What is Kona Coffee?

Pooki’s Mahi’s Guidance and Disclaimers
The purpose of our “What is Kona Coffee” is to provide context and basic information about Kona coffee beans used on our Kona coffee pods for Pooki’s Mahi’s customers. It is not a definitive guide on 100% Kona coffee.  We’ve included additional resource links for customers wanting learn more.  We’ve consolidated our sourcing, harvesting and roasting 100% Kona coffee under our Hawaiian coffee manufacturer headquartered in Hawaii.

This guide will focus on what makes Pooki’s Mahi’s Kona coffee pods unique and different using our expertise in technology, supply chain management, m/ecommerce systems and data from our analytics.  

What is Kona Coffee?

Kona coffee is the name of the coffee product grown in the North and South Kona Districts, Big Island of Hawaii.  Kona coffee is grown on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa volcations on the Big Island, Hawaii.

The area where Kona coffee gown is also known as the “Kona Coffee Belt.” Kona coffee is grown between Hawaii Route 190 (Palani Road), Hawaii Route 180 (North Kona Road or the Kona Heritage Corridor), Holualoa, Hawaii Route 11 (Kainaliu) down to Kealakekua nad Honaunau.  When visitors look at a map separate the Big Island into four quadrants.  The lower left quadrant (Southwest areas) near the ocean and up towards the mountain slopes is where the Kona coffee is grown.


Kona coffee is priced much higher and one of the most expensive coffees in the world.  In terms of artisanal coffee pricing it is on par to Latin America’s Geisha coffees or Jamaica’s Blue Mountain coffees.

Where is Kona coffee grown?

Kona coffee is grown on many smaller independent Kona coffee farms that formed a close knit community.  There are over 600+ farms growing, harvesting and cultivating the coffee plant variety Kona Typica.  Most farms are family owned and manage up to five acres of Kona coffee.  Kona coffee is priced higher and one of the most expensive coffees rivaling Latin America’s Geisha coffees or Jamaica’s Blue Mountain coffees.  
Many Kona coffee farms are managed by families.  Families from Japan immigrated to the Big Island, Hawaii to work on sugarcane plantations. When the sugarcane industry crashed and sugar farms were converted into coffee plantations families started to cultivate the farms.  The Japanese families were the first to work on the Kona coffee farms.  Today a diverse set of Japanese-origin, Filipinos, mainland Americans and even Europeans now grow and harvest Kona coffee beans.  



Kona hosts a popular coffee festival, Kona Coffee Festival, in November.  Visit http://konacoffeefest.com to learn more.

Harvesting Season Timeline:
Kona coffee beans are hand picked, pulped, sun dried and hulled.  This is more labor intensive because machines are not used to pick the coffee cherries.  Coffee mill machinery sorts the coffee beans into the different grades by size and shape.  
Kona coffee beans are harvested from February through January.

  • February - March:  Small white flowers known as Kona snow blooms and covers the Kona coffee tree.
  • April:  Green berries appear
  • August:  Red fruit cherry ripen and are ready to be picked
  • August - January:  Kona coffee trees are hand picked several times.  Each coffee tree provides approximately 15-20 pounds of coffee cherry resulting in two (2) lbs of coffee.

Peaberry tops the coffee bean classification.  5% - 10% of each Kona coffee bean harvest qualifies as Peaberry.  

Kona coffee bean classification & grading
Kona coffee are first classified into one of two types and then assigned a grade within the type.

There are two types of Kona bean classification. Kona coffee beans are classified into Type I or Type II according to the coffee bean.  

  • Type I coffee bean consists of two beans per cherry, flat on one side, oval on the other.
  • Type II coffee beans consist of one round bean per cherry also known as peaberries.  
Type I coffee bean looks like a miniature football.  Type II coffee beans look like the vegetable peas or chickpeas.  Customers are most familiar with Type I coffee bean.
Additional grading for the two types of Kona coffee beans are dependent on size, moisture content and purity of bean type.  
  • Type I grades:  Kona Extra Fancy, Kona Fancy, Kona Number 1, Kona Select and Kona Prime
  • Type II grades:  Peaberry Number 1 and Peaberry Prime
A lower grade of Number 3 exists; these Kona coffee beans cannot be called Kona.
Customer looking for a simpler way to “rank” the Kona coffees should consider the following Kona coffee “ranking:”
  1. Peaberry ←- Most expensive and the highest “rank”
  2. Kona Extra Fancy
  3. Kona Fancy
  4. Kona No. 1
  5. Kona Select
  6. Kona Prime  <--Most affordable and the lowest “rank”

    Roasting Labelling and Kona Coffee Taste Characteristics
    Roast names on the Kona coffee product labels do not translate to common roasts. Dark roasts are include French Roast, Italian Roast and Espresso.  Medium Roasts are Full-City and Vienna.  Pooki’s Mahi’s 100 percent Kona coffee kcups offer medium roast and French Roast.

    To flavor Kona coffee the flavor is either sprayed or “showered” immediately after roasting for best absorption of the added flavor.  Pooki’s Mahi offers four flavored Kona coffee pods.  

    Kona coffees are medium bodied with floral aromas, light acidity and hints of sweetness. Coffee cuppers have often written about Kona coffees natural flavors like mocha, cedar, spicy, and slight taste of berries.

    100% Kona Coffee vs. Kona Coffee Blend
    Coffee beans harvested from Kona, roasted and packaged into the final retail selling unit are 100% Kona coffee certified.  The final roasted batch is no longer considered 100% Kona coffee if any portion of Kona coffee beans are mixed with coffee beans from another region (like South America, Central America, Africa).  The end product is a 10% Kona Coffee Blend and not 100% Kona coffee.  The 10% indicates the total percentage of Kona coffee beans used in the retail selling unit.

    1. 10% Kona coffee blend - 10% of Kona coffee beans used
    2. 25% Kona coffee blend - 25% of Kona coffee beans used
    3. 100% Kona coffee - 100% of Kona coffee beans used

    Pooki’s Mahi’s Policy on Kona Blends:
    If Pooki’s Mahi uses 10% Kona coffee blends, we list the harvesting source of the remaining 90% according to the product labelling laws.  Per Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture manufactures are only required to list the total % of Kona beans used.  At Pooki’s Mahi we don’t believe this is enough.  We took a standard high tech approach by listing the full BOM (Bill of Materials) for the end product.  

    The percentage of Kona coffee used must be prominently displayed. Examples:  “100% Kona Coffee” or “10% Kona Coffee.”  The following terminology is not considered authentic Kona coffee:

    • Pure
    • Kona Roast
    • Kona Style
    Pooki’s Mahi’s popular Hawaiian 100 Kona coffee single serves:

    About Pooki’s Mahi:
    Pooki’s Mahi is a Silicon Valley-based single serve coffee maker, distributor and promotional products manufacturer offering award-winning 100% Kona coffee pods, 100% Hawaiian coffee single serves and 100% Kona Decaf coffee pods at bulk wholesale prices.  Since its online launch in 2013, Pooki’s Mahi products have been a favorite of customers, charities, celebrities and athletes and have been featured at red carpet events including Celebrity Gift Suites and Celebrity Poker tournaments.  The products have been endorsed by many celebrities and athletes and seen on several television shows.  Pooki’s Mahi’s mission is to revolutionize the supply chain ecosystem in bringing the highest quality Kona coffees into the market in a sustainable format.  Hawaiian coffees are harvested/roasted in Hawaii, single serve cup manufactured in US and distributed to the several fulfillment centers in the US.

    For more information on Pooki’s Mahi selection of 100% Hawaiian Kona coffee subscriptions visit www.pookismahi.com.  To keep up with Pooki’s Mahi news and access special offers, join our email list and follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@pookismahi).  Pooki’s Mahi has a zero tolerance stop cyber-bullying policy.

    Contact Information

    Pooki’s Mahi                                                                                          Support(at)pookismahi(dot)com





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