If you have ever been to Hawaii or are a big drinker of single origin coffees then you have undoubtedly heard of, if not tasted, Kona coffee. Kona is one of the harder to come by types of coffee as it comes from just one small location, when compared to other coffees that might be grown in much larger areas or even entire countries. Flavors between different regions of course vary for a number reasons, but usually it because of the climate and the soil.
The cost of everything in Hawaii is a bit more expensive than elsewhere which means that coffee is going to be the same. Kona coffee in the rest of the world can be almost impossible to find unless you are very fortunate. A blend of different Hawaiian coffees or just a percentage Hawaiian blend is what you will most likely have to live with if you aren’t on the island or at least in a place with a great coffee selection. On the islands things are also going to be cheaper as the majority of Hawaiian coffees do stay in the islands. Thankfully you won’t have to mortgage your house just to get a cup of coffee in the morning while on a vacation.
If you are looking for a coffee experience that you can’t much get anywhere else though, you can go about it a few ways. If you have the time, go out to visit a small farm that might offer tours and tastings. You’ll see just why that cup of coffee costs so much to produce and hopefully, why it is worth it all. Coffee needs to grow in a partially shaded area and so the plantations in order to be eco-friendly and sustainable other plants must be allowed to grow with them, meaning that the berries for the coffee need to be picked by hand.
While hand picking means that it is a more labor intensive crop, it also means that no berries are wasted. Berries aren’t harvested before they’re ripe or left out to over ripen and be lost. With people picking the berries you get the freshest ones for your coffee. Also with the coffee most likely being grown, roasted and brewed within just a few miles from each other this means that you can get the shortest time between getting picked and drank.
Whether you are on vacation, just passing through or on business, there is never a bad reason to go looking for an interesting cup of coffee. Ask around with some locals as to where they think the best is and make the best of a trip to the only state where they actually grow coffee in all of the United States. Experiment with a few different roasters and farms and see if you can’t find a new favorite that will have you wanting to come back to the island time and time again.