I'll take a huge mug of java-- doesn't matter if it has cream or sugar -- just as long as it's Hawaiian coffee!
I admit it -- and am proud to say it -- I'm a coffee snob. Let me be more specific-- a Hawaiian coffee snob. Since coming to the Hawaiian Islands and being introduced to local Hawaiian coffee, I've never ever managed to drink anything else. And when I return to the Mainland, I always bring a supply with me.
I have seen lots of shoppers stand in front of a grocery store aisle looking at the multitude of coffee brand names, many with names of "Hawaiian", not knowing which one to get to take home. I get it -- truly I did the same thing. Most coffee drinkers have probably heard of kona coffee and know it to be one of the best in the world. And although I love kona -- it's probably my favorite type of coffee -- there are coffees from each island that are terrific and worth talking about.
So while I encourage you to order your coffee online from an authentic Hawaiian coffee shop, if you "must" buy a bag from the store, please follow these guidelines to ensure you're getting the best Hawaiian coffee possible. (and you can also use these guidelines when looking for coffee online as well to ensure it truly is authentic Hawaiian)
1) Check out the label thoroughly! Due to an impediment in the legislation, coffee firms could use the name "Kona" on the tag or in the name even if it has simply 10 % real Kona grains combineded with 90 % of whatever else they want to make use of (from Hawaii or not). This is not going to taste like real Kona coffee. Don't do it!
2) Make sure you know what kind of roast you're getting. That "Hawaiian" coffee you are drinking is more than likely a dark roast, which clearly has a much deeper flavor (but actually includes much less caffeine). Coffee gardeners themselves have actually informed me a medium roast is best for black coffee enthusiasts, while a dark roast is an excellent choice for cream/sugar loyalists.
3) Coffee is grown on the major islands of the state, so find a regional brand name that can be equally as wonderful as kona. Don't assume that just the Big Island can deliver the best coffee choices.
4) It's true with Hawaiian coffee you get what you pay for. 75% of the Hawaiian coffee bags on the shelves in your grocery and drug stores are less than $10 for a 6 – 8oz bag. That's cheap for Hawaiian coffee -- and that's exactly how it will taste. On a coffee plantation, the good stuff will cost you $30 – $40 per 8oz bag. But just like fine wine, it’s going to be that much more delicious. Spend a little more to get the taste that will make you a believer, and bypass the cheaper bags. You can thank me later. But believe me -- I understand budget. The pictures below are my personal recommendations, coffees that I drink, can afford, and completely enjoy.
Mahalo and do something nice for someone today....spread the Aloha Spirit!
Mahalo for reading. Please share the Aloha Spirit and do something nice for someone today. We welcome your comments and feedback. This blog is brought to you by Kapo Trading Company -- with over 3000 fun, unique and authentic Hawaiian items, we deliver Hawaii to you!