovers.

Cons

  • It has a bitter or burnt undertone.
  • Not a good option for light or mild coffee drinkers.
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10. Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Co. Kona Sunrise Ground Coffee

Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Co. Kona Sunrise Ground Coffee

This is the best Kona coffee for those who love European style coffee. This gourmet blend uses the rich Kona coffee beans and pure Arabica beans to produce this flavorful beverage. It is available in whole beans as well as single-serve cups.

Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee is completely gluten-free and has a shelf life of one year from the manufacturing date. It is extremely affordable. One package of coffee contains about 0.63 lbs of beans.

Pros

  • It comes in different delicious flavors.
  • This is great for people who love a cup of mild coffee.
  • The texture is extremely smooth.
  • It has a shelf life of one year.
  • It is affordable.
  • It is also available in single-serve cups.
  • It is a wonderful blend of Kona and Arabica.

Cons

  • It is a blend. So, it doesn’t have the authentic Kona taste.
  • Not suitable for strong coffee drinkers.
  • Not as flavorful as others.
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FAQs on Kona Coffee

Q1. What Makes Kona Coffee So Special?

Real Kona coffee is highly valued throughout the world for its full-bodied taste and fascinating flavor.

These coffee trees are grown on the cool slopes of the Hualalai and Mauna Loa in rich volcanic soil. This unique environment gives it a distinct flavor that is quite different from all the other coffee beans. These beans are only grown in the North and South districts of Kona on the Island of Hawaii. They typically bloom after dry winters and are harvested using a traditional method to get the full taste of Kona.

After being handpicked, pulped, and parched, they are roasted perfectly according to their shapes and sizes. A perfect roast is actually considered an “art form” that can be mastered by very few people. According to the intensity you like, these are roasted to medium roast, light roast, or dark roast.

A dark roast is generally very strong and to balance out the bitterness, some companies add a fruity or citrusy undertone to its flavor. It is done to ensure that the beverage doesn’t leave any bitter or burnt undertone as an aftertaste.

It is grown on rich volcanic soil which is actually filled with minerals that are very healthy for your body. The environment this is grown on makes it so different from the other coffee varieties that the specialty can even be seen visually. After having so many qualities, it’s no wonder that Kona coffee is regarded as an entirely different grade of coffee.

Q2. What Does An Authentic Kona Coffee Taste Like?

The best Kona coffee has an extraordinary, remarkable flavor profile and fragrance which is why it is currently on the wishlist of every coffee connoisseur.

The taste of your coffee will obviously be influenced by the roast, the brewing technique, and freshness of the beans. But if you buy the right and pure Kona beans you can truly anticipate the hints of brown sugar, honey, milk chocolate, and a trace of a bright fruity flavor. Overall, its taste can be described as sharp, crisp, and neat. You can expect a very light, pleasing, and lingering aftertaste, with traces of nuts and fruity taste on your pallet.

The aroma of authentic Kona is something you will never forget. It is a unique blend of pleasing aromas that is oddly similar to a mix of caramel, butter, cocoa, and citrus fruits.

These three aspects of Kona – the flavor, aroma, and aftertaste – are what make this coffee so extraordinary. A blend of all three elements produces something so special that your taste buds will always thank you for this intricate beverage.

Q3. Why Is Kona Coffee More Expensive?

The prime reason behind the cost of this coffee is because it’s so rare and limited. Kona coffee accounts for merely 1% of the world’s coffee supply. It is not widely grown.

The Kona beans can only be grown in the Kona district of Hawaii. That one narrow area of land is responsible for the entire supply of Kona to the world. On the other hand, coffee cherry borer infestations can harm the crops and deteriorate the quality and flavor of these beans.

These beans must be harvested manually, without using any machinery. This adds up the labor cost of Kona coffee. The rarest form of Kona is the Peaberry beans. They are the purest and the most superior quality of Kona that is only available in the customized coffee farms. These are always very expensive since the labor that goes into growing them is so much.

This is why many coffee drinkers gratify themselves with Kona blends instead of going for pure Kona coffee. However, this will never give you the true taste of this beverage since the 10% Kona doesn’t even come close to the pure 100% coffee.

Q4. Is Kona Blend The Same As Kona Coffee?

No, the term “Kona blend” signifies that the product has some percentage of Kona coffee beans in them whereas other parts are just your normal coffee beans.

These brands normally contain 10% Kona and rest are usually plain Arabic coffee beans. These brands taste like normal coffee with no additional taste to it. This happens because the fraction of Arabica coffee beans is so much more than the other coffee beans, that you taste almost no Kona in it. Some brands truly have no Kona beans in them and these blends are only their tactics to attract more customers. Since you can taste no difference, it’s hard to tell who really has 10% Kona or it’s just some clever marketing.
Wrapping Up

In a nutshell, the best Kona coffee beans are those which arrive straight from the slopes of Hawaii. They are so deliciously smooth and aromatic that once you have a waft of that aroma, there’s no going back to your usual coffee beans. Now that you know about the true and wonderful form of Kona, consider buying some to culture your cravings of caffeine.

Happy caffeinating!

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