Coffee takes a long journey getting from the flower to the cup. The trees flower in February and March, green berries appear in April and by late August the cherry turns a deep red. The ripe beans are hand picked and run through a pulper to separate the cherry from the seed. The beans are fermented for 12 to 24 hours, rinsed and spread out to dry for 7 to 14 days. Coffee can be stored at this point for up to a year. The dry beans still have a layer of parchment that has to be removed prior to roasting.

The Kona Coffee Guide is dedicated to bringing you information that will enhance your relationship with the products of this elite coffee growing region. Whether you are looking for a farm to visit while in Kona or looking for a reliable source for internet ordering of Kona Coffee hopefully our experiences shared here will help you on the way to a great coffee experience.

We sample and review the products from selected farms and let you know the good and the bad of our discoveries. Along the way we will highlight the process of growing, harvesting and processing that makes this coffee so unique.

All coffee comparisons in this guide are based on the medium, or lighter roast. For our personal taste the darker roasts mask all the subtle nuances of earth and fruit that Kona coffee brings to the cup and lessens the differences between coffees grown in different appellations. The lighter roasts let all those flavors come forward.

It must be noted that coffee, like wine, is a matter of personal taste and yours may differ greatly from ours. You may find darker roasts more satisfying and nothing in this guide should ever be taken as saying that is wrong or somehow invalid. Indeed, the darker roasts have a place to our palate when it comes to espresso or evening coffees, with their lower caffeine.

Kona Coffee is grown on the lower slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa volcanos in the North Kona and South Kona districts of the Big Island of Hawaii. This  stretch of land, 22 miles long and 2 miles wide, has the volcanic soils and mild climate that produces the world’s best coffee. Kona is home to some seven hundred coffee farms, with an average farm size of less than 5 acres.  The total Kona coffee acreage is about 2300 acres and green coffee production just over two million pounds. A number of these farms are open to visitors and it can be a great experience on the Big Island.