Not all Kona Coffees are the same

I wanted to take this time to let you know how grateful we are to have you choosing us for your coffee needs. Quality coffee is a passion for me and I am so thankful for your patronage which allows me to do this. I wanted to share a little about our coffees, and why I think they are so special. First of all, we buy our coffee from only the most reputable farms and mills in Kona. Being a teacher in Kona for three decades, I taught some of the farmers and some of their parents too - which goes a long way. 

Not too small. 

Most boutique coffee companies sell an estate coffee, called this because every bean comes from their estate which may be an acre or two of planted coffee – exactly how we started out. When the beans are picked and dried, they end up in a variety of sizes or grades. These boutique companies roast all beans of varying size together because they cannot afford to waste any beans regardless of quality and they don’t have enough beans for it to make sense to separate them into different grades. What you end up with is an inconsistent roast – the larger beans might not be roasted enough, while the smaller beans are roasted too much and taste burnt. Our “Estate” coffee is from a single grade so you get a much more uniform roast at the perfect temperature for that size. 

Not too big. 

The largest companies must buy huge amounts of coffee bean as cheaply as possible, which typically results in lower quality beans. Low quality beans have less flavor, so these companies roast the coffee darker to hide imperfections in the coffee and eke out as much flavor as possible, regardless of what that flavor ends up being. But the flavor you often taste is over-roasted or burnt. Consider a top grade tuna or beef. Connoisseurs typically prefer these items undercooked than overcooked, so they can enjoy the natural flavors of the cut. Overcooked, you typically end up with a charred piece of meat that’s less flavorful and more burnt. Same thing with coffee. If you’ve ever had Starbucks coffee you might already be familiar with the burnt taste I’m talking about, which they hide with caramel, whip cream, and other goodies. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s just not what we do. 

Our coffee is just right. 

We buy only from reputable farmers and millers at volumes equal to several hundred acres. We grade our coffees into different sizes and quality, throw out the lower quality beans and blind taste our grades and types individually to find the best roasting temperature that bring out the best taste for that specific size and coffee bean – different roasting temperatures for different coffee. We do this constantly to maintain a consistent and high-quality roast every time. 

We roast only what we immediately need and age the rest. 

You may have waited a bit longer for your coffee but we can guarantee you received the freshest coffee anywhere. Even though our roasted coffee can be stored for 4 - 6 months in a cool, dry place, we don't warehouse roasted coffee. Even the coffee sold to stores are roasted and put into stores well within a week. The coffee bean we buy, we typically don’t roast immediately, and instead age it for at least a year. Like a fine wine that gets better after some years "resting" before being consumed, we feel our coffee is softer yet bigger because we age it to reduce acids giving it a smoother taste. As you may have already experienced, you don't have to add cream and sweetener to drink our coffee – it has a smoother and less acidic taste without cream because of this aging process. 

Hopefully you found some of this interesting. You’ve heard from me, we would love to hear from you. Mahalo for your support. 


Joel Cooperson, Owner, Hualalai Estate Coffee