Generally, although you will find most Kona coffee costing around $20 to $25 per pound, there can be more expensive ones that can cost up to $100 per pound.
Depending on the grade, it can be higher than these generic rates making it one of the premium coffee beans. You can clearly see how expensive Kona coffee is relative to the other coffee that we drink regularly.
One of the main reasons is the higher labor costs in the Hawaiian regions compared to other countries, including Costa Rica and Ethiopia. Therefore, while Ethiopian or Tanzanian coffee may range around $20 per pound, Kona coffee costs higher than theirs.
Furthermore, the prices are reflective of the costs that are involved in production. Kona coffee is usually picked by hand meaning a lot of physical work is essential compared to the coffee picked by machine.
Also read: All about Kona coffee – History, Origin, and more
Kona Coffee Belt Size
Kona coffee is mainly grown in a region known as the Kona coffee belt on the Big Island of Hawaii. The growing conditions in this region of Hawaii are unique, which makes the Kona coffee flavors very rare. The tiny region means that the production here is quite limited and sporadic. Therefore, with much demand for coffee relative to the low supply, the prices are high.
The Location of Harvesting
The harvesting of the Kona coffee provides its distinctive taste. At the same time, this is what makes it so expensive. It is grown in the volcanic region way up from the sea level which not only makes the labor costs higher than you would expect. Moreover, being on an island, transportation adds up to the expenses.
The growing process mainly starts with the bloom which ideally happens twice a year: January and May.
Locals call it Kona snow because the blossoms are tiny and white, and they also smell sweet. After the blooms are gone, the green cherries are left behind. The cherry holds the coffee bean and takes several months to rip entirely.
Once the beans are ripe, they turn into brilliant red color. They need to be picked just at the right time to ensure that the bean inside is red. This location however what makes Kona coffee so rich in taste.
Processing The Kona Coffee
The beans are picked by hand, and also judged manually. These coffee beans are selected by people who are well trained to ensure that they do not choose the cherries a bit too early.
- Early picked coffee beans do not strike the proper taste notes, delining the overall balance of the richness of the coffee.
- After being carefully handpicked and selected, the cherries need to be processed perfectly. They have to be sun-dried and then kept across different ways to dry out. Once this process is complete, the beans are sorted and milled.
- Finally, they are graded and sent for hand roasting.
Everything is done manually to ensure the best possible flavor. Not only the difficult work situations but also the level of expertise that the workers must have makes the whole processing a lot more costly.
In that case, if you’re looking forward to buying the best Kona coffee, you should ensure that you buy directly from a reputable coffee plantation. Several places offer authentic Kona coffee. Normally, the expensive ones are the most genuine brands. Furthermore, you should check the packaging to know that you are getting what you want. The cheap options available in the market that sell Kona blends, usually scam coffee lovers with only