Coffee: Hawaii, Kona Extra Fancy
Roast Recommendation: Medium to Medium Dark Roast
Cupping Profile: Sweet with mild acidity, rich flavor and medium body
Main Producing Region: Kona
Processing Methods: Washed, Pulped Natural, Natural
Drying Method: Sun-dried at mill
Genetic Varieties: Kona Typica
Kona Grading Standards:
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture assigns five various grades to Kona Coffee based on factors such as bean size, shape and the number of defects in each bean. Availability of each grade varies by season and harvest. We were lucky to source a very small amount of Kona Extra Fancy which is the highest standard available on the market.
Kona Extra Fancy - These are the largest Kona beans and are hand sorted. This careful selection produces the distinctly smooth and mild Kona flavor. The Extra Fancy grades make up roughly 20% of a crop and are the rarest available.
Coffee was first established in the islands in 1825 when Chief Boki, accompanied King Kamehameha on a royal visit to London. On the return journey, the royal entourage stopped in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where they acquired coffee seedlings. Coffee was first planted in the Manoa Valley on Oahu and eventually spread over the islands including to the Big Island region of Kona, the most famous coffee growing region in Hawaii.The coffee industry in Hawaii slowly built momentum in the following decades. In 1873, the Kona name first gained some recognition when coffee trader Henry Nicholas Greenwell won an award for excellence at the world’s fair in Vienna. The first coffee mill in Hawaii was built in 1880.
Hawaiian coffee accounts for a little more than .1% of global coffee production. Most coffee is grown at elevations between 200 and 600 meters above sea level. However, the volcanic soil, frequent rains and slightly cooler temperatures in Hawaii foster the development of a nuanced flavor profile. The flavor profile is described as being sweet with mild acidity, rich flavor and a medium body.
The production of coffee in Hawaii peaked in 1957 at over 18 million pounds as a result of rising coffee prices caused by a frost in South America. Production later contracted due to competition for labor with the tourism industry, but today more farms in Hawaii grow coffee than any other crop.
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