What is the best brewing method for Kona coffee?

There are so many brewing methods out there, it can seem like a daunting task to find the perfect one for you. We're happy provide as much info as we can on some of our tried and true favorites, though everyone's taste varies so we encourage you to experiment and find your own!

With all methods, for best results we recommend starting with a good quality burr grinder which will get you a more consistent grind without getting hot (blade grinders can burn the coffee if run for a long period of time). It's best to grind immediately before brewing for optimal freshness and flavor. We also recommend (ok, insist on) using good, filtered water. After all, brewed coffee is over 98% water. Temperature is also important (195-205 degrees Fahrenheit, usually yields the best results). Make sure to use clean equipment as coffee oils can build up and start to taste rancid. Be mindful of your grind and the extraction time and again, play around and experiment to find what works best for you. Have fun & enjoy!

Auto-Drip Machine
This method is quick, easy, and tends to be pretty consistent for larger quantities of brew once you've determined ratios. No pouring skills required here. Cons: We find this method doesn't unleash a great coffee's full potential.

With this method, we recommend brewing into an insulated pot (instead of glass) that keeps coffee hot without a heating burner underneath. The external heat burner drives off delicate oils, cooking the coffee and changing its flavor.

French Press
Again, no pouring skills required. This method allows for precise control over steeping time and can brew 8 or more cups at a time depending on the model. There are no filters required and it's completely portable as long as you have access to hot (filtered) water. The cup is rich and heavy, since the oils remain without the presence of a paper filter. Cons: Some people don't appreciate the sediment at the bottom of the brew. We recommend using a coarse grind to keep this sediment to a minimum. Research has found that the oils left in this brew contain cholesterol-boosting substances that are normally removed during the filtration process. Also, cleanup can be a mess, they glass is prone to break (and replacement glasses cost almost as much as a new unit).

Pour Over
Again, so many variations for this type of brew method. We've tried Chemex, Hario V60 and the Clever and here's what we think:

    • Chemex: This method utilizes an ultra thik paper filter which means very minimal oil extraction resulting in a bright, clean cup. It also means slower extraction, which makes a good cup a little less dependent upon perfect pour technique. We recommend using a medium to coarse grind with this method (a coarser grind will help speed up the drip, but too coarse will result in an under-extracted cup). Cons: Some find that the thick filter removes too many solubles, leaving you with a weak cup. The thick filter can flavor your cup, so it's extra important to rinse it first (as you should with all paper filters before brewing). This method also tends to lose the most heat during brewing so you're left with a less than hot cup (especially if you're adding creamer to it). It's also breakable.
    • V60: This is a cone-shaped dripper with spiral ridges along the inner wall and a single, large opening at the bottom. This design keeps the filter from sticking to the walls of the cone, encouraging extraction at the bottom and sides of of the filter. The paper filters used with this method are much thinner than with the Chemex meaning water filters through quicker and requires a bit more technique to generate adequate extraction. You won't get as much of the paper taste from the filter, though. We recommend using a medium to fine grind (a finer grind will help slow the filtration, but too fine will result in an over-extracted cup). Cons: Brews only one cup at a time. Breakable. Requires specific filters. Large hole in middle, easy for water to pass through without the right grind and pouring technique.
    • Clever: We're not gonna lie, this is our go-to most mornings. This method requires no pouring skills - the coffee steeps for the desired amount of time (around 4 minutes) with just a stir or two during that time. Once ready, set the unit on your mug to release the filter mechanism. This method allows precise control over steeping time, the clean up is easy, and the device is durable. Cons: Brews one cup at a time (or two small ones), it's not dishwasher safe, and it stains over time. Also, the unit is plastic and although BPA-free, it still makes us nervous about harmful chemicals making their way into our cup.
    • Cold Brew: If you haven't tried (or heard of) cold brewed coffee, now is the perfect time to do so as the weather heats up. This method is exactly what sounds like - coffee brewed with cold water! It's been around for forever but is just recently growing in popularity. You can make it super concentrated so all you have to do is add a shot to hot water for a hot brew or ice and cold water (and/or creamer) for iced coffee. You may wonder how this is even possible. While heat is necessary for quick extraction, time is what you need for a cold brew. Without heat, the resulting brew is almost 70% less acidic than hot brewed coffee (a bonus for those of us with sensitive stomachs) and much more stable meaning you can keep it refrigerated for about 2 weeks without loss of flavor.

    There are multiple contraptions for cold brew (the Toddy being the most widely used), but all you need is a jar or container. Steep the coffee grounds (we recommend a medium to coarse grind) in filtered water overnight in your fridge (you can leave at room temp too, but we prefer the fridge) and filter out in the morning. Cons: Requires some planning ahead. Also, this method produces a different chemical profile from conventional brewing methods which some palates don't appreciate.


What is so special about Peaberry?

The Kona peaberry bean is found on the same tree as the rest of Kona coffee, but is actually a mutation in the bean where it doesn't fully form and split into two halves. The result is a smaller, whole round or football shaped bean that is sweeter and more flavorful than its neighbors. This is the one defect that we LOVE!

Peaberry is VERY rare (less than 5% of the average crop), which makes it extremely sought after.

The coffee I received looks vacuum sealed. Is it OK?

Yes! Coffee can sometimes "brick", especially in transit when change in cabin presser expels the CO2 gas that roasted coffee creates.

Our one-way degassing valves allow for this escape of gas, but does not let oxygen back. Coffee deteriorates when exposed to oxygen, so the lack of it in your bag is a good thing!

We recommend not opening the bag until you're ready to use it.

Why have prices increased on some of your products?

Coffee prices fluctuate seasonally depending primarily on growing conditions (rainfall which impacts quality and quantity produced), bug damage to crop (again, impacting quality and quantity), and labor costs (did you know Hawaii is the only state in the US that commercially produces coffee...meaning the only coffee subject to US wages?) among other things. The biggest impact to coffee prices over the past few years has been the coffee berry borer (a beetle). This pest has devastated farmers, infesting as much as 25% of recent crops. This has led to price increases across the board to compensate for the reduction in available product. We make it our goal to keep our prices as low as we can, with extra effort made for long-standing and subscription customers. We absorb cost increases when possible, but unfortunately cannot remain viable without occasional price increases. We hope you understand so we can stick around a while longer!

Why is shipping so expensive?

We ship all orders USPS Priority Mail because it is the most cost effective and quickest way (meaning the freshest product) to ship from Hawaii. We do offer free shipping within the US on all order over $100. For any orders under $100, shipping is just $9 (which, in many cases, is less than our cost).

For our international customers, we work directly with USPS and charge exactly what they do. We don’t make any money on shipping charges.

Is your coffee really 100% Kona?

Yes! All of the coffee we sell is 100% grown in Kona. The different variations of our coffee (Hawaiian and even our 10% blend) is still Kona grown coffee, just different grades that don’t meet certification standards for a “Kona” label.