Hawaiian Kona Fancy Coffee Review

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by: John DeBartolo
New York's Coffee Meister

All Day Gourmet Coffee

Worth The Wait? Oh Yes, Most Definitely.

After a grueling two weeks of dental work, I went home looking forward to my first enjoyable meal and my first piping hot cup of coffee in over two weeks.

My wife asked "Do you want your coffee now or later?"

"Why?" I asked. "We're going to my sister's for coffee" she says.

Now, my sister-in-law is a charming woman but her idea of coffee is based upon the price – and the lower the price the better the brew.

"All coffee is the same" pretty much sums up her line of thinking.

Since her coffee leaves a lot to be desired – and is normally accompanied by heartburn – I usually have a lukewarm concoction of an "herbal" tea. One that reminds me of the brews that my mother used to force upon me as a youngster when I had a cold.

A Better Coffee . . . A Better Way

French Press Pot

A few hours later, back home again, I took my coffee beans out of the air-tight porcelain canister that I keep in the refrigerator. Rinsing out my tea kettle I filled it with cold water and turned on the heat.

I rinsed my French Press Pot, poured a few tablespoons of beans into my grinder, and inhaled the fragrant aroma of the freshly ground Hawaiian Kona beans.

We first came upon the French Press Pot about eight years ago in the town of Beaune in France. In the small expensive restaurant we couldn't figure out what we were supposed to do with the steaming kettle of hot water, the glass cylinder with coffee in the bottom, and a plunger type of contraption.

Shaking his head, our waiter came over to our table and pouring the hot water into the glass cylinder (which is a beaker) the aroma of the coffee engulfed us. We were immediately converted to the plunger press pot. Perhaps that's why our friends always get a fresh cup of coffee at our house.

When my tea kettle began to whistle, I poured about eight ounces of the boiling water into the beaker, and waiting a couple of minutes, I pressed down the plunger. The scent of the freshly ground beans had aroused my taste buds. Then the very aromatic scent of the Hawaiian Kona beans became infused with the hot water. It was well worth the long wait.

The Only Coffee Grown in the USA

In the entire United States there is only one area suitable for growing coffee – and that is Hawaii. Although there are various types of coffee grown in Hawaii the best coffee is grown in the Kona district. At the present time – in the Kona region of the big island of Hawaii – there are about 1,500 acres of coffee cultivated on the hard volcanic rock.

In this small area is grown one of the finest coffees in the world – known as Hawaiian Kona. By law only the coffee cultivated in the Kona area can be labeled Hawaiian Kona and the grading of the beans is strictly regulated.

Location, Location, Location

Kona is cultivated in modest quantities on the slopes of the Hualalai and Mauna Loa, an active volcano, in fields about 1,500 to 2,000 feet above sea level. Here the prevailing winds provide sunny mornings, misty mid-day cloud coverage and mild afternoon rains. This combination provides some of the finest natural conditions for the farming of Hawaiian Kona coffee.

This hard-packed volcanic rock, the near-perfect weather conditions, and the absence of disease give the coffee trees in the Kona area the highest yield of coffee beans in the world. Naturally, these Hawaiian Kona coffee beans are of superior quality.

The Kona coffee arabica tree, a relative of the gardenia, is characterized by glossy, dark green leaves and fragrant white blooms. Not a native of the Hawaiian islands, the arabica coffee tree was brought to the governor's home on Oahu from Brazil circa 1825. Interestingly, it was first used as an ornamental bush.

The Hawaiian Kona bean has a very aromatic scent and a sweet taste that is quite noticeable from the bland coffees available in the supermarkets. Once brewed, Kona has a superb aroma with a light, mild body and a clear, sweet, mellow flavor. The superior quality of Kona coffee also makes a delightful summer refreshment when served as an iced coffee.

A Mid-Summer Night's Treat

During the summer months, we brew a little extra coffee and pour it into ice cube trays. That way we can make iced coffee anytime by pouring regular coffee over the iced coffee cubes.

I haven't purchased those supermarket coffees in years. I have found that purchasing coffee from a reliable coffee dealer may cost me a few extra dollars per pound, but I usually get what I pay for – a superior cup of coffee.

Since very little Hawaiian Kona coffee is produced every year (and the price is among the highest – supply & demand, you know) there will always be distributors that will claim to sell you "genuine" Hawaiian Kona coffee at supermarket prices. Don't believe it.

I recall a few years ago that one of the largest purported distributors of Kona coffee in Hawaii was indicted for purchasing coffee from Panama and Costa Rica, "re-bagging" this less expensive coffee, and then selling it to retailers as "100% Pure Kona Coffee" from Hawaii – at very high prices, of course.

Unfortunately, the only law protecting the consumer is one the Hawaiian state legislature passed in 1989 – the "Truth in Labeling Law" – that requires Kona Blended Coffees to consist of at least 10% coffee from Kona.

Right to My Front Door – Simple & Easy

I live in an outlying section of New York City, and to avoid taking the railroad into Manhattan to obtain my gourmet coffee, I have been ordering my coffee from mail order houses with satisfactory results.

On a cross country trip three years ago, I went out of my way seeking a reputable cup of coffee instead of the hogwash sold as "coffee" in the fast food emporiums.

USA Map

Detouring around Salt Lake City we were having a cup of coffee in a coffee house and I overheard the waitress telling a customer that her sister-in-law had been purchasing her coffee from Coffee Wholesale USA.

Of course I jotted the name down on my road map. That night I looked through telephone books and there was no Coffee Wholesale USA listed.

It just so happened that last summer, while preparing to drive to Florida, I came across that road map, along with the notation I had made. So, I decided to use the SEARCH feature of my computer and find Coffee Wholesale USA.

Always Premium Quality – Never Less

John DeBartolo - New York's Coffee Meister

I placed my order and promptly received an assortment of their coffees. Their Hawaiian Kona most certainly has a taste and aroma comparable to that I have been purchasing locally and paying one third more.

To sum it up Coffee Wholesale USA has an excellent quality Hawaiian Kona Fancy at a very competitive price. I recently finished mine and will be opening my package of Costa Rican Tarrazu soon. Be sure to check out my Costa Rican Tarrazu gourmet coffee review.

Here's the bottom line: be certain you purchase your Hawaiian Kona coffee from a reputable dealer, like Coffee Wholesale USA, that guarantees their coffee to be certified Hawaiian Kona – nothing less.

What I need now is another cup of coffee!

Cheerio,

John DeBartolo - New York's Coffee Meister

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