You can get some of the tastiest and most flavorful coffee by combining the best of many lands. Kona blend coffee is created with a minimum of ten percent prized Kona coffee and other imported coffees, often Brazilian and Colombian. Such blends have gained attention and are now available via a variety of retailers, thanks to their exciting flavor and affordability.
Kona coffee is a highly prized and sought after type of coffee, and it’s also one of the most expensive, unfortunately. This coffee has developed an infamous reputation, in part because of its romantic and exotic location in the Kona Hawaii.
Many factors go into making this setting an optimal place for coffee growing. There’s not much wind, overcast afternoons, mild nights and most importantly perhaps, the rare volcanic soil is teeming with minerals. All of these elements work in concert to make a lovely milieu for coffee plants.
Kona, Hawaii didn’t always have coffee plants growing from its soil. Coffee of a Brazilian variety was first brought there in the 1820s, and the plant became more common there by the end of the nineteenth century. First grown on big plantations, the majority of the people working the land were from Japan, and came originally to work sugarcane plantations. As Japanese family farms spread through the region, workers from the Philippines, Europe and the American mainland also joined in the effort. The average size for one of the farms today is about five acres.
The process of growing coffee in Kona involves considerable labor throughout the year. The plants start blooming in February and the berries are harvested from August into early winter. The berries are then sent to the pulper to be skinned, and the skin is re-used as fertilizer on the farms. Without the flesh, all that remains are the beans, which are then fermented, cleaned and dried. They are raked while drying to prevent mildew. The beans are then graded according to shape, weight and size.
As mentioned above, some of the other coffee types that often go into Kona blends are Colombian and Brazilian. Colombian coffee is recognized worldwide for its distinctive taste and high quality. Brazil is the number one coffee producer in the world and they’ve perfected their craft. Most of it is Arabica coffee and is used in the higher end coffees and in coffee shops. Two of the high quality specialty types are Estate Brazils and Santos Brazils.
In Hawaii, pure Kona coffee is labeled as “100 percent Kona”. If it is a blend, the label must say what percentage is Kona coffee. These combinations, called Kona roasts and Kona blends, have a different but rich flavor and are popular because of their affordability. However, outside of Hawaii, there is no mandate to label the percentage of Kona coffee so some people are unaware of the difference between the flavor of pure Kona coffee and tasty, affordable blends.
If you want the best of many worlds, go with Kona coffee blends. They are more affordable and combine the richness of some of the most popular coffees and experience of the best growers around the globe.
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