Tip #5: Kona Coffee - Get a "Vacation in a Cup!"
Kona coffee is not a specific type of bean -- it is an arabica bean grown in a very small geographical area known as the "Kona Coffee Belt" at the 500 to 3,000 foot elevation on Mount Hualalai and the western slope of Mauna Loa . What makes kona coffee so special? The area in the Coffee Belt is blessed with wonderfully fertile volcanic soil which drains easily (coffee plants don't like wet feet). Mornings in the Belt start out clear and sunny, but as the sun rises clouds begin to descend from the top of Mount Hualalai to shade the coffee from the hot afternoon sun. Those clouds often bring rain which lessens the need for irrigation. All these conditions combine to produce a coffee bean that is rich and flavorful without being overly acidic. If you'd like to purchase Kona coffee, make sure that you look for the words "100% Kona" on the label. There is no point in buying a 10% Kona coffee blend - it won't taste any different than grocery store coffee. Make sure you purchase whole bean coffee since the beans are covered with natural oil that preserves the flavor. Once the bean is ground the flavor will begin to deteriorate.
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