Kona coffee is for the coffee connoisseur. If you want to experience the best Hawaiian coffee, with no blends – Aloha. Friends, this article is all about the best Hawaii Kona coffee and Kona coffee beans.

It amazes me the number of people who have never heard of or tasted this variety. Kona coffee is known for being delicious, smelling fantastic, and having a silky texture. However, before you give it a try, you’ll want to know more, right?

First, there are a few Kona coffee brands. The best ones are the Hawaii Coffee Company, Koa Coffee, and Volcanica Coffee. Throughout the rest of this article, I’ll provide lots of info about Kona coffee. Plus, later, those three will be discussed in greater detail.

Kona Coffee: What Is It

Kona coffee is a type of Arabica-variety coffee, but the beans are cultivated in Hawaii. There are a few caveats for coffee to be marketed and sold as “Kona.” The coffee has to be cultivated in the Kona districts (on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa). Hence, the reason the beans are called “Kona” beans.

So, how do you know if your cup of Joe is real? Well, if the beans weren’t cultivated from Kona districts, then it isn’t real Kona coffee. Unfortunately, there are a lot of brands that sell and market their coffee as Kona. However, based on the definition, it’s not the real deal.

Kona districts (on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa)

Why Is Kona Coffee Good

There are many reasons why this coffee is considered to be the best coffee around. The main reason is the environment the beans are cultivated in. The coffee beans are grown in soil that is enriched with minerals. Not only that but the soil is porous. This is because the area the beans are grown in has two active volcanoes in the area.

Furthermore, the climate is ideal. The typical weather pattern is:

  • Wind and/or rain in the evenings
  • Very sunny mornings
  • Nights tend to be cooler

All of these things mean that the best Arabica varieties in the world can thrive. It’s no secret why Kona coffee is considered to be in a league of its own.

Kona Coffee: What Does It Taste Like

This coffee has a unique taste. When it comes to taste and flavor, not many other coffees come close to Kona. This java has a sweet taste to it. How the coffee will taste depends on the brand of Kona coffee one is drinking. Additionally, the degree of roasting impacts the finished product, too.

Roasted Coffee

Generally speaking, hints of honey or nuts can be found in Kona coffee. Some brands that sell the coffee offer flavors such as caramel and cocoa. Others have fruit flavored Kona coffee. Yes, it is delish!

The bottom line is Kona coffee has a taste that is hard to beat. It doesn’t matter what kind of Kona coffee a person tries, they will taste the difference right away. Even the most experienced coffee drinkers will agree that not many other coffees compare to this one.

Tips For Buying Kona Coffee

The truth is there are brands who label their coffee as Kona, but the majority of the beans aren’t Kona. For instance, some brands have 90% Brazilian beans and then the rest is Kona. This means that only 10% of the beans are Kona beans. Not cool!

Consumers can save money by purchasing a Brazilian blend. This will taste very similar to a blend that contains only 10% Kona beans. However, I’m sure you want to enjoy the real thing. So, opt for only 100% Kona coffee. Finding it isn’t that difficult.

A few tips to help out are:

  • Where are the beans grown? These coffee beans can only be grown in the state of Hawaii. If something is labeled as Kona and the beans didn’t come from Hawaii, then it’s not 100% real Kona coffee.
  • Look at the description of the coffee before buying it. The description should clearly state that the coffee beans are cultivated in Hawaii. Even better, it should mention the exact location, region, or district.
  • The brand that’s selling the coffee probably has a website. Go to that site and look for info about where they source their beans from.
  • Brands that market their coffee as “Hawaiian flavors,” should be avoided at all costs. Unless they also mention the Kona districts, then it’s best to avoid these brands. The chances are their coffee isn’t 100% Kona.

To sum up the above, consumers want to:

  • Make sure the beans are grown in Hawaii
  • Look at the product description
  • Check out the brand’s website and learn where they source their beans
  • Don’t buy coffee that says “Hawaiian Flavor”

Those are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping. The goal is to buy the real thing.

Top 3 Kona Coffee Brands

They are Hawaii Coffee Company, Koa Coffee, and Volcanic Coffee. Below is a comparison of each. It will help you decide which one you should buy. Here’s the deal, I buy them all. I love all three brands, but I will say I tend to buy Hawaii Coffee Company more. It’s just a taste preference.

Hawaii Coffee Company

Hawaii Coffee Company

The Hawaii Coffee Company is known for its medium and light roasted beans. You can’t go wrong with either roast. The coffee tastes amazing, and there is a bit of sourness to the flavor.

Features: The coffee is ideal for cold brewing. Also, it is good for brewing in a French press machine. Perhaps the best thing about the coffee is it has a fruity taste to it. Besides that, there are many roasts that are available from the company.

Price: A seven-ounce bag of Lion 24K Gold sells for around $20. This is a great price. Consumers can order it as grounded coffee or whole bean coffee.

Reviews: People can’t get enough of their coffee. The majority of the reviews on the company’s website praises the taste of the coffee. Also, Koa Coffee, a brand we will discuss next, has been a top producer of this variety. However, but it appears that Hawaii Coffee Company’s coffee beats Koa in regards to taste.

If you want to buy Kona coffee from this company, then check out the following:

Koa Coffee

Koa Coffee

Koa Coffee is one of the best brands of Kona coffee in the world. In fact, it was listed as one of the top 10 coffees in the world by Forbes. If you insist on high-quality coffee, try Koa Coffee.

Features: The coffee can be brewed with any method. Not only that, but the coffee is packed with flavor and gives off a nice aroma. When it comes to flavors, Koa Coffee offers three delicious flavors.

Price: Prices range from around $21 to $75, which is more than fair. When it comes to Kona coffee, Koa Coffee delivers. It’s worth pointing out that the beans used for their products are handpicked by experts.

Reviews: There are more positive reviews than negative reviews about Koa’s selection of Kona coffees. Some reviewers have described the brand’s coffees as being the most delicious and best coffee they’ve ever tried. There are some people who have mentioned they thought the coffees were expensive. Bear in mind that Kona coffee isn’t cheap, so high prices are expected regardless of the brand selling it.

Interested in buying ground or whole bean and medium or dark roast Koa coffee, you can do so here:

Koa Coffee roasts 100% Hawaiian coffee

Volcanica Coffee


This brand focuses on high-quality single-origin coffees. This is known in the coffee industry as the third wave of coffee. Volcanica is a specialty retailer of exotic gourmet coffee. In addition, they are committed to offering the finest quality from volcanic regions around the world.

No wonder their coffee beans are so exotic and incredible in taste. Also, they carry over 120 different coffees, including:

  • Single-origin
  • Estate
  • Peaberry
  • Decaf
  • Flavored coffees

Features: Volcanica is certified by Hawaii. Not only that, but the coffee is a low acid drink. Perhaps the best feature of all is its taste, as it has a hint of cocoa.

Price: Volcanic Kona Coffee is the most expensive brand on the list. Consumers can pay around $120 for its Kona peaberry coffee. However, this price is well worth paying.

Kona Peaberry Coffee beans have a deep and rich volcanic flavor. It is known as the champagne of Kona coffee. Also, it can be described as smooth, nutty, and mouth-watering with an intense aroma.

Reviews: As for reviews, there aren’t as many on their official website as there are reviews for Hawaiian coffee. Nonetheless, it is still highly rated. Most of the reviews are positive in nature.

Buy Volcanic Kona Coffee:

There you have it. The three best Kona coffees money can buy. They are high-quality and worth the price. The truth is you can’t go wrong with buying any of them.

Quick FAQs About The Coffee

There are a number of frequently asked questions some consumers may have. Let’s talk about that next. But, first, make sure you have the necessary gear to make a great cup of coffee. Check out the links below:

1st In Coffee: The Best Coffee Machine Supplier

Coffee Keurig (Get The Best Coffee & Coffee Makers)

How To Grind Coffee Beans? Get Fresh Coffee!

1. What Exactly Is Kona Coffee?

As previously mentioned, it’s coffee that is made with beans cultivated from the Kona districts. These districts are located on the Big Island of Hawaii. Specifically, the beans are cultivated on the slopes of both Hualalai and Mauna Loa. This is why the coffee bears the name Kona.

Big Island of Hawaii

2. Why Is This Coffee Good?

It’s good because of the environment the beans are cultivated in. The weather conditions are favorable. Environmental factors are exactly why this coffee is of high quality.

3. What Does The Coffee Taste Like?

The way the beans are roasted play a major role in what the finished coffee will taste like. Many consumers have described the coffee as having hints of either honey or nuts.

Some mentioned there is a slight aftertaste of nuts or citrus. Furthermore, brands have different flavors of coffee, such as cocoa, fruit, and caramel.

4. Is The Coffee Expensive?

The short answer is yes, the coffee is considered expensive and there is a good reason for this. For starters, there is a lot of labor and time involved with making it. Not only that, but the coffee isn’t made on a large scale.

Plus, Hawaiian land isn’t cheap. The farmers who play a role in cultivating the beans have workers to pay. That is another reason why this coffee is priced high.

5. What’s The Best Brewing Method For This Coffee?

The best method of brewing is whatever method you want. The method depends on your personal preference, the equipment you own, and the roast. Here’s a tip, use an espresso machine to achieve an intense taste. Or, use a French press to keep things simple.

6. Is There A Guarantee Of Quality For Kona Coffee?

There is no guarantee because different areas produce different results. However, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture does test and evaluate each Kona product. This means if the department’s mark (HDA) is found on the packaging, then one can be sure the coffee is of high quality. Generally speaking, if a person buys real Kona coffee, then they can bet it will be quality coffee.


By now everyone should know more about Kona coffee and have a better idea of what makes it so good. Also, you know why Hawaiian Coffee, Volcanica Coffee, and Koa Coffee are the best three brands on the market.

All you need to do now is take a little time to decide which one to try. However, if you don’t mind spending a little extra money, I recommended you try all of them. It is such a treat, you’ll find that you want each one for different reasons.

The bottom line is all coffee fans need to give Kona coffee a try, at least once. Sure, it is on the expensive side, especially when compared to other types. However, it is well worth the price because of how good it smells and tastes.

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Sherry Harris

Sherry Harris, a bonafide coffee brewing and tasting enthusiast, is the founder of Coffee Shop Lady. She writes for regular coffee drinkers who like being informed about the best coffee beans from around the world, espresso machines, coffee makers, grinders, and delicious coffee drinks and recipes.