chocolate covered coffee beans

coffee: the nectar of the gods

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Kona Coffee: the Pride of Hawaii

Coffee is one of the most important commodities the world over. This byproduct of coffee cherries and coffee beans has remained one of the most popular beverages.

From the time that it originated from Ethiopia centuries ago, coffee has become a household basic – something that people cannot do without.

There are two basic coffee variants: one is the traditional Arabica, and the other is Robusta coffee. Many coffee enthusiasts agree that the former has a stronger flavor than the latter, so it tastes better.

This is because Arabica coffee contains beans in its purest form – rather than Robusta coffee which only has half of the caffeine amount that can be found in Arabica coffee variants.

Due to the high demand of Arabica coffee in the industry, many rare coffee variants found only in certain places have found a niche market.

Hawaii's Kona Coffee

Aside from the gorgeous beaches, lush forests and warm people, another thing that Hawaiians are proud of is a coffee variant that is solely produced in their islands, which is the Kona coffee.

Kona is a part of the Hawaiian archipelago where this special coffee variant is grown. Kailua-Kona is the largest town in the district, and it has two districts: the northern and southern districts of Kona.

On the Dry Side of the Island

The word Kona literally means on the dry side of the land. Kona coffee if therefore grown on the dry side of Big Island, which is the largest among all the Hawaiian islands.

There are two districts which divide Kailua-Kona, and Kona coffee grows primarily on the West side of the Hawaiian archipelago.

This location, as well as the climate, makes Hawaii an ideal setting to grow Kona coffee, which has become a world-class coffee variant.

What makes coffee plants in Kona unique from other coffee plants in the world are:

1. The ideal location

Hawaii is basically a group of islands formed by volcanic slopes. Kona coffee if grown along the rocky volcanic slopes of Mount Lona and Mount Hualalai.

2. The ideal climate

Due to the tropical climate in Hawaii, the mornings are almost always warm and sunny. During the afternoon, there is a slight mist which befalls the islands, further nurturing the coffee plants.

3. The meticulous care of coffee farmers.

Most of the coffee farmers in Hawaii rely on the basic hand-picking method, ensuring the freshness of the freshly-gathered coffee cherries.

Some coffee producers use modern machinery to ensure fast harvesting when the coffee cherries are mature enough. However, a machine cannot give out the personal touch that farmers can give during harvesting.

A machine may not recognize overripe or immature coffee beans, and put them all together once harvested. This results in an impure coffee blend once the beans are processed.

On the other hand, a hand-picked batch of coffee cherries is assured of almost 100 per cent quality.

Kona coffee is also an Arabica blend, making it a truly premier coffee variant that Hawaiians can proudly offer to the world.

Dave Poon is an accomplished writer who specializes in the latest in Food and Drink. For more information regarding Kona Coffee please drop by at http://www.hotcoffeeplus.com/