Kona Coffee Grading
- Peaberry: It is as if all the flavors of the most premium beans were stored away in a very small place. To the coffee connoisseur, roasted Peaberry Kona Coffee is the champagne of coffee beans.
- Estate Coffee: Estate Coffee is defined by the Kona Coffee Council as “the product of one farm, unmixed with crops from other farms, and processed through to roast under the control of the estate farm”. The full flavor of the harvest is captured in this roast, consisting of our four highest grades of Kona coffee beans.
- Prime: The roasted Prime is the lowest of the four primary grades of Kona coffee beans and still considered a high-quality gourmet Kona coffee.
- Estate Green: Freshly milled Kona green coffee beans for the home roaster. Consisting of a mix of our four highest grades of beans, green coffee stores well in a cool dry place. Enjoy month after month of the perfect cup of coffee.
Coffee is an annual crop that is harvested across several seasons. The higher the elevation, the later the crop ripens. The coffee cherry is ready to be picked when it is a bright red color. The processing begins when the coffee cherry is “pulped” where the outer skins are removed. The beans are then thoroughly cleaned and dried to a particular low level of moisture content. The coffee beans in this state are referred to as “parchment”, so called after the remaining cellulose-like skin that covers the beans. As parchment coffee, the beans can be stored for a considerable length of time if stored in a climate-controlled environment. The last step before roasting is when the parchment coffee is “milled”. This process removes the outer two skins, leaving the “green” coffee beans to be sorted for removing defects, and graded by size and type. Although this step is optional, only the finest coffees are sorted and graded.
Coffee Cherry Ready for Harvest
The United States (Hawai’i) is the only coffee-growing region in the world that maintains continual testing and certification of its coffee. Coffee grown in the Kona District of Hawai’i is graded and certified by the Hawai’i Department of Agriculture before it can be marketed as true Kona Coffee. Grading is dependent on factors such as bean size, shape, moisture content and the number of defects in the beans.
The primary grades of Kona coffee are Extra Fancy, Fancy, Number 1, and Prime. The Extra Fancy bean is the largest and has the fewest defects, with Prime being the smallest. There are other grades but they are not considered to be of high enough quality to be marketed as a true gourmet Kona coffee. These four grades are classified as Type I beans.
Peaberry, classified as Type II beans, are the rarest of the Kona coffee beans. The coffee cherry from the tree normally contains two beans, each a half round. The peaberry is an undivided bean, fully round in shape. These beans comprise approximately 5% of the total Kona coffee harvest.
Our 100% pure Hawaiian Kona coffee offerings, with the farms being at varying elevations, truly represent the finest this land has to offer.