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Kona Green Coffee Beans
Coffee drinkers who roast their own coffee are familiar with Kona green coffee beans. Coffee beans are green when they picked and harvested, turning brown when they are roasted and their flavor brought out. Kona green coffee beans are the unroasted Arabica beans that are grown and harvested on the slopes of Mauna Loa and Hualalai, Hawaii. Located on the Big Island of this state, the coffee beans got their name from the North and South Kona District in which they are grown.
Kona green coffee beans and their roasted counterparts are some of the most popular and sought after coffees in the world. It is an expensive coffee due to its popularity and only beans that are grown in the Kona District of Hawaii are allowed to be called 'Kona'. There have been companies in other parts of the world that have claimed to grow Kona green coffee beans, but they are imitators. Unless the coffee comes from Hawaii, the name Kona means nothing.
First brought to Hawaii in 1828, Arabica beans have found some of the most favorable growing conditions on the slopes of these two well known volcanoes. The weather in the Kona District usually consists of sunny mornings that are followed by cloudy or rainy afternoons with mild nights that offer little to no wind. When these conditions are added to the rich volcanic soil that is filled with minerals and is porous, the right mix is there in the land for coffee cultivation.
Many of the Kona Districts coffee farmers are the descendants of Japanese, European, American and Filipino settlers who ran family farms in the Kona District since the late 1800s. Coffee plantations in Hawaii were - and still are - family run businesses with each farm averaging less than five acres in size. Around 2,290 acres of the Kona District is taken up in coffee farms and there are over two million pounds of Kona green coffee beans produced on an annual basis.
Coffee drinkers may notice that there are many 'Kona Blends' sold on the coffee market today. These blends combine the rarer and more expensive Kona coffee with Colombian, Brazilian or other types of coffee. Usually Kona green coffee beans are the beans used in these blends, roasting them with the other coffee beans to get the blended flavor. By law, Kona Blends must have a minimum of 10% Kona beans in the mix. In the state of Hawaii, Kona Blends must state the percentage of Kona beans to other beans on the label.