The Best Kona Coffee – Top 10

You may have had coffee before, but if you’ve never tried the best Kona coffee on the market, you’ve never lived. Admit it. You already had coffee once this morning and you’re already craving your second cup. The most likely scenario is that you were more than slightly disappointed in your coffee choice as well. That’s ok, fellow coffee addict. There’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

Enjoying a great cup for coffee is not just a physical and emotional necessity, it can also be a relaxing, leisurely experience. When the scent of great gourmet hits your nose, the sense of euphoria sets in, and you’re already well on your way to caffeinated heaven.

As every coffee fan knows, there are more coffee varieties than there are days of the year. More likely than not, you’ve also tried just as many. But if you’ve never experienced Kona coffee beans, it’s time for a lifestyle change.

Kona coffee is the market name for coffee grown on the slopes Hualalai and Mauna Loa in Kona district of Hawaii. Located on Hawaii’s Big Island, these beans are enhanced in flavor and scent due to the unique growing conditions that exist on the volcanic island. There are many Kona coffee beans on the market, but you’re going to want the best.
We’ve done the research to find you the best Kona coffee that money can buy.

The Best Kona Coffee of 2016

After going through many existing reviews, we have compiled a list that shows you the best Kona coffee.
In this list, you will find their origin, type of bean, roast, and tasting notes. But since it all comes does to personal taste, be sure to try as many as you like.

WINNER

Koa Coffee Peaberry Kona

#1 Peaberry Kona Coffee

Peaberry Kona is the best Kona coffee you can get. However, its supply is limited and the price a bit higher than regular Kona Coffee. Koa Coffee is offering it at the best price.

RUNNER-UP

Royal Kona Peaberry

You can't go wrong with either #1 or #2, as both are Peaberry Kona. Royal Kona has a bit higher price than Koa Coffee, but it all depends on availability so be sure to check them both.

NOTEWORTHY

Grande Domaine Kona

#3 Grande Domaine Kona Coffee

Grande Domain is the premium Kona coffee from Koa Coffee, a big Kona coffee roaster. It uses only the four Kona coffee grades, ensuring a smooth taste at a bit more friendly price than Peaberry Kona.

1. Peaberry Kona Coffee

The Koa Coffee Company is well known among gourmet coffee lovers for their Kona coffee. Their family-owned plantation in Captain Cook, Hawaii is relatively small in size, but big on coffee production. Each and every Kona coffee bean is picked and inspected by hand, with the greatest eye to detail that you will find among any coffee makers. Regular coffee beans from major coffee suppliers simply will not go through such a rigorous process.

At Koa Coffee, they take this process very seriously. Indeed, it is their life’s work to bring high-quality coffee to the market. Their Peaberry Kona Coffee is their premier coffee product, offering buyers with the very exclusive option to purchase some of the best tasting coffee in either a dark or medium roast. The popularity for Peaberry beans is growing, causing the price for these rare beans to rise.

While there are other Kona coffees on our list that use Peaberry beans, iIf you’re looking for the best that Kona has to offer, the Peaberry Kona Coffee from the Koa Coffee Company should be your first stop. Smooth and biting, this coffee offers a high-class coffee drinking experience that is unmatched by any other coffee you will find. Supplies are limited due to the popularity of the bean, so make sure you get this one before it runs out. Otherwise, you may have to wait until next year’s harvest.

Type of bean

Origin

Roast

Tasting notes

Kona Peaberry

Hawaii

Medium

Robust, smooth and full-bodied

2. Royal Kona Peaberry Coffee

The Royal Kona coffee company offers a fine, 100% Peaberry Kona coffee with no pretense. While most of the coffee plantations in Hawaiian Kona district are historic, few have a working museum to enhance the experience. Unfortunately, a trip to Hawaii is a not on many of our to-do lists for the near future. Instead, why not enjoy a delicious cup of coffee from them instead?

Rich and delicious with just the right amount of bite, the Royal Kona Peaberry coffee is a treat for any coffee lover. Don’t let this one slip away. This Peaberry coffee is worth every penny.

Type of bean

Origin

Roast

Tasting notes

Kona Peaberry

Hawaii

Medium

Aromatically intense, smooth and classic

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3. Grande Domaine Kona Coffee

If you’re looking for a great Kona coffee with a bit of history, the Grande Domaine Kona Coffee from the Koa Coffee company is likely one of the best options you’ll find.

This Kona coffee uses a mixture of beans from the top four type 1 Kona beans. A special mixture of Extra Fancy, Fancy, Number 1 and Peaberry beans means this 100% Kona coffee is both unique and flavorful. As one of Koa’s oldest coffee varieties, this coffee is both award-winning and popular.

Don’t let this one slip through your hands! Do, however, let it slip through your coffee filter and directly into your cup.

Type of bean

Origin

Roast

Tasting notes

Premium Kona Beans

Hawaii

Vienna (Dark)

Unique, strong and full-flavored

4. Royal Kona Mountain Roast Coffee
(10% Kona Coffee)

Perhaps a fulll Kona coffee just isn’t for you. Maybe you like a little bit of a mixture. Mountain Roast Coffee from the Royal Kona Coffee company combines top-grade coffee beans with 10% Kona. This way you can get the taste of Hawaii, with a bit more friendly price tag.

Offering a tasty medium roast with a bean mixture that includes Kona beans, this coffee is perfect for those who like their coffee to have character with every sip. This sweet, smooth and delicious coffee blend comes from a coffee company that has been in the business for over a century. In an ever-changing market, that longevity is a great thing.

Type of bean

Origin

Roast

Tasting notes

International, ~10% Kona

International/Hawaii

Medium

Subtly sweet, smooth and flawless

5. Estate Kona Coffee

You may have noticed a trend. The Koa Coffee company continues to make appearances on our list. There’s a great reason for that: their Kona coffee varieties are the best you’ll find. Their Estate Kona Coffee is about as pure a Kona coffee as you will find. Every bean in this coffee comes from the same coffee plantation: no mixtures at all.

A 100% Kona coffee with a solid taste, this coffee is made from only the best of the top three Kona coffee grades. Expect an appealing aroma that will transport you directly to the Hawaiian Big Island.

Type of bean

Origin

Roast

Tasting notes

Kona

Hawaii

Medium or Dark

Subtly sweet, smooth and flawless

6. Lion 24K Kona Coffee

Some people like silver. Others prefer gold. For Lion Coffee, it’s all about the gold. Their Lion 24K Kona Coffee is indeed the king of the jungle. This delectable coffee uses only the finest Kona coffee beans from the yearly harvests, lightly roasted and bagged direct-for-sale.

This 100% Kona coffee is fit for a king but delicious enough to make you feel like you’re royalty. Each brew entreats the senses, and each sip is as pure and delicious as you’ll find among gourmet coffees. If you don’t already have a favorite coffee, this may well be it. Go ahead and give it a try!

Type of bean

Origin

Roast

Tasting notes

Arabica, 10% Kona

Hawaii (Blend)

Medium light

Rich, subtle and buttery

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7. Private Reserve Kona Coffee

Sometimes, you just want to feel special. Koa Coffee understands that desire. Their Private Reserve Kona Coffee uses nothing but the highest grade Kona: Extra Fancy. Distinct, flavorful and rare, this coffee is the equivalent of a warm blanket on a winter’s day.

You cannot buy this coffee anywhere else, making this some of the most exclusive coffee available on the market. The Koa Coffee company picks these beans by hand, choosing only the best beans for this special product. If you’re looking to find your peace of mind, first purchase, and then brew a smooth, rich cup of Private Kona Reserve.

Type of bean

Origin

Roast

Tasting notes

Kona

Hawaii

Medium or Dark

Smooth, full-bodied and flavorful

8. Royal Kona Private Reserve Coffee

Although Royal Kona does not have the most entries on our list, their coffees account for a comfortable third of our top 10 Kona coffee choices. The Royal Kona Private Reserve is Medium Roast, 100% coffee with a bright and bold flavor.

Unlike many other coffees, you can purchase these as either whole beans or fully ground. If you’re a fan of freshly ground coffee, you’ll enjoy the superior aroma these beans produce upon grind. If you’re too impatient for the grind, don’t worry; you’ll still be able to enjoy a great scent and a smooth, delicious taste unlike any other.

Type of bean

Origin

Roast

Tasting notes

Kona

Hawaii

Medium or Dark

Smooth, aromatic and superb

9. Lion 24K Kona Coffee French Roast

The final Lion Coffee entry on our list and the only French Roast Kona coffee on the list as well, the Lion French Roast Kona Coffee both delectably biting and desirable. As with many French Roast coffees, the taste of this Kona bean is brought out in the darker roast.

This delicious and rich coffee is a great complement to any dinner party and pairs well with a sweet dessert. With less caffeine due to the darker roast, this rich coffee will help lull you right to sleep. Some even utilize this coffee for espresso. You’re certain to fall deeply in love with this one.

Type of bean

Origin

Roast

Tasting notes

Kona

Hawaii

French

Rich, bold and delicious

10. Royal Kona White Chocolate Strawberry

Although the Hawaii Coffee Company likes to mostly keep it simple and elegant with their flavored coffee blends, they do provide some blended coffees that push the scales on decadence.

Their Royal Kona White Chocolate Strawberry Truffle flavored coffee blend is an amazing mix of the greatest flavors found in many flavored coffees. The fruity strawberry taste merges extremely well with the unique flavor found in white chocolate. All of the flavors in this coffee blend cry out “original!”

The mixture and taste are unlikely anything you will find in any other coffee blend. This flavored coffee can be the highlight of any after dinner dessert.

Type of bean

Origin

Roast

Tasting notes

Kona

Hawaii

Medium

Lively, bright and smooth

What makes Kona coffee so special?

The obvious thoughts are likely buzzing around your head right now. “What makes Kona coffee so special?” Glad you asked! Buying Kona coffee can be a time-intensive experience, especially if you want to get the best beans. However, Hawaiian Kona coffee beans are unique in both how their grown and the physical and natural location of where they are grown. Most coffee beans have different flavors and scents based on both their variety and their growing conditions. Indeed, many different factors can significantly influence the flavor of coffee, including the altitude with which it is grown.

Hawaiian Kona coffee beans are grown in a unique location on Hawaii’s Big Island. The Hualalai and Mauna Loa slopes in the Kona district are at an extremely high elevation, influencing toughness and density of the beans, as well as their taste. Because Kona coffee beans are grown at such a high elevation (over 2,000 feet), and in mineral-rich volcanic soil, their flavors are as unique as their growing conditions.

There are many different Kona coffee beans available for purchase on the market. Be wary, however. If you are looking for 100% Kona coffee, check the label on the bag. If the bag does not use the word “Kona”, it is highly likely that they either do not come from the Kona district, or they are a blend. They may be grown in Hawaii, but it is the Kona district and the unique growing conditions found on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa that provide 100% Kona coffee with it’s special one-of-a-kind flavor.

Kona coffee grades
There are several classifications of Kona coffee beans. The desirability of the beans is based on size, shape, moisture content and the number of defects on the beans. Understanding these classifications can help you understand the differences in the pricing structure for different Kona coffee beans as well. If you’re in the mood for the best Kona coffee, you’ll want to consider purchasing coffee with an “Extra Fancy” label. These are the Kona beans with the highest moisture content, largest size, fewest defects and the more desireable rounded shape.
Below the extra fancy you will find “Fancy”, “Number 1”, “Select” and “Prime”.

If type 1, “Extra Fancy” Kona coffee beans are just not special enough for you, consider a type 2 “Peaberry” Kona coffee. These beans are still 100% Kona coffee through and through and are the most expensive of the Kona varieties due to their rarity. Normally, most coffee trees produce cherry-like fruit that has two beans per cherry. Approximately 5% of these, however, grow with a single bean in the cherry, hence the term “peaberry”. These type II beans have two different grades to them as well: Peaberry Number 1 and Peaberry Prime.

If you’re looking for the best, consider purchasing Koa's Peaberry Kona Coffee or Royal Kona Peaberry. These two are almost gratuitously delicious, a 100% Kona coffee experience for those who love the best that gourmet coffee has to offer. It's therefore no wonder these two coffees are in #1 and #2 on our list of best Kona coffee.

If you want to experience the joys of Kona coffee, but aren’t ready for the price of Kona coffee, consider getting a Kona blend coffee. These coffees are not allowed to put “Kona” on the label, but they can place the origin (Hawaii), letting you know that the coffee is at least blended with the best. Royal Kona Mountain Roast Coffee (#4) is a great choice if you’re looking to buy Kona coffee, but aren’t excited about Kona prices. Those who take the leap to buy Kona coffee will be rewarded with a coffee experience as good as any Hawaiian vacation!