Up here in Canada I tell people that I’m a kona coffee blogger. And usually, I get a dead stare: ‘kona coffee’? What’s that?
Here’s a hint: it’s not a style of roasting, or a kind of flavor. Instead it refers to the region of Hawaii where coffee is grown.
According to Kona Coffee Buzz’s article ‘What is Kona Coffee?’, the name refers to any coffee that is grown in the north and south Kona districts on the Big Island of Hawaii. All kona coffee is grown on a stretch of land only two miles long.
Link to article here:
Cool Facts about Kona Coffee:
Hawaii is the only coffee growing region in the United States.
All kona coffee is hand-picked, because harvesting machines can’t navigate the steep volcanic slope where the coffee is grown.
The coffee industry in Kona survived all these years because the owners of sugar cane plantations thought the area wasn’t ideal for sugar cane farms.
At first Kona was the only coffee growing region, but thanks to the collapse of the sugar cane industry in the 80’s/90’s, coffee plantations have appeared in the Ka’u District (south of Kona), Hilo (other side of the island), Maui, Moloka’i, and even Oahu!
Kona is grown on Kona Typica trees, which can trace their lineage back to Guatemala. But if you go even farther they can be traced back to the original coffee-producing Arabica trees in Ethiopia (the birthplace of coffee).