So what exactly makes Kona Coffee so special, and what do we here at Kona Coffee Purveyors do to elevate it even further? Let’s break it down.
Sitting on the cool coastline of Hawaii’s big island at 1500 to 2000 feet in elevation, Kona continues to exist as Hawaii’s longest-producing region dedicated to coffee. The Kona region is shielded by the mountains of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, often weathering storms that pass through until they taper off and become a light drizzle that replenishes the volcanic soil native to the area. This soil has a special quality: its fertility and drainage derive from decomposing volcanic ash, holding important nutrients such as iron and calcium which enrich the Kona region. This perfect mix of weather and soil feels almost like nature's nod of approval as it provides us with the perfect conditions for growing incredible coffee beans.
While seemingly small, Kona is actually a substantial slot of land that presently separates into numerous privately-owned farms, each with their own approach to growing beans while heeding heavy rainfall from the mountains. Thus, having a well-designed farm equipped to divert substantial water flow is crucial in Hawaii’s tropical climate.
Raymond Suiter, KCP’s founder, and Tommy Greenwell at Greenwell Farms have been collaborating for years on developing all three of our single-estate Kona coffees. Raymond sets a high standard of excellence through his meticulous attention to detail while Tommy and his team share our passion for creating the finest coffee in the world; their dedication to growing and processing gives our coffee the best start we could hope for. We’ve learned so much from their continued work on nurturing soil and getting the qualities from each location— each individual estate they manage — to come through in the taste of the coffee.
In addition to growing, it is in the processing of the beans that farmers really showcase their craftsmanship. Our water processing style brings out the truest taste in each bean, while milling fine-tunes and grooms, revealing the greatest parts of the particular farm. This means we can start our work with only the highest-quality beans from the region, allowing Jackie Suiter, our Head of Coffee, to highlight the delicious flavors of the Kona region more generally, and the unique notes of each particular estate more specifically.
Our 100% premium Kona beans are unique to three different microclimates in Kona. Each estate brings its own unique flavor palette that leaves hints of chocolate and caramel with the right amount of brightness — your tastebuds will be delighted with flavors you might have never experienced in coffee before.
Jackie is constantly at work monitoring and caring for the beans she roasts. Without fail, each roasting day is followed by a cupping day where she and her team rigorously break down the sensory experience of the coffee. We employ this constant, meticulous routine — roast one day, cup the next — because we believe so strongly in quality and consistency. By working to study the newly roasted beans each time, we ensure that we are always familiar with the beans we’re working with, recognizing different attributes in the coffee and fine-tuning our approach to roasting in real-time. Because we monitor the aromatic flavors of each roast, we can constantly find ways to bring you the best of each bean.
Undoubtedly, Kona is our favorite coffee-growing region in the world, and roasting the best Kona Coffee requires an incredible amount of dedication and care. However, roasting the beans is not where it ends; what we feel is the most special part of our coffee’s journey is how you choose to continue it. However you brew and enjoy your Kona coffee, it is your journey to finish and one that can never be truly understood until you try it for yourself.