Kona Coffee

The coffee trees were first introduced to Kona in the nineteenth century by Samuel Reverend Ruggles. It was cultivated on large plots of lands and its demand for the coffee picked up only later on in the century. However, a depression due to the surplus of coffee beans in 1899 caused owners of these plantations to lease out their lands to workers, many of which were Japanese families who were intended to harvest sugar cane in Hawaii. This practice of Japanese ran farms continued throughout Kona and was later followed by the Filipinos, Europeans as well as the Americans.

The World War I in 1914 was a flourishing period for Kona Coffee farmers as armies bought large quantities of coffee to provide sustenance for battle. These great demands for coffee resulted in an inflation in coffee prices, which stayed high until 1928.

In 1929, The Great Depression led to the plummeting in coffee prices. In spite of this, many families continued to produce coffee and had expanded their business to macadamia nut cultivation. However, the onset of inflation occurred again in the 1940s due to World War II. As a result, the U.S. government placed a price ceiling to prevent any further increase in coffee prices.

In the late 1950s, Kona Coffee farmers began to establish their own mills in hopes of increasing profit margins and gaining more control over the production of coffee, which led to the establishment Pacific Coffee and Sunset Cooperatives. In 1959, the Kona coffee market was dominated by 2 firms namely, Captain Cook Coffee Company and American Factors.

Despite the fluctuation of coffee prices in the 1970s and 1980s, Kona Coffee still managed establish itself as a gourmet coffee producer. The first shipment of Kona coffee outside Hawaii led to other coffee companies to follow suit. With growing number of consumers becoming more educated and sophisticated in tastes, many are willing to pay premium for good coffee.

To date, Hawaii remains the sole producer of Kona Coffee. There are about 600 Kona coffee farms, each approximately 2 to 3 acres in size. Despite the sheer numbers of coffee farms, the annual Kona coffee harvest consist only of a small fragment of the world’s total coffee production. Kona Coffee is indeed one of the rarest superior coffees one could enjoy.

The main characteristics of Kona Coffee are delicate flavours, mild and light bodied and caramelly aromatic. One sip and you are filled with that sublime pleasure. It is a taste of paradise that evokes rich and tropical Hawaiian heaven.