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What’s so good about Hawaiian Coffee?

 Preface

What Makes Hawaiian Coffee So Good?

Aloha! If you have ever heard of Hawaii then you must know one of the Island’s most desirable treasures – coffee. There’s a remarkable amount of flavor in these coffee beans. From the sweet floral taste of Kona coffee to the rich boldness of Hamakua coffee, the Hawaiian Islands are world renowned for their high quality coffee beans.

Irrespective of how you drink it, Hawaii coffee offers a tropical taste experience that coffee connoisseurs say cannot be found in any other coffee in the world.

Not all Hawaiian coffee is the same.

The Hawaiian oldtimer’s here on the Big Island say that the taste varies between coffee that is grown in soil (i.e. Hamakua, South Kona) to coffee that is grown in lava rock (Puna, Kona Desert). The coffee grown in soil is said to possess a bold, chocolate-like flavor while the coffee grown in lava rock is known to be sweet and floral.

How Hawaiian coffee is grown and processed

Hawaiian coffee plants grow freely throughout the Islands. This plant species has been spread naturally by birds and other environmental occurrences and thus grows like a weed. Despite it’s widespread presence the majority of Hawaii’s coffee bean industry is supplied by farms and estates.

Wild Coffee in Hawaiian Cloud Forest

A young wild coffee plant growing at 2500ft elevation on the Mauna Kea, Big Island

Why is coffee cultivated?

Well, the yield of coffee beans per plant may not be optimal when plants are grown in the wild. Coffee plants yield the most amount of beans when given a healthy diet of nutrients, water and optimal sunlight. Pruning can help increase yield and also make harvesting coffee beans easier for pickers.

Hawaiian Coffee Farm

Coffee farmers in Hawaii have a wealth of information on-hand through the University of Hawaii (a great resource for all things agriculture) Here’s a pdf that guidelines the best recommended coffee plant cultivation methods: https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/coffee08.pdf

When coffee is processed, it removes a lot of the “bitter” compounds such as tannic acid. This is done by husking off the coffee cherry skin and fermenting the jelly off the bean. Then the coffee beans are set out in the sun to dry before being roasted.

What makes Hawaiian coffee taste good?

Coffee Roasting and Processing in Hawaii

The tropical Hawaiian climate is ideal for making a great cup of coffee. Some of the world’s premier specialty coffee is Hawaiian cloud forest coffee. Cloud forest coffee is grown at high elevations and is esteemed for it’s superb quality. Higher elevations have less particles in the air to block UV rays. More UV rays to plants may increase the amount of sugars  produced. This, mixed with the rich, volcanic soil and the correct amount of dampness, offer perfect conditions for the wealthy, nice taste of the islands However the cost and availability of organic high elevation Hawaiian coffee is high and not-so-easy to find.

Cloud Forest Hawaiian Coffee Growing Wild

If you usually purchase organic items then you will be glad to see that Hawaii has an active organic ag community. While it’s true that there are a large amount of coffee farms and estates in Hawaii that use chemical fertilizers and spray pesticides, there are an equally large amount of organic coffee estates and wildcraft bean sellers.

Why go organic?

Well, with organic coffee there are no chemical substance such as pesticides utilized in developing the organic coffee beans. Many people also believe that coffee grown in rich organic soils make the most enjoyable cups of coffee.

Finding Hawaiian Coffee For Sale

If Hawaiian coffee is something you desire to beverage on a regular basis you will have to look either online (if you’re out of the state) or through local suppliers. Locating a trustworthy source of Hawaiian coffee is only half the fun, the other half is finding a coffee that tastes the best. Here at CoffeeDoIt.com we taste sample lots of Hawaiian coffee and share our favorites.

Share it. Do it!
Jared Cox
 

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