Best Kona Coffee: A Detailed Guide

Although there are several excellent types of coffee available in different parts of the world, Kona Coffee has made quite a name for itself! Kona is a particular type of coffee that is only cultivated and processed on the Kona district of Hawaii’s Big Island. In recent years, this drink has become more and more popular, which is not really surprising. That is because the best Kona coffee has a fantastic flavor and quality that every java enthusiast will surely enjoy!

However, there is one downside – it can be quite difficult to find the authentic and good type of this drink. And when you want to try only the best Kona coffee, you need to know how to find and choose it.  

Top 5 Best Kona Coffee Brands: Comparison Table

Brand Grade Type Roast Volume
Royal Kona Private Reserve Whole beans Medium 7 oz
Blue Horse Estate Whole beans Medium 16 oz
Helios Extra Fancy Whole beans Medium 16 oz
Green Coffee Traders Extra Fancy Whole beans Medium 16 oz
Hualalai Estate Premium Estate Whole beans Medium-dark 7 oz

What is Kona Coffee?

Kona coffee is an Arabica variety of best Hawaiian coffee beans cultivated on the inclines of the Hualālai volcanoes and Mauna Loa in the South Kona region of Hawaii’s Big Island. First produced in 1828, Kona coffee came into existence when an American missionary named Reverend Samuel Ruggles visited the Hawaiian islands and grew coffee plants. This region experiences sunny mornings, plenty of precipitation, and cool nights and has porous and mineral-rich soil. All these factors are ideal for coffee production.

 And because of its limited stock, this Hawaiian coffee is quite rare and thus pricier than other types. Additionally, this variety of coffee is entirely handpicked, manually processed, and limited to the Kona region. Thus the limited supply and massive labor cost make these coffee beans pretty expensive. 

What Does Kona Coffee Taste Like?

Being an Arabica variety, Kona coffee has a smooth taste and simultaneously incorporates a wide range of flavors. However, unlike most types of Arabica, Kona coffee has a rather dominating sweet or almost fruity aftertaste. Some beans also have a berry-like aroma, giving them a distinct vanilla flavor. The flavoring of the Kona beans depends on the following:

  •       The quality of the beans
  •       The quality of the roast
  •       The farm where it was grown and picked
  •       Other external factors like sunlight, soil, and precipitation

Dark roasted beans, either Italian or French, and medium roasted ones like Full City and Vienna produce the best quality Kona Coffee. This type of java is also good for your digestive system since it’s quite low in acidity and thus more gentle on your stomach. 

Kona Coffee Grading

Different packets of Kona coffee brands go through several tests by the HDOA (Hawaii Department of Agriculture). So if you’re looking for guaranteed premium quality, watch out for the HDOA stamp on the product packaging.

The HDOA evaluates and rates products on several grounds like shape, size, moisture content, rarity, and bean deficiencies. The products approved by them have the most delicious beans, which are pretty big. Make sure to also go through Kona coffee reviews from users; they can be pretty informative and helpful. 

One can again classify the Arabica variety of Kona coffee beans into three different categories according to the bean type:

Type I

This variety of Kona coffee has two beans in each cherry. Few examples of Type I are:

  •       Kona Extra Fancy
  •       Kona Number 1
  •       Kona Prime
  •       Kona Fancy
  •       Kona Select
Type II This variety of gourmet Kona coffee has one bean in each cherry. Because of its rounded shape, it’s often called a peaberry. Some examples of Type II are:

  •       Peaberry Prime
  •       Peaberry Number 1
Triple X Also known as “Hawaiian Coffee,” this is the lowest graded variation of Kona Coffee beans. Most types of beans in this category turn out to be faulty, so it’s best to avoid them if you are looking for quality. Instead, opt for the first two categories while looking for the best Hawaiian coffee brands selling Kona coffee.

How to Avoid Buying Fake Kona Coffee

Buying top-rated Kona coffee is not as simple as it sounds. There are a large number of websites selling this product. In addition, many scammers and illegal websites often sell fake Kona coffee at varying prices. So if you want to find only the most authentic, best Kona coffee, keep the following tips in mind: 

Avoid Buying Kona Blends

Different varieties of Kona blends are available on several websites, but only some of them are authentic. Also, Kona coffee is expensive so if you want to buy the best, look for the “100% Kona coffee” label on your product.

Always Buy Kona Coffee Grown in Hawaii

While buying Hawaiian Kona coffee online, search for Hawaiian companies with “Kona” and “Hawaii” as their product labels. If you can dig even deeper, then look for mentions like Mauna Loa or Hualālai volcanoes on their products.

Do Your Research Before Purchasing a Product

Before opting for any particular brand, do some research to find relevant details about Kona coffee companies. Make sure to check out the place from where they get their beans. While making our Kona coffee reviews, we’ve discovered that the best Kona coffee comes from the region of the same name, in Hawaii. So if you see a different location, you’ll know for sure that it isn’t authentic.

What Is the Best Brewing Method for Kona Coffee?

Kona coffee beans are notably versatile, and you can brew them just as you like. You can choose your method according to:

  •       Your preferences
  •       The selected roast
  •       The types of equipment that you have

 An espresso coffee maker machine can give you a more intense coffee in terms of flavor and taste. However, if you need a simplistic but effective method, opt for the French press.


Before buying Kona or any other expensive variety of coffee, for that matter, do some research. It will help you to finalize your preferred brand and prevent you from getting scammed online. Additionally, if you are looking for the best Kona coffee 2023, look for the place of origin of the coffee beans instead of the prices while purchasing a product. Finally, this variety of coffee can be quite a pinch on your pocket, so never compromise on quality if you want to enjoy the best!

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