What You Need To Know About Instant Kona Coffee

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Updated Dec 28, 2022
Shirnyl Dorothy Magos
Shirnyl Dorothy Magos
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What You Need To Know About Instant Kona CoffeeWhat You Need To Know About Instant Kona Coffee

Table of Contents

What is Kona Coffee?

Kona coffee is one of the most exclusive specialty coffee since it is grown in a particular region called the Kona belt in coffee farms in Hawaii. Kona coffee is an Arabica bean produced by small farmers in volcanic lands. Harvesting this coffee variety must be carefully hand-picked to keep the quality intact, then processed in small batches. Hawaiian coffee is rare. It makes up just 0.04 percent of the world’s coffee supply.

If you want to try, you can get Kona coffee online or in specialty stores. Be aware that most Kona coffee blends in the market are often mixed with other roasts because, according to Hawaiian law, you only need at least 10% of certified Kona coffee in your blend to claim it as a Kona blend. 

Hula Daddy Kona Coffee Beans
Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, Holualoa, United States by Katia Ross

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Origins of Kona Coffee?

In 1828, Samuel Ruggles introduced coffee to Hawaii, and it quickly became a popular drink. Back then, sugar was still a precious and vital crop in Hawaii. That is why coffee was not a priority until Ruggles started growing it on the Hawaiian island of Kona. When they saw his results, many sugar plantation owners transitioned to coffee.

Hermann Widemann brought Guatemalan coffee beans to Hawaii and revived the coffee industry after it had been struck hard by harsh weather and pests. This variety is called the Kona Typica and has been the go-to variety since then.

The coffee business faced further hit after World War II when sugar became a more desirable product. In the 1980s, however, as the economy stabilized and tourism expanded, Hawaiian coffee once again gained widespread attention.

From 1993 to 1996, a particular coffee supplier decided to capitalize on the rising demand for Kona coffee by passing off less expensive coffee beans as real Kona coffee. This misleading information was a contributing factor that resulted in the mandatory certification of Kona coffee by the Department of Agriculture of Hawaii.

A panoramic picture of a Hawaiian beach

Where is the Kona Coffee Belt?

Kona coffee belt is located on the Big Island of Hawaii within the Kona region. The Kona coffee belt is minimal. It stretches under 25 miles long and more than a mile in width. The restricted area explains why Kona coffee is so expensive, with only about 1000 small, family-owned farms operating in the area.

Kona is located on the slopes of the Hualalai and Mauna Loa volcanoes, which makes this land suitable for growing coffee. Volcanic dark soils are rich in nutrients and very light. The areas also provide shades and high altitudes, ideal for coffee to ripen more and thrive.  

A Map of the Kona Coffee Plantation Belt
The Kona Coffee Plantation Belt

What is Instant Kona Coffee?

Instant Kona coffee is a dried soluble portion of roasted Kona coffee. Customers can purchase instant coffee in either granulated or powdered form, and it only requires the addition of water to be ready for consumption. Making instant Kona coffee can be accomplished by either the freeze-drying or spray-drying processes.

Dehydrate the coffee solution involves low temperatures to engage in freeze drying. Spray drying, on the other hand, takes place at very high temperatures. 

Instant Kona coffee that is freeze-dried instead of spray-dried will generally better keep its flavor, fragrance profile, and nutritional contents than spray drying. The reason for this is that the majority of the chemicals are heat sensitive.

What Does Kona Coffee Taste Like?

The excellent and distinct flavor of Kona coffee is one of the reasons it is so popular. A Kona coffee that roasted will have a light, clean taste.

You will also experience hints of flavors and aromas of honey, fruit, cocoa, butter, and caramel. Sometimes you taste spicy wine notes, nuts, and citrus, thanks to its slightly acidic nature.

Be aware, however, that you will only obtain these qualities if you use 100% Kona coffee blends rather than mixed combinations. Mixed blends don't have the same flavor profile as pure Kona coffee. Before you go ahead and buy some Kona coffee, you must be sure that you have paid careful attention to the labels on the packages.

Bag of Kona Beans

Best Instant Kona Coffee Brands

If you have never had Kona coffee before, the following brands are some of the best instant Kona coffee brands on the market today:

Kona coffee beans

Hawaii Selection 

Instant Kona coffee from Hawaii Selection is pure and freeze-dried to maintain its high-quality standard. You can choose how strong your coffee is by purchasing them in 1.5 oz packages rather than a single serving.

Hawaii Selection Instant Coffee

Kohola Traveler's Coffee 

Kohola Traveler's Coffee 100% Kona Coffee offers a blend that is comprised of 100% Kona coffee. This single-serve packet contains 1 Drip Bag of 100% Kona Coffee that has notes of plum, lime, chocolate. Easy to use and no coffee brewing equipment needed, perfect for traveling. Made in Hawai'i.

Hula Girl 

This particular brand offers instant freeze-dried Kona coffee as well. Their products come in sachets, making it much simpler to measure the right amount of ingredients while preparing instant coffee. Hawaiian freeze dried and made from the finest Kona Coffee beans.

Hula Girl Instant Coffee Box

Big Island Coffee Roasters

The Big Island Instant Kona Coffee is a scarce and sought-after variety. Ultimately, at Big Island Coffee Roasters work with the best 100% Hawaiian coffees available, and source high-quality and exclusive varieties from each Hawaiian coffee growing region – from 100% Kona coffee and Ka’u coffee to Maui coffee, Puna coffee and more.

Single Used Big Island Package

How To Use Instant Kona Coffee? 

Even if all you have to do to prepare your instant Kona coffee is add water brought to a boil, we still want to improve your experience by providing you with some additional pointers on how to prepare instant coffee.

To get started, bring some filtered water to a boil in a kettle. We strongly advise that you use filtered water because it removes any impurities from the water, allowing you to concentrate on the flavor of the beverage in question without interference from competing flavors.

First, dissolve the instant coffee in cold water to achieve a smoother consistency before adding the hot water. It will dissolve when you put it in cold water, and the flavor will not be gritty or scorched. After that, pour your boiling water into the cup and stir it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Kona coffee and regular coffee?

Coffee that is considered to be "regular" is typically cultivated at altitudes higher than 4,000 feet. On the other hand, Kona coffee is grown at lower altitudes than the majority of different types of coffee, as well as in definitely more unusual places. To be more specific, Kona coffee is grown on the slopes of the Mauna Loa and Hualalai volcanoes of Hawaii Island.

Why is Kona coffee so expensive?

The price of labour is the primary contributor to the high total cost of the product. Kona coffee farmers select Kona coffee by hand, for the most part, all throughout the year.

During the season for collecting coffee cherries, they must be picked from the same tree numerous times because the farmers only have to harvest the red cherries. After that, the beans are sorted according to grade.

The larger the bean, the higher the quality of the coffee it produces. After that, the coffee is dried, roasted, and finally packaged.

Why is Kona coffee so rare?

There is only a 30-mile strip of land known as the Kona Coffee Belt that runs along the western coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. The size of the crop is restricted due to the limited growing location. This thin strip of land, which is barely one mile deep, is responsible for producing only one percent of the world's coffee.

What You Need To Know About Instant Kona Coffee

Shirnyl Dorothy Magos

Dorothy is a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian (RND) and teaches food and nutrition at a university. She is also a freelance writer and a fitness enthusiast. As a coffee lover, she appreciates the taste of a well-pressed cup of coffee and the beautiful complexity of each brewing method.