There may be different coffee beans out there, but Kona coffee is widely considered to be in a class of its own.
Grown, harvested, and processed in the Kona region on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kona coffee is highly sought after because it offers new and unique experiences that you wouldn’t be able to have with any other kind of coffee. This is because the beans are grown in very rich soil with perfect weather conditions that allow for supreme complex flavors.
Best Kona Coffee Brands: Our Top Recommendations
To enjoy all the fun and benefits of taking Kona coffee, you’d have to invest in a well-prepared option from the stable of a trusted brand.
If you’re looking to give Kona Coffee a try, here are 8 of the best brands that you should consider.
1. Hawaiian Isles
A 2nd-generation family-owned coffee roaster located in the heart of the Hawaiian Islands, Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Company is one of the most popular Kona coffee brands. Originally founded in 1982 as a vending business, the company would eventually create its own brand of coffee that the average local person would enjoy drinking.
In the 1990s, the company acquired Hawaiian Isles Water Co., thus making it a coffee and bottled water brand. With regards to coffee, the brand offers roasted, whole bean, and ground coffee products, all of which have soared in popularity throughout the country. The company claims that all its products are gluten-free.
The number 1 coffee product from the brand is the Kona Classic Ground Coffee, which the company refers to as its best-blended flavor among its coffee fans in that it has a smooth and unique taste that is sure to leave you wanting another cup of coffee every again. Alternatively, you can try its Original Ground that combines Hawaiian coffee and fine Arabica coffee for an unforgettable taste.
2. Royal Kona
With its tagline reading ‘Coffee for Royalty’, it’s hard to argue otherwise once you taste the coffee from this brand. Before we get into the details of its products, here’s a brief history of the brand. Established in 1968 and owned by the Hawaiian Coffee Company, Royal Kona is one of the trusted coffee brands in the country. The brand claims to be the largest roaster of Kona Coffee in the world.
Long before Kona tantalized tasted buds around the world, Royal Kona was busy tending to Kona coffee in Hawaii, so it is unsurprising that the brand is now reputed to be one of the largest roasters of Kona Coffee in the world. Royal Kona is more known for its flavored coffees that feature the addition of vanilla macadamia nut and other artificial flavors.
With up to 8 different choices of Kona whole beans alone from this brand, you have a variety of options to choose from. The most popular of them is the Private Reserve Medium Roast (very smooth and aromatic) and the Estate Medium Roast (graded extra fancy with a slightly lighter roast for brighter notes.)
3. Don Francisco’s Coffee
Named after its founder, Don Francisco’s Coffee beginnings can be traced to about 150 years ago when the first coffee trees in Cuba were planted. The founder, Francisca Gavina, started small by selling coffee in paper bags for the local Cuban community and it was an instant hit. Over the years, Don Francisco’s Coffee has skyrocketed in popularity, with the brand now sourcing and selecting its beans from different regions in the world while roasting and packing takes place in Los Angeles.
Today’s Don Francisco’s Coffee comes in many varieties including its Kona Blend Coffee Pods, offering you a flavorful and delicious cup of coffee that will whisk your taste buds over to the Hawaiian Islands. This particular coffee is a medium roast that hits all the right notes. So if you’re craving a good cup of Kona coffee, Don Francisco’s Kona Blend Coffee Pods is a brand that you can trust for a delightful experience.
4. Eight O’clock Coffee
Here is another brand that has been around for quite a long time. Also boasting more than 150 years of making coffee products, Eight O’clock Coffee is a popular name among coffee aficionados. The brand started out by launching America’s original gourmet whole bean coffee and now claims to be the number one seller of whole bean coffee. It is also ranked the fourth largest national coffee brand in terms of volume.
Although Eight O’clock Coffee is original, it is definitely not boring in that you can expect it to be great every time you brew a pot of this coffee brand. The brand boasts a wide range of products to suit your preferences. Whether you prefer the whole bean, single-origin, flavored, or single-serve coffee, you can always find something that’s ideal for you with this brand.
One of its bestsellers is its Whole Bean Coffee, The Original, which is a delicious blend of Arabic and Kona coffee beans at a medium roast.
5. Victor Allen’s Coffee
Victor Allen’s Coffee was founded in 1979 in Madison, Wisconsin and the brand instantly became a leader in the specialty coffee segment. A subsidiary of Trilliant Food and Nutrition, Victor Allen’s Coffee sources its beans from more than 25 countries around the world with a significant number of its products made from 100 percent Arabica beans.
Going further, Victor Allen’s Coffee Kona blend medium roast coffee is one of the best you will find on the market. Their Konia is as authentic as it gets and is perfect for automatic coffee makers and other brewing methods that call for coffee grounds all from a single origin.
As you probably know, Kona beans contain sweet and fruit notes, but Victor Allen’s Coffee is different in that you still get those subtle sweet flavors but there is a noticeable smokiness to the beans. It also has a hint of caramel flavor. All products from this brand are gluten-free neither do they contain genetically modified ingredients.
6. Lion Coffee
Lion Coffee is one of America’s oldest major coffee companies, having sprung into existence in 1864. Although it was originally headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, the brand moved to Hawaii in 1979 with the primary goal of focusing on beans grown only in America. It didn’t take long for local customers in Hawaii to fall in love with the brand as Lion Coffee has been repeatedly ranking one of the best coffees in the state.
If you’re looking for the right Lion Coffee to buy, you can count on Lion Coffee for Hawaiian-grown beans that have been sourced from island farmers. What to expect? You will get the distinctive flavors of 100 percent Kona Coffee that will give you a Kona experience that is genuine in every sense of the word.
Lion Coffee Kona blend is so good that many non-coffee drinkers converted t full-time coffee lovers after giving this brand a try. Although this particular product is a light-medium roast, it is quite strong but without a bite.
7. Hula Girl
Hula Girl might not be a very popular name in the coffee industry in America but it makes one of the best coffee that’s worthy of every sip. Drawing from decades of coffee wisdom, the Hula Girl brand offers a variety of products to satisfy the preferences of its customers.
This brand also boasts delicious Kona coffee made from the finest Kona Coffee Beans from the island, which is famous for its aromatic and smooth flavor. Within minutes of brewing, you will be teleported to the relaxing and soothing coasts as every cup you take immerses you into the rich Kona experience that coffee enthusiasts love.
Whether you are a newbie to Kona coffee or you’re a fan looking for a better brand, Hula Girl’s Instant Kona Coffee is an amazing option to consider.
8. Greenwell Farms
Known for its fancy green coffee, Greenwell Farms sources and selects its beans from one of the oldest and largest coffee plantations that span almost 300 acres and located in the heart of the Kona Coffee belt. To meet up with rising demands for its Kona coffee, the brand also buys coffee from about 300 small coffee farmers on the Kona coast.
When you drink a cup of Greenwell Farms coffee, you are enjoying over a century and a half of coffee wisdom in every cup. A medium roast that has pleasant acidity, a silky body, and a hint of chocolate, this Kona coffee is unquestionably for the connoisseur. You will also experience diverse subtle years and exquisite flavors that have made the brand famous.
Kona coffee might have different flavors that vary according to the brand. Nonetheless, authentic Kona coffee typically has a robust taste that delivers a memorable coffee experience. It also has a nutty aftertaste too and a unique mix of aromas that’s reminiscent of caramel, butter, cocoa, or fruit.
The combination of all these three elements is what makes Kona coffee unique, addictive, and delicious. It’s the reason why coffee lovers opine that it is near impossible to replicate the Kona experience even if you combined all the coffee beans in the world. So go ahead and give these brands a try.