Profiles in Coffee Tasting
State Spotlight: Kona, Hawaii
Hawaii, its islands made up of endless stretches of sandy beach, surfers catching "gnarly" waves, and volcanic mountains, is also home to a most prized coffee. 100% Kona is a coffee most everyone has heard about, and some will pay a premium to buy.
Grown high up on the slopes of inactive volcanoes, Kona is completely at the mercy of Mother Nature for rainfall. Every spring, during a three to four month period, the coffee trees are in full bloom. When this happens the orchard is said to be covered in "Kona Snow" because of all the white flowers budding. Kona coffee crops are carefully monitored to ensure they grow healthy by the beginning of the fall season.
Fall and winter are harvest time. All of the coffee is hand-picked and sorted. Much attention must be paid to the coffee so that premature beans are not picked. They will be left for the next round of picking. During this time period there are several rounds of picking that occur.
After the Kona coffee has been picked, it is immediately sent to be pulped and processed. The Wet Method is used for cleaning the coffee. (See our blog on Costa Rica to learn in full detail about Wet Method here)
Once the coffee has been dried, it must be graded according to color and size. The beans are laid out on a table that tilts and vibrates. As it vibrates, it separates the beans into high and low quality. They are then put into bags and a stamp records the grade of green coffee inside.
*Do not confuse Kona Blends with the real thing. By law, to be considered a Kona Blend, the coffee only has to include 10% Kona coffee. The majority of a Kona Blend is a mix of Colombian and Brazilian beans. When purchasing Kona make sure it states somewhere on the bag 100% Kona.
The Kona O'Henry's carries is 100% Kona Extra Fancy. It is from the Greenwell Farms Estate. Extra Fancy denotes the very highest grade of Certified Kona Coffee. Our lighter roast develops the inherent, natural sweetness of this bean. Considered to be a coffee in "perfect balance," this Kona is very clean and well-balanced in the cup with hints of baker's chocolate.
About the State:
Population: approximately one million
Language: English and Hawaiian
Fact: Since 1959, tourism has been the largest industry for their economy