The coffee beans that are cultivated and grown on the slopes of Mount Hualalai and Mauna Loa in Hawaii are marketed as the Kona Coffee. The Kona Coffee is among the most sought after and expensive coffees in the world. Most of the coffee experts can clearly identify Kona Coffee from other coffee varieties.
The perfect combination of humid climate along with some rainfalls in the afternoon and fertile soil create the distinctively rich taste and great aroma of Kona Coffee. It has been a tradition in Kona already for families to be operating coffee farms which were sprawled over vast lands. Typically, these coffee variety blooms in February and March and is ready for harvest by late August. By this time, these coffee beans have already ripened into a deep red cherry-like fruits.
The cherry then is run through a pulper within twenty four hours, where the beans are separated from the pulp. It is then fermented over a period of time which is dependent on the temperature and the elevation. This may be hard to imagine but, it takes about nine pounds of cherry to produce a pound of Kona Coffee.
Various grades of Kona Coffee are determined by the seed type. These grades include the Type I beans which are composed of two beans per cherry that are flat on side and oval on the other. The Type II Kona Coffee beans consist of the peaberry which is actually one round bean per cherry. Moreover, these two types of coffee beans are further classified according to the moisture content, purity of bean type, and size.
The Type I Kona Coffee grades are Kona Fancy, Kona Extra Fancy, Kona Number I, and Kona Prime; while the Type II Kona Coffee grades are Peaberry Number I and Peaberry Prime.