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Best Kona Coffee Brands for Spectacular Coffee – Top 6 Options

Coffee connoisseurs are always trying to find the best coffee beans so they can create their perfect cup of coffee that they can get at their favorite local shop. When looking at the different types of coffee beans that coffee lovers tend to flock towards, the best Kona Coffee brands is what comes to mind. Kona Coffee has won several awards for being an amazing coffee brand, but can be a bit expensive at times. The price reflects all the labor that goes into the process and reflects how much supply there is as well.

Since, many coffee lovers already know the reputation of Kona, here we have compiled a list of the best Kona Coffee Brands. 

Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Buying Kona Coffee Brands

In Hawaii along the slopes of Mauna Lau and Hualalai, there is the Kona region which has the variety of Arabica coffee that makes us Kona coffee. They have the best conditions for growing their coffee beans that is difficult to beat. Kona Coffee comes from Hawaii stretching across the volcanic region there. This region has the ideal growing conditions due to their volcanic soil, perfect weather conditions, and the relatively humid air.

Since there are multiple Kona coffee farms, each farm can create a particular flavor from the coffee beans because of that specific weather climate. Combining all of this together can form this well known flavor that comes from Kona. 

History of Kona 

Even though Kona coffee is specific to Hawaii, it was not started there. The crops were brought to Brazil to 1828. Because of the amazing environment in Hawaii, the crops there continued to grow perfectly. Later in Brazil, the plants were then replaced by coffee beans from Guatemala.

In the 1960s, the Kona coffee beans had slowed down until the 1980s when production began to pick up again due to the growth of coffee lovers and them wanting to enjoy a more high-class coffee bean. Kona coffee is now more popular than ever before. 

Growing Kona 

In order to get these special Kona coffee beans, you have to go through the extensive growing process. The growing season is around 12 months long. It starts in February and March where the plants will start to bloom and pollinate. Then from April to August the fruit will begin to develop. Finally from September to January the fruit will begin to be harvested.

In order for a Kona tree to have the fruit, it takes around 3 years to reach that point. One tree will produce around 25 pounds of the “cherries”, which are the fruit. The fruit starts as a green berry and then turns to a red berry when ripe. The seeds in the cherry are the coffee beans. The cherries are picked when they are mature. It usually takes around 8 pounds of cherries to have 1 pound of coffee. 

Harvesting Kona

When harvesting Kona coffee beans, it is a bit of an involved process. These coffee beans are hand picked from workers. They are selected on the categories of size, color, and firmness. After this step, they then go through a machine that removes the flesh of the berry. Once the flesh of the berry is removed, the coffee bean is left. The coffee is finally cleaned and dried for production.

This whole process is usually done within 24 hours to ensure the freshness of the product. They want to protect the coffee beans so they will still be fresh when the consumer finally opens the product. The overall harvesting process takes a bit of time but doing all of this ensures the perfect Kona coffee taste. 

Taste of Kona 

Before we dive into the best kona coffee brands, we need to discuss what Kona actually tastes like. Because Kona is created along the Kona region it has a very distinct flavor profile. It is very unique and can be broken down into six different characteristics.

One of the characteristics is the smell of Kona. Kona has a distinct smell that is a sweet fragrance. Diving into the flavoring of Kona, the second characteristic is that it has a honey flavoring to it. There are notes that can be nutty and have a flavoring of carmel, fruit, and butter. Since the type of bean is varied by different farms they can have a variety of different flavor notes.

The third characteristic can be described as the aftertaste which is bittersweet and you can taste the nuttyness from it as well.The fourth characteristic is that the coffee itself is quite rich, but is mild at the same time. The fifth characteristic is that the coffee is very smooth when going down. It also won’t have the negative effects that usually comes from coffee. It will allow you to feel rejuvenated and will not give you the jitters. Finally, the last characteristic is that the coffee is not very acidic. 

Besides Kona coffee beans there are also Kona blends. The blends tend to be a mix of cheaper beans. They can be sourced at different locations from Africa, Indonesia, Central America, or Brazil. In order for someone to say that they are actually Hawaiian Kona blend it has to include at least 10 percent Kona. For outside of Hawaii, the blend may only have 1 percent or less of the Kona coffee beans. It is required to show the percentage of Kona coffee beans on their labels. Also, if they are classified as pure Kona coffee the labels must say “100% Kona Coffee”. 

Top 6 Kona Coffee Brands

Now onto the list of the best Kona coffee brands. In no particular order, these are six options of Kona coffee that should be considered if you are interested in trying the Kona coffee. 

ImageProductDetails  
Blue Horse Kona Coffee Dark Roast
Blue Horse Kona Coffee Dark Roast

  • Customer Ratings: 4.5 out of 5
  • Brand: Blue Horse 100% Kona Coffee

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Green Coffee Traders: Extra Fancy Roasted Kona Coffee Beans
Green Coffee Traders: Extra Fancy Roasted Kona Coffee Beans

  • Customer Ratings: 4.4 out of 5
  • Brand: Green Coffee Traders

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Royal Kona Coffee
Royal Kona Coffee

  • Customer Ratings: 4.4 out of 5
  • Brand: Royal Kona Coffee For Royalty

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Hualalai Estate 100% Kona Coffee
Hualalai Estate 100% Kona Coffee

  • Customer Ratings: 4.4 out of 5
  • Brand: Hualalai Estate

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Starbucks- Private Reserve 100% Kona Coffee
Starbucks- Private Reserve 100% Kona Coffee

  • Customer Ratings: 4.3 out of 5
  • Brand: Starbucks

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Kona Coffee Beans by Imagine
Kona Coffee Beans by Imagine

  • Customer Ratings: 4.3 out of 5
  • Brand:Imagine 100% Kona Coffee

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1.Kona Coffee Beans by Imagine

Specifications

These coffee beans are considered one of the best due to its flavor profile of using the extra fancy Kona beans. These beans are grown in the volcanic soils at an elevation of 2200 feet and are grown close to a Macadamia nut tree. It makes it lower in acidity. This causes the coffee beans to have a distinct nutty taste that accompanies the Kona coffee beans well. Coffee beans are hand selected and air roasted to create the medium-dark roast Kona coffee. This coffee blend is ideal for using a French press, drip coffee machine, automatic coffee machine and a cold brewer.

Pros
  • Nutty coffee taste
  • Strong, sweet flavor
  • Low acidity
  • Won the Paris Gourmet 2018 Gold Medal
Cons
  • Very expensive for coffee beans

Sample Customer Review… I found it not acidic and it didn’t have any bitterness at all to it. I love really good Kona coffee and this one by Imagine didn’t let me down. It was sweet and robust without being acidic, this medium-dark roast is one of the smoothest and richest cups of coffee that I have had in quite some time. No bitterness. This company claims that they air dry the beans and that is what keeps the bitterness out of their beans. I really loved this coffee.

Read more reviews at Amazon.com.

2. Starbucks- Private Reserve 100% Kona Coffee

Specifications

Starbucks Private Reserve: 100% Kona Coffee is a specific part of the Starbucks brand which offers the 100% Kona coffee beans. This coffee has a citrusy taste and a nutty taste. They have high quality Kona coffee beans and are made with the peaberry coffee beans. It is a medium roast and comes from the slopes of Mauna Loa. It has a sweet aroma with a floral smell. These coffee beans are fresh and have a balanced flavor. 

Pros
  • Notable brand so that can be easy to get a cup of this coffee
  • Nutty, citrusy flavor
  • Balanced flavor
Cons
  • Commercial brand
  • Expensive for a Starbucks coffee

Sample Customer Review… 100% pure Kona Starbucks… can’t get it just anywhere. We visited the Big Island and picked up a bag at the Starbucks in Kona. Came home and wanted more, pretty much could only find it on Amazon. We bought it – and it was fabulous. Came back a few weeks later, and it was sold out. So if you can get it, please do. You won’t regret it!

Read more reviews at Amazon.com.

3. Royal Kona Coffee

Specifications

Royal Kona Coffee is another Kona option that is loved by coffee lovers. This Royal Coffee brand is owned by the Hawaiian Coffee Company. It is a delicious option that showcases the complex Kona flavors well. They have a variety of options that come from this brand. Their Private Reserve Medium Roast is very smooth and has a great smell. They also have the Estate Medium Roast which is a lighter roast that has very fancy beans. 

Pros
  • Endorsed by the largest roaster of Kona coffee in the world
  • Complex Flavors
Cons
  • Expensive coffee beans
  • Not as smooth

Sample Customer Review… This is one of the best coffee I ever had. Its aroma and the lack of bitterness are its highlights. I bought a pound of Jamaican Blue Mountain from another company and got both of them around the same time. They are both great coffee, however, the aroma of this Kona coffee is the reason why I liked this coffee better than compared to the JBM I got from a different company especially when brewed by a French Press.

Read more reviews at Amazon.com.

4. Blue Horse Kona Coffee Dark Roast

Specifications

The fourth one on the list is Blue Horse 100% Kona Coffee Beans. Blue Horse has been in the coffee industry for a number of years. Their family farm has trees that are over 120 years old. This specific roast has some chocolate tones that have a nutty aftertaste. It is great for drip coffee and also for espresso drinks. 

Pros
  • Great packaging that keeps the coffee beans fresh
  • Caramel and chocolate tones
Cons
  • Tends to require a coffee grinder
  • Expensive coffee beans

Sample Customer Review… I’m not a coffee snob, but I love good rich coffee and I drink 3 to 6 cups a day. I don’t really like spending as much as this costs for coffee, but it’s so good, I guess I’d have to say the price is justified by the quality. Even a stronger imperative is that, now that I have bought it a couple of times, my spouse insists I continue to get it for our regular house brew. It’s rich but smooth. You can make it strong and still it’s smooth. It’s got a clean finish; lacks the nasty aftertaste of a lot of darker roasted coffee. It’s balanced. Just the right acid note, not too much. Different than almost all other coffees. The beans are glossy dark and beautiful. I grind it fairly coarse in a Virtuoso then French press it. I’ve been a Starbucks drinker for years, dark and medium roast. This Blue Horse Kona brand tops their house brand by miles. So much smoother and cleaner tasting there is really no comparison.

Read more reviews at Amazon.com.

5. Hualalai Estate 100% Kona Coffee

Specifications

Next, is the Hualali’s 100% Kona Coffee which is on the list for a number of reasons. Hualalai’s 100% Kona is a medium to dark roast coffee bean that has high quality Kona coffee beans. It is grown in the Kona region and then it is roasted and processed to be shipped off. The smell of the coffee beans is incredible. This brand is low in acidity and has a smooth flavoring. It is described as not being bitter and a great buy for any coffee enthusiast. 

Pros
  • Low acidity
  • Directly from Kona region
  • Full-bodied flavoring
Cons
  • Expensive coffee beans

Sample Customer Review… I’ve tried many of the different varieties of 100% Kona found on Amazon as well as some friends brought back from trips to Hawaii. While there is not one brand clearly superior to all the rest, there is a small number that stands out from the pack. This is certainly one of the very best. Highly recommended.

Read more reviews at Amazon.com.

6. Green Coffee Traders: Extra Fancy Roasted Kona Coffee Beans 

Specifications

Last but not least, Green Coffee Traders: Extra Fancy Roasted Kona Coffee Beans is another brand that should be on your radar. This coffee brand is like no other because it is made from very fancy Kona coffee beans. It is roasted the minute you place your order so you know that you are getting the closest thing to being directly from Hawaii. Even though the price is very expensive, the coffee beans are high quality. The coffee is roasted so if that is something that you enjoy, I would recommend you buying this product. 

Pros
  • Fresh
  • Roasted coffee beans
Cons
  • Expensive for coffee beans

Sample Customer Review… Exactly as expected– smooth, rich, silky; nutty with a lovely very-slightly-bitter dark chocolate and tangy-cherry undertone and I almost get an orange blossom finish; very well-rounded, extremely pleasant coffee. I brew my coffee very strong and it is still ridiculously lovely, smooth, and almost delicate– I don’t mean it’s not flavorful because it is very flavorful and decadent, but there’s no strong bitterness or acidity or acidity. This was my introduction to Kona coffee, so I cannot say that I will soon repurchase as I am curious to try other estates, grades, etc. But I do enjoy it quite a lot, and will very likely repurchase it at some point. Well worth the price, which is really not too much more than a proper locally roasted or small-batch coffee.

Read more reviews at Amazon.com.

After looking at all of these coffee brands, you can tell that the underlying factor as a disadvantage for all of them is that these coffee beans are very expensive. Kona Coffee beans are known for being very expensive. It is because of the process of making Kona coffee beans and how it is quite difficult to replicate this region’s coffee conditions. 

Finding the Best Kona Coffee Brands and Beans 

When looking for Kona coffee beans, it is important to find a reputable source when finding these beans. Since adding the name of “Kona” can make the coffee beans more expensive, it is necessary to be careful when ordering them online. Another thing to consider is that if you have never had Kona coffee beans, you would not be able to tell the flavoring of whether or not this was the correct coffee beans. There are always people on the Internet looking to mislead people, so everyone must be wary when buying Kona coffee online.

On the other hand, buying Kona from Amazon makes the most sense if you are unable to buy it directly from Hawaii. On Amazon, you can clearly read the reviews and see who the seller is. This gives you a lot of information so you know that you can trust that specific seller. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, when looking at the variety of Kona Coffee Brands there’s no wrong move in picking any one of these brands. All of these brands have the advantages of being quality Kona coffee beans. Since most Kona coffee brands have a similar flavoring, there is usually just some slight variations when it comes to the taste. Kona coffee beans are the best type of beans for any coffee lover. They have that perfect nutty, caramel flavoring. This full-bodied blend has won many awards for their coffee beans. Despite the cost of the beans, this treat will surely satisfy any coffee lover. 

Enjoy your next cup of coffee with Kona coffee beans.

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