We have recently lived in Kona HI for an extended period. Part of our journey as coffee lovers was to enjoy the impeccable coffee we have sourced, roasted and prepared in the past. We felt that all in all, a great example of Kona was the pinnacle of coffee. Do we still think this way ?
Well, yes and no.
Now more than ever, the folks in the Kona region are under alot of pressure to make great coffee. From governmental requirements to pesky creatures to wet conditions, truly top notch coffee is a tenuous thing. The finest are commended for their perseverance.
Price levels mean there isn't and shouldn't be alot of room for marginal coffee but after spending time on the big island now we can confidently say that you need to be very careful where you buy your Kona from. There is a plethora of unreasonable coffee being sold and you may think you are getting the best. Your mind may even trick you into thinking you are enjoying the best. Put simply, you can't get around certain things like poor roasts, bad grinders and water that is not hot enough...these are all important parts of the equation and when ignored even the finest coffee loses everything it had for you.
To us, Kona should be mellow in every way, never displaying bitterness, of course, but also never revealing much in the way of 'wildness' you often see from other origins. Kona has always been mellow from start to finish, the perfectly balanced coffee.The wildness of an East African coffee or the zing of a guatemalan should be absent because both attributes draw attention to themselves not the coffee as a whole. Kona, in contrasts is subtle and subdued. It pleases from start to finish.
So as we leave Hawaii, know this: there is great coffee in Kona, and those that have had to fight hard all manners of challenges and done so with their hearts and not sacrificed things along the way are still making great coffee.
We will, from time to time carry Kona, and it will always be 100%, the price will be higher, as usual, but know this: You can buy a $50.00 bottle of wine at dinner and enjoy it for a night or you can buy a $39.00 bag of great Kona and enjoy it for a week.
The choice to us is obvious.
Mahalo for reading and buying only the best !