Visitors to the Kona area of the Hawaiian Big Island have the opportunity to try one of the best coffees in the world. It’s Kona coffee, also known as a “gourmet treat”. In a mountain area called Mililani Mauka, the slopes are covered by acres of coffee plantations. The glossy leaves are making a beautiful sight. In certain times of the year, the scent of beautiful, delicate white flowers spreads everywhere. They later develop into fruit, that is, into the coffee berries.
The History Of Kona Coffee
Over 600 large and small family plantations complement each other. Some have been the property of the same families for generations! The area under coffee plantations on the Big Island is quite spacious. It is located on the slopes of two ancient volcanoes, Hualalai and Mauna Loa. The ideal altitude for coffee breeding is between 150 and 750 meters. The excellent beverage made from this fine coffee can be consumed everywhere – at famous resorts, supermarkets, small rural shops and cafes by the roadside. Coffee lovers simply adore it because of its rich aroma but mild taste. But how did coffee-growing begin and how did it grow into an industry that earns millions of dollars?
It is believed that coffee was first imported and planted on Oahu Island by Francisco de Paula Marin, physician and advisor to King Kamehameha I. It was in 1813. Later, around 1828, seedlings were transferred from the Oahu Island to the Big Island and Kona area. These seedlings came from a type of coffee known as arabica. By the 1830s, coffee began to grow and sell extensively in this area.
Why Is Coffee Thriving In The Kona Area?
Although botanically classified as a shrub, coffee can reach up to 10 meters in height. That’s why many consider it a tree. Geographically, the Kona area has ideal coffee growing conditions. They benefit from the trade winds blowing from the east side of the island. As they reach the eastern slope of Mauna Loa, these winds turn into gentle breezes. They’re just caressing the mountain and then the Kona area. Therefore, the delicate blossoms of coffee remain intact.
Harvesting And Processing
How long does it take from planting to harvesting? It usually takes at least three years before coffee begins to give abundant yield. This coffee blooms several times throughout the year. So, the grower must manually harvest all the plantations. According to coffeegearx.com, sometimes, it’s even eight times a year! Coffee berries usually contain two seeds, that is, coffee beans. Since coffee beans are coated with a thin wrap, the berries must undergo a treatment process. It is necessary for removing the flesh and a wrap.
This is followed by wetting and drying. Unfortunately, this greatly reduces the amount of the final product. Depending on the quality, it takes eight bags of berries to produce just one bag of roasted coffee. The roasting coffee process is a true art. Besides quality equipment, it also requires great skill. Many factors determine how much coffee will be processed. Some of them are moisture, weight, class and quality of the coffee beans, desired colour or weather.
The Emergence Of Kona Coffee Market
Kona coffee has been mixed with other types of low quality coffee for a long time. However, in the mid-1950s, there was a major change. The price of coffee on the world market has risen, and the yields of Kona coffee were high. People were encouraged to grow it even more.
The results were excellent. Since 1970, Kona coffee has become less mixed with other types of coffee. Over time it has become an increasingly valued beverage. Not only in the US but also abroad. As a result, it became more expensive. Farmers who grew coffee were favoured by international trade agreements. This way, the price of coffee remained fairly stable, and large price differences were made impossible. The Kona Coffee trademark has helped to market this product. Many plantation owners started to make big profits by selling online. For more information about Kona Coffee you can find here https://coffeehow.co/kona-coffee/.
Kona Coffee Festival
Now the big Kona Coffee Festival is held every year. There are competitions for the best recipes, a golf tournament and many other events. A prominent feature of the festival is the quality competition, with experts evaluating the taste of coffee from various plantations. The competition is fierce, as the winners can hope for a significant increase in sales.
Will you try it? If you try it, you will drink what many consider to be the best coffee in the world – Kona coffee – a real treat for gourmets!