What is Kona coffee?

konaIf you’re a fan of good quality coffee, here’s something you might not have heard of – Kona coffee. Considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious coffee varieties, it’s relatively unknown in the UK.

Native to Hawaii, Kona coffee is made from beans from the Kona district, in the west of the Big Island. The coffee is grown on the fertile slopes of an extinct volcano. Hawaii may seem an unusual location for a coffee crop, and indeed the plant isn’t native to the islands. It was imported by missionaries and merchants in the early 19th century, and for a while growers struggled to get it to thrive. A few years after the beans became available, Reverend Samuel Ruggles managed to grow them successfully, using beans imported from Brazil. English merchant Henry Nicholas Greenwell was responsible for establishing Kona as a brand in its own right in the 19th century. Nowadays, the coffee is grown on hundreds of independent farms, whose owners lavish care and attention on their precious crops to produce a high quality result.

The mineral-rich soil and climate with its unique mix of sun, cloud and mild nights combine to produce a sweet, mild flavour. Coffee connoisseurs prize the beans for their complex taste, with much of the coffee having chocolaty, floral or fruity overtones.

If you’re thinking of trying Kona beans, look at the bag contents carefully before purchase. Many retailers stock ‘Kona style’ or ‘Kona blend’. Kona blend coffee is legally required to contain only 10% Kona beans, while ‘Kona style’ is not required to contain any. Look for labelling boasting a content of 100% pure Kona beans to make sure of what you’re getting.

Although at the Wholesale Coffee Company we don’t stock Kona beans, we do stock a great range of excellent value,┬átop quality beans from all over the world. To browse our range, visit our coffee beans page.