Is Kona Coffee Worth the Price?
Kona coffee is often regarded as a luxury coffee and is considered to be one of the best coffees you must have a taste of in your lifetime. However, some people argue that Kona coffee is just a result of hype marketing and urban legend. In this article, we’ll find out: is Kona Coffee worth the price?
Is Kona Coffee Worth the Price?
If you’re a coffee lover, Kona coffee is definitely worth the price. While Kona coffee is more expensive than your regular coffee, its own unique flavor and aroma make it one of the best coffees in the world. If you’re just a regular coffee drinker, it’s probably best to drink it on special occasions or not at all.
Kona coffee has almost the same caffeine content as your regular coffee. However, it also has a distinctive aroma and flavor different than your regular coffee. Kona coffee is expensive compared to your regular coffee because they can only grow in the lava-rich soil of the Kona region meaning they have limited production.
Since there is limited land to grow Kona coffee, the price for it is higher than average. It helps keep the local growers producing quality Kona coffee and keep the industry running. Additionally, some coffees are underpriced which results in growers not producing more or settling for lower quality in order to make a living.
What Affects Kona Coffee Pricing?
There are a lot of factors that affect the pricing of Kona coffee. They are only made in Hawaii so if you live outside of Hawaii, expect it to be more expensive because of transportation. Here are some factors that affect Kona coffee pricing:
Labor Cost in Hawaii
Coffee farmers are paid significantly more compared to other areas like Ethiopia and Guatemala. The process of growing Kona coffee is almost done manually so labor costs are generally high.
Tourism in Hawaii
Since Hawaii is a popular tourist spot, a lot of tourists want to try out everything that’s local and that includes Kona coffee. A lot of tourists visit Kona coffee plantations every year and most of them try out Kona coffee.
This increase in demand while the production is maintained because of limited farmable land drives the prices higher for Kona coffee.
Small Kona Coffee Belt Size
The Kona Coffee belt is only around 30 miles long and 1 mile wide. This belt is the only region in Hawaii where Kona coffee can be grown and is considered 100% Kona coffee. Since the area is small, there will always be a bottleneck for production.
The supply can’t always keep up with the demand hence, you rarely see Kona coffee go down in pricing.
Location and Logistics
Kona coffee is grown 2500 feet up the side of a volcano on an island. This means shipping the Kona coffee to other places through ocean barges would be an extra cost.
The location also keeps most harvesting machines out of use. This means most labor is done by hand which includes picking the coffee beans.
What Makes Kona Coffee Special?
- Kona coffee has its own unique flavor and aroma. It can only be farmed on the west coast of Hawaii where there is the rich fertile soil from the volcano and microclimate.
- The process of growing is mostly done by hand and is well taken care of.
- The way it is made is still closely similar to its tradition because most of the process is still done by hand.
That’s why a great number of tourists visit the plantations, wanting to experience the culture and tradition of making Kona coffee and experiencing it where it’s made.
How Much Kona Coffee Is Produced Yearly?
There were about 3 million pounds of unroasted Kona coffee beans produced every year until 2007. The numbers dipped down to 2.4 million pounds around 2013 and 2014. Every year, expect a yearly production of around 2 million pounds to 3 million pounds.
You might also get confused by 20 million pounds of “Kona coffee” every year. This is only blend coffee which mixes Kona coffee with other coffee beans to make the price lower.
Is Kona Coffee Worth the Hype?
Do not give in to the hype and purchase large amounts of a product. Kona coffee is to be enjoyed and for relaxation. Don’t expect a substitute for regular coffee and treat it as a premium that you enjoy on special occasions.
Is Kona Coffee the Most Expensive?
While Kona coffee is expensive, it is not the most expensive coffee in the world. The Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world hovering around $100 - $700 per pound. A cup of this coffee can cost around $80 in the United States.
Is Kona Coffee Only Grown in Hawaii?
Kona coffee that is classified as 100% Kona coffee can only be grown in Hawaii and specifically in the Kona region of Hawaii. If it’s not grown in the Kona belt, it is not genuine Kona coffee.
Consider Kona coffee a premium coffee that shouldn’t be treated as regular coffee. It is worth the price and in fact, helps the Kona coffee farmers maintain their standard quality and production.