"Other" Hawaiian beans?


New member
Sep 4, 2008
Deep South, GA
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Hey All,

A buddy of mine sent me a couple of bags of Maui coffee beans and one of Kauai he roasted himself. The beans in all 3 are very small, almost like a peaberry, and don't have much in common (to my tastes) to their more well known brother, Kona. Very much inferior, actually.

I'm just curious if others have tried the different beans from Hawaii and how they feel they stack up to more well known origins.



Nov 3, 2004
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Coffees from each of the Hawaiian Islands have unique flavor profiles. True, there are some very good coffees grown in the Kona district (particularly, the 97 point "Kona Sweet" grown by Hula Daddy Coffee; however, I do not believe that the coffees of other island should be described as "inferior."

Each cultivar exhibits unique characteristics; for example, the Caturra or Catuai that you purchased from the Kauai Coffee Company (the primary grower on Kauai and at 4,400 acres, largest in the State, by far) will taste very different than what is possibly (because you described them as "very small") the Yemen Mokka variety grown at Kaanapali Coffee Farms. Most (but not all) of the coffee grown in Kona is of the Typica variety. Each will have differing growing conditions, soil chemistry and methods of processing, thus adding to the variances and complexity. A skilled roaster will recognize the characteristics of these coffees and design a roast profile that accentuates their strengths.

You may want to check out the Hawaii Coffee Book, written by my colleague Shawn Steiman about the subject. It gives a good overview of the coffees that can be found in various growing areas of Hawaii.