Hi Susan, thanks for this question. I like Kona coffee very much, and I am looking forward to trying it again.
In short, Kona coffee plantations are in Big Island, or Hawaii, one of the eight main islands of Hawaii State.
The Kona coffee belt is a narrow strip of land, about 30 miles long and three miles wide. This region has the perfect climate for growing coffee beans - it's sunny and warm, with just the right amount of rainfall. The volcanic soil in this area is also rich in nutrients, which helps the coffee plants to thrive.
Now, of course, there is the thing with altitude. The elevation is essential for Arabica, the tastiest and most common coffee species. For this reason, one of the most exciting features of the Kona coffee belt terroir is its altitude. For an insular terroir, Kona is unique because it has fertile soil between 500 to 3,200 feet above sea level.
Besides the terroir, Kona coffee producers comply with the highest quality standards. That is, the coffee beans are hand-picked and sorted. Only the ripest, highest quality beans are used for Kona coffee.
For all these reasons, Kona coffee beans are considered some of the best globally. They are highly sought after by coffee lovers.
There are a few things you should know if you're interested in trying Kona coffee or in visiting a Kona coffee plantation.
There are more than 600 Kona coffee farms in Hawaii, and many of them offer tours to visitors. These tours can be a great way to learn about the history and culture of Kona coffee and see the coffee-making process firsthand.
It's important to know that Kona coffee is only grown in the Kona region of Hawaii. This coffee is not produced anywhere else in the world. If you see coffee advertised as "Kona Blend" or "Hawaiian Blend," this means that it is not 100% Kona coffee. On the contrary, it's very likely to have a minimal of Kona coffee beans, following the Hawaiian coffee regulations strictly, in the best scenario.
So, if you're looking to buy Kona coffee, you should make sure that you're getting the real thing. The best way to do this is to purchase coffee beans roasted within the last two weeks and look for a package that says "100% Kona Coffee".
Curiously, Kona means "Leeward" in Hawaiian. In Ancient Hawaii, each island had a "Kona" district, depending on its location regarding the sea and the wind.
I hope you find my answer helpful. Please, let me know if you have further questions about Kona coffee.