Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by John Moretti
There is a reason why Kona coffee beans are held in such high regard amongst many coffee fanatics worldwide. Some of the best and highest quality Kona coffee beans have a unique and fantastic flavor profile and smell, which is why they can be seen on the world’s best coffee map!
The five best Kona coffee beans are known as the Koa Coffee Tripack, Peaberry Kona Beans by Koa Coffee, Volcanica Coffee, Keala 100% Kona Beans, and Royal Kona Estate Kona Coffee, by The Hawaii Coffee Company. The cup of coffee will be affected by the freshness, brew method, and roast.
It’s not only the flavor, the aftertaste, or the aroma alone that makes Kona coffee so unique and beautiful, but a combination of all three. Let’s take a look at five of the best Kona coffee beans to make sure you make the correct and educated choice when it comes to your coffee!
Let’s look at five of the best Kona coffee beans on the market, along with their pros and cons, to ensure you, as the buyer, will be getting the high-quality beans you hope for!
1. Koa Coffee Tripack – The Best Introduction To Kona Beans
This Koa Coffee based in Hawaii has been in the industry since 1997, and their Kona coffee has been rewarded with titles such as PCCA Coffee of the Year and winner of the Gevalia Cupping Competition.
They also feature as the number one Kona Coffee beans in the world! This three-pack of Kona extra fancy grade coffee beans from Koa coffee has a clean flavor profile, which is sweet with near-zero bitterness. It has a medium body that works well black and with milk.
To enjoy its complexity to the fullest, you can try it in a French press or as a pour-over. If you are new to Kona coffee and still need to get to know the flavors, this Koa Coffee Tripack is the perfect introduction to extra fancy standard beans from medium-light to medium-dark roasts.
The first one out of the three packs included in this bundle is known as the award-winning Private Reserve Kona Coffee. This one was voted as the “Best in America” at one point, and rightfully so! It is 100% pure Kona Coffee.
The second coffee in the three-pack is known as the Grande Domaine Coffee Beans, which won the Kona Coffee Cupping Contest for its outstanding balance and overall quality.
The third and last coffee in the bundle is the Estate Kona Coffee. It is their version of what we coffee fanatics know as single-origin, where all the coffee beans in the bag are from the same farm.
With Koa Coffee, you can rest assured that you have bought from a popular and well-known brand. They have a prestigious reputation to live up to, and Koa Coffee rewards customer loyalty with special discounts and well-priced multi-buy coffee packages!
- You will be buying from an award-winning company
- This three-pack bundle is high quality that comes at a very economical price
- You receive three different coffees, providing you with the perfect introduction to Kona
- High-quality beans that are picked by hand
- They only offer whole beans or one ground option.
2. Peaberry Kona Beans By Koa Coffee
The Peaberry Kona coffee beans are another high-quality coffee bean from Koa Coffee. Peaberry beans are a type of coffee bean that many consumers consider the most delicious of them all!
These beans are a lot smaller than your average-sized coffee bean but have much more flavor. Peaberry Kona beans are created by a natural mutation inside the coffee plant.
Only a tiny fraction of harvested beans are peaberry-shaped out of the yearly Kona harvest. According to Koa-coffee, only about 3-5 out of every 100 coffee beans are peaberries.
Peaberry Kona coffee beans are a very rare delicacy, and the demand often exceeds supply. The Peaberry roast is nutty, aromatic, and rich. They naturally have a low acidity level and are medium-bodied while being light enough to be served with and without milk.
Peaberry beans are best-enjoyed through hand-brew methods. Overall, if you are on a search for Hawaiian, 100% real Kona coffee, Peaberry Kona beans will surely be one of your favorite picks! These coffee beans are sweeter and smoother than regular Kona beans, and they will definitely blow your mind- and your tastebuds!
While Koa Coffee is not the only coffee company that sells Peaberry coffee, they have loads of expertise, which means you can fully trust that the beans are handpicked and treated with care before flowing into your cup.
- These Peaberry beans are seen as a rare delicacy
- The sweeter and smoother flavor profile suits Kona coffee very well
- It is a high-class and reliable Koa Coffee offering
- There is limited availability, and these beans can be challenging to find
3. Volcanica Coffee – Hawaiian Kona Coffee Extra Fancy
Volcanica specializes in coffee beans that have been grown on lands of 3,000 to 7,000 meters in volcanic soil, hence the name! their Hawaiian Kona Coffee Extra Fancy is another solid medium roast that is one of the best on the market.
This specific offering has a fuller body than Koa’s, consisting of a rich yet mellow flavor that is low in acidity levels. Volcanica’s Kona is grown in the shade, contributing to its easy-drinking and casual flavor profile. These beans are ultimately making the most out of their unique microclimate.
Like all of the other coffees on this list, the Volcanica beans have received the coveted Extra Fancy grade. Volcanica also sells these high-quality beans ready-groud according to your preferences or machine type, along with your classic whole beans.
This is beneficial for anyone who does not like a home grinder. These beans are only roasted after they are ordered, so you can be sure that they are as fresh as they can be.
- Balanced medium roast with low acidity and mild sweetness
- These beans are roasted only after they have been ordered to ensure freshness
- Volcanica can grind the beans according to your needs or preferences
- They come at a high price (But you know that you’ll be getting a high-quality product)
4. Keala 100% Kona (By Bean box)
Keala’s Hawaiian Coffee is 100% pure Kona beans roasted by a high-quality coffee roasting and subscription company based in Seattle. This company is known as Bean box! These beans are bought directly from the farms of Kona Coffee on the Honululu sloped of Big island.
They are then roasted in tiny batches before being shipped in order to ensure complete freshness. Keala’s medium roast produces a balanced and pleasant flavor profile. The main flavor is passion fruit, and they are often compared to bright and fruity flavors with sweeter notes of toasted coconut.
Keala’s medium roast allows the buyer to fully experience the different tastes of high-grade Kona without any flavor overpowering the other flavors. If you are searching for an excellent introduction to Kona coffee, this type of coffee would be your best choice!
- The medium roast produces a very well balanced flavor profile
- These particular beans are bought directly from the farmers
- They ship freshly roasted coffee beans after being ordered
- This coffee may not have enough body for buyers who prefer a darker roast
- Low acidity that offers a limited kick, although it can be increased by Aeropress brew
5. Royal Kona Estate Kona Coffee – The Hawaii Coffee Company
The Hawaii Coffee Company is yet another well-established brand based in Hawaii. Like Koa Coffee, they also source their beans from their plantations. Their Royal Kona Estate Kona Coffee is a very high-class option to their buyers.
This type of coffee bean has a very clean and bright flavor profile due to being a much lighter roast than most other Kona roasts. You can easily distinguish Royal Kona coffee from other coffee brands on this list due to its clear and fruity taste.
If you are a coffee fanatic that prefers lighter roasts, you may find this one to be perfect for your everyday coffee! The Hawaiian Coffee Company offers Royal Kona Estate Kona Coffee either in whole bean or an all-purpose type of grind.
These beans are also only roasted after they have already been ordered, so they should be as fresh as possible!
- This bean has a brighter flavor profile than the others on this list, which is good if you like a lighter roast
- Roasted to order, similar to the other beans on this list
- If you prefer richer and smoother flavors, this might not have enough body for your taste buds!
So – Which Kona Coffee Is The Best?
Although all of the Kona brands on the list above are 100% worth their premium prices, one offering is a bit above the others: the Koa Coffee Tripack, which represents an all-in-all fantastic value for three bags or top-class Kona coffees.
If you have never tried Kona coffee before and would like to know what the fuss is about, the Tripack would ultimately be your best choice!
How To Choose The Best Kona Coffee Possible
If you are entirely unfamiliar with these beautiful Kona coffee beans above, and you want to buy some Kona beans from your local coffee dealer, there are some precautions you can take to ensure you will be getting the best Kona beans sold in your area.
Below are some things you should take note of in order to purchase the highest possible Kona beans:
1. Do Not Purchase Any “Kona Coffee Blends”
Because there are only minimal amounts of the “real deal” Kona coffee beans available on the market, because it is costly, many companies produce coffee blends known as “Kona blends” at more affordable prices. You should always stay away from these.
You want to purchase pure Kona beans only. According to Hawaiian law, any blend that is labeled as a “Kona blend” has to contain at least 10% of certified Kona coffee beans. Companies who want to make extra profits will only use the 10% and not one bean more.
90% of these blends will contain a low-quality dark roast or locally roasted coffee beans. While the Hawaiian law may be very strict on this rule, a lot of places do not care whether companies are using the Kona name merely for marketing purposes.
In many countries, the so-called Kona beans might only contain a small fraction of Kona beans or even none at all. For this reason, you should always buy Kona coffee beans from the island of Hawaii and make sure they are labeled as 100% Kona coffee.
Do not purchase any “Kona Blends” unless you know exactly what you are buying.
2. Do Not Purchase “Kona Beans” That Are Not From The Kona Region
The Kona Belt of Hawaii is known and praised for its special and distinguishable micro-climate. However, this is not applicable to all of Hawaii. In fact, most other islands of Hawaii, such as Maui and Kauai, are not suited for coffee farming.
However, this does not mean that all other coffee beans from Hawaii are of low quality, but they should only be labeled as Kona if grown in the correct Hawaiian coffee region.
The term “Hawaiian coffee” can sometimes be used on packaging to denote high quality, but this is simply misleading advertising. Do not be fooled because not all Hawaiian coffee is first-class or high-quality. There may be individual non-Kona coffees from Hawaii that are excellent in their own way.
As a general comparison, Hawaiian coffee from outside Kona is no better than the average coffee from Brazil.
3. Always Check The “Grade”
Coffee beans from Hawaii go through thorough testing, with each batch of Kona receiving a grade from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDA). If you want to make 100% sure that you are purchasing the best of the best, always pay attention to the HDA grade of the Kona.
This grade is based on extensive criteria, which include the moisture content, shape, size, as well as any possible flaws in the beans.
There you have it! The five Kona coffees listed above are the best of the best! By purchasing any of these five Kona coffees, you will be supporting authentic Hawaiian coffee of the highest quality and assure you will be paying for the product you receive.
Now you also know how to recognize the good from the bad! Remember always to avoid blends, go for beans grown in the correct region, and pay close attention to the Kona coffee grade brand.