There is something charismatic about the Kona coffee that follows it everywhere. We all must have heard of Kona coffee. Some have known it by its taste, some by its uniqueness, and some people just generally heard about it. Either way, it is known by its name. Have you ever wondered why it is called 100% Kona? Let us guide you through the basic facts that make 100% Kona coffee so unique.
From where does coffee originate? Does it originate from a plant, a bush, or a tree? Well, coffee generally belongs to the Rubiaceae family. It is a shrub whose fruits have seeds in it, known as coffee cherry, which is then processed into our coffee. Hawaiians got to know about coffee in the early 1800s. Since then, the island has introduced various coffee varieties to the world. However, Kona coffee remains the dominant type in the region.
After this, let’s understand the geographical parameters that make it a 100% Kona coffee. To label them as 100% Kona coffee, you must grow your coffee within the coffee growing area of Hawaii, also known as the Kona coffee belt. This belt is about 2 miles long, and the altitude ranges from 600 ft. to 2500 ft. Therefore, only coffees growing in the Kona region can use 100% Kona. Now coming to its environmental factors.
There are some essential factors that must be met for the proper growth of coffee. First is the elevation; the high elevation serves two functions- temperature and precipitation. These two functions are responsible for growing quality coffee. Since Kona coffee grows on Hualalai and Mauna Loa hills, which have a cooler consistency than the coastal area, its beans are denser and more complex than regular coffees.
Another factor is the water. Since the high hills of the Kona region receive annual rainfall, the amount of freshwater it contains is more than the coastal areas where one can barely see rain. Along with this comes the shade. These rainy clouds bring shade to the region, which keeps the trees cool and scatters moisture all over them, protecting them from excessive sun. All of this results in the slow development of cherries. The slower the cherries develop, the more dense beans will produce, making the coffee’s flavor feel like heaven.
Furthermore, we can not neglect that without an appropriate slope, the rainwater will puddle up and rot the roots of the coffee plant, or it can also flow too quickly, making water absorption difficult for the plants. Lastly, the soil of the volcanic mountains makes the Kona coffee so special. Volcanic soil is rich in nutrients that a plant needs to flourish properly.
It takes various environmental factors, proper care, nourishment, and knowledge to make a flavor-rich coffee. Kona coffee is grown in a small region on the high slopes of the Hawaiian mountains, which receive ideal amounts of sun, rain, shade, and nutrients. Keeping all these factors aside, the main contribution towards the quality of Kona beans is the passion and hard work of Kona farmers.