What is the best 100 % Kona Hawaiian Kona Bean Coffee you've had ?

I'd be interested in the coffee names you enjoyed the most from the Big Island of Hawaii . . .

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I've had a few blends that were OK. Never really been that inspired to buy a bag and roast it myself. Antillean Trading Company does a 100% Kona. They tend to do some other really expensive coffees as well. I think they have a web site. One of their reps lives near my shop.
Thanks for the tip. I'll try to look them up. Yea, I think its really important to get the freshest Kona Beans from harvest, to roast and into the cup as quickly as possible to get the best possible taste profile for Hawaiian coffees.
For year to year high level quality consistency the past decade Kona Mountain Estate has been my go to for greens. Which isn't to say they're are the absolute best each year or picking. I've only had as many as 12 different Kona greens in my personally roasting stash at one time and the last couple years have tapered way down on Konas.
So, I continue to hear about the decline in Kona quality. Our shop offers a Kona, but I am not fond of the roaster it comes from so I don't pass judgment on all Kona's based on the one we offer (which I don't think is anything special). I haven't tried any new ones recently to make my own statement on this. Any Kona Farmers care to chime in on this? Is there a weather related reason for all this talk? Is there any backing to these claims of declining quality? Aside from the "blending and calling it a Kona" issue (posted in this thread http://www.baristaexchange.com/forum/topics/should-kona-coffee-blen...) anyone want to chime in on why this is becoming a recurring theme? Hawaii is Americas only chance at putting our country's name on grown coffee. Surely we don't want to mess this up.
the one my sister broght me
There are a number of good Kona's. I'm roasting green from Lion's gate....excellent stuff. I'll send links if you're interested.
That would be great. What is the link (s) ?

Jeff said:
There are a number of good Kona's. I'm roasting green from Lion's gate....excellent stuff. I'll send links if you're interested.
Our friend Terry does a great job and we roast it lightly in our Loring Kestrel S35. Had a lot of success with is, never blend it, only sell it as 100% Kona.

Here's a link - http://www.joevangogh.com/fromthefarm/Kona.pdf
Here's your Kona coffee farmer speaking ;-)

I am curious where this talk about a "decline in Kona coffee quality" is coming from. The other Hawaiian coffees, especially Molokai, Maui, Kauai, and Oahu coffees often use Kona as a negative comparison to lift themselves from obscurity. Yet the neighboring districts' Ka'u coffee is the only acceptable comparison to Kona in my humble opinion.

Another, more mainland USA, argument is that Kona coffee gets too much undeserved attention, hence sales and write-ups, just because it is USA grown coffee. A surprise to most tourists landing on our shores actually! The 'paradisicial' origin is a burden when it comes to be judged fairly by green coffee buyers. Many simply don't like their green coffee coming from a touristy area. Or are frustrated that there are so many small Kona farms which can't consistently supply their coffee, because all they have is one micro lot. The USA paid labor for hand picking, worker housing in prime real estate make for a high base price on top of that. Buying a green Kona bag ties up easily $1,200-1,500 of working capital. And we all know few customers really care for Fair Trade, slave labor, pesticides as long as it is cheap.

There are 600+ Kona coffee farms, most of them small with an anuual production btw 500-7000 lbs of green. About 150 of them process, roast and sell their coffee directly to customers. About 100 have websites, 50-70 have an e-commerce option. About 10 to 20 of those have a decent, steady hands-on business where one can expect to get freshly roasted 100% Kona beans from their farms. There are also the 5 or 6 large Hawaiian processors who pool coffee from various farms and sell it under their label.

In addition, there are literally hundreds of drop shippers and roasters out there on the web! WWHo knows what they actually roast. Warehouses in Florida and Calgary who sell roasted Kona coffee and Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee at below green prices + free shipping! Ebay too is notoriously famous for selling fake gourmet coffees. The profit margin to sell a generic bean as 100% Kona nurtures abuse!

So which Kona coffee's quality is declining?

Now, the local farmers don't do always things right, granted. And there are many newbie farmers who come with great aspirations, but need to learn the in's and out's of coffee growing and processing. The old timers don't want to change when there's a new government requirement either. And the processors don't want more vertically integrated farms competing with them. Quality and consistency problems can be an issue with a small farm, but in general are balanced out by an eager owner who wants to do the customer right. As faulty as it still is, Hawaii has one of the best coffee quality certification systems in the coffee world. Small farms are not required to submit to it, but also are not allowed to ship then more than 10 lbs green at a time.

Kevin Ayers said:
So, I continue to hear about the decline in Kona quality. Our shop offers a Kona, but I am not fond of the roaster it comes from so I don't pass judgment on all Kona's based on the one we offer (which I don't think is anything special). I haven't tried any new ones recently to make my own statement on this. Any Kona Farmers care to chime in on this? Is there a weather related reason for all this talk? Is there any backing to these claims of declining quality? Aside from the "blending and calling it a Kona" issue (posted in this thread http://www.baristaexchange.com/forum/topics/should-kona-coffee-blen...) anyone want to chime in on why this is becoming a recurring theme? Hawaii is Americas only chance at putting our country's name on grown coffee. Surely we don't want to mess this up.

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