Spotlight on the Big Island: What Makes Kona Coffee So Special?


From the sapphire blue water surrounding the islands to the colorful coral reefs, there’s lots to love about Hawaii. Here’s one more thing that makes the Aloha State a dream destination: the coffee. 

Hawaii’s Kona coffee is grown in only two places in the world—on the fertile and cool volcanic slopes of Mauna Loa and Hualalai. These regions offer a rare microclimate phenomenon of sunny mornings, rainy afternoons and mild nights and mineral-rich, spongelike volcanic soil, giving birth to the flavor-rich, coveted Kona beans. 

Rich Volcanic Soil Gives Birth to an Unmatched Flavor Profile

Aside from its rarity, Kona has many attributes that make it a popular brew. With an Arabica core finessed by volcanic growing conditions, Kona is one of the most valuable—and flavorful—coffees in the world. It's this unique microclimate consisting of a mix of shade and sun that allows the sugars within the Kona bean to develop a rich, robust flavor. 

This taste can be difficult to describe. Like the experience of watching a Hawaiian sunset, some things in life need to be experienced in person. The best way to describe Kona is to call it a medium-bodied blend with floral and fruity accents. There's also a slightly syrupy undertone that creates a rich, dessert-like flavor. Some people even detect an ever-so-subtle chocolate flavor in this creamy, smooth coffee. 

From Hawaii's Lush Tropical Hillsides to Your Cup

The process of cultivating Kona coffee is an extravagant, highly protected art form. After being handpicked, Kona beans are pulped, dried and hulled by expert coffee growers who have been running Hawaiian coffee farms for generations. Beans are then graded for a total of eight degrees based on visual appearance, moisture levels and shape.

In February and March, Kona bean blooms to cover the volcanic hillside in small, white flowers that the locals call Kona "snow." These flowers then turn into green berries by April and then to a rich red fruit that's referred to as a cherry ready to be picked. 

Kona growers get to work picking these ripened cherries in several rounds between August and January, where the Kona cherries are then put through a pulper for extraction within 24 hours of being picked. This makes makes the overnight fermentation process unique and makes for ultra-rich flavor. 

The next two weeks are key, as Kona growers then patiently allow beans to dry in order to reach optimal moisture levels. Finally, the beans are ready to be roasted or put on the wholesale market following a selective grading process, helping to cultivate that robust "sweetness factor" that makes Kona among the most flavorful beans in the world.

Sipping from the Source

Only in Hawaii can you experience authentic, fresh Kona coffee born from the very soil you're standing on. This is the perfect volcanic elixir to fuel your fun excursions during your Hawaiian visit. And for the ultimate Hawaiian experience, check out a Kona Coffee Tour—then sip the perfect cup of Kona from your oceanside condo overlooking striking views of the breathtaking Kona coast. 


Subscribe and Keep Up With The Latest Posts

  • 1
    Select Your Destination
  • Beachfront location
  • Home of Duke’s Waikiki
  • Hawaii’s best live music venue, Blue Note Hawaii
  • Voyager 47 Club Lounge
  • Home of Hawaiian Music, Kani Ka Pila Grille
  • Renovated modern guest rooms
  • Immersive cultural activities
  • Voyager 47 Club Lounge
  • Some public spaces may not be available
  • Take advantage of special Preview Rates
  • Hawaii’s first and only craft hotel
  • Home of The Beachcomber Originals
  • Hawaiian Aroma Caffe, Waikiki’s most Instagrammed coffee shop
  • Island’s longest bar at Maui Brewing Co
  • Intimate retreat for adventure seekers
  • Easy access to Waikiki Beach
  • Choice for value-minded families and groups
  • Spacious guest rooms and studios
  • Offering connecting rooms and kitchenettes
  • Spacious guest rooms with kitchenettes
  • Ideal for large groups or families
  • Steps to Waikiki Beach and International Market Place
  • Onsite restaurants – Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar and Tanaka of Tokyo
  • Only half a mile from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
  • Pet friendly
  • Convenient for business travelJust minutes from Pearl Harbor
  • Only resort condo directly on Waikiki Beach
  • Sweeping panoramic ocean views
  • Family friendly
  • Perfect for extended stays
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Intimate, boutique style condo resort
  • Situated in the Waikiki Beach Walk shopping and dining district
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • 38 tropical beachfront acres
  • 3-acre aquatic playground
  • AAA Four Diamond Award accredited
  • Luxury, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites on Kaanapali Beach
  • Located on 22,000-acre Kapalua Resort
  • Choose from 3 beaches and 11 restaurants
  • Ocean and golf room views
  • Offering two magnificent golf courses
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Located within the world-famous Wailea Resort community
  • A short drive from the Shops at Wailea and beaches
  • Near Wailea’s most renowned restaurants
  • Boutique-style condos in heart of Lahaina
  • Two blocks away from Front Street
  • Walking distance to shops and restaurants
  • Fronts the fairways of Kaanapali Beach Resort
  • Short walk from Whalers Village
  • Featuring three swimming pools
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Ocean view of Molokai and Lanai
  • Boasts oceanfront pool
  • Private lanai
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Offering stunning views of Lanai and Molokai
  • Newly renovated condos
  • Oceanfront on property dining at the Gazebo Restaurant
  • Heated river pool running through two-acre property
  • Features flumed water slides
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Oceanfront condos
  • Includes an ocean pool within a natural stone breakwater
  • Adjacent to the Coconut MarketPlace
  • Cottage-style beachfront condos
  • Complimentary access to Poipu Athletic Club
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
Watch the majestic manta rays that swim through Keauhou Bay. Or spend your day relaxing at the spa. It all starts here, on Hawaii Island.
  • Set on 18 oceanfront acres
  • Boasts 3 swimming pools and 2 tennis courts
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Guests treated to infinity pool and lava rock whirlpool
  • Surrounded by Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed golf course
  • Selection of on property dining options
  • Five distinct properties to choose from
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Close to upscale King’s Shops and Queen’s Market Place
  • Golf at Beach Course
  • Set on a lava rock bluff
  • Panoramic views of the Kona coast
  • 5-minute drive to restaurants and shops
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Beachfront bures
  • Complimentary beach services
  • Kava ceremony welcomes guests
  • Wood-carving guest activity
  • Enjoy Meke traditional song and dance
  • Beachfront bures
  • Offering Meimei nanny service
  • Talai butler service available
  • Named #1 Family Resort
  • Amazing firewalking ceremony
    • Luxury beachfront suites
    • Mauritian Rum tasting experience
    • Dance to Sega music
    • Relax on private beach
    • Complimentary kid’s club
    • Located beachfront on Lamai Beach
    • 2 swimming pools
    • Fitness center
    • Restaurants and in-room dining
    • 3 meeting rooms
    • Located beachfront on Bangsak Beach
    • Swimming pool
    • Fitness center
    • Restaurants and in-room dining
    • 3 meeting rooms
    • Located on Surin Beach
    • Boutique resort
    • 2 swimming pools
    • Restaurant and in-room dining
    • Famous for Waikiki Beach
    • Hike Diamond Head Crater
    • Take a historical journey at Pearl Harbor
    • Birthplace of legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku
    • Home to Iolani Palace, US’s only royal place
    • Voted “Best Island in the US”
    • Home to Haleakala volcano
    • Famed for whale watching during the winter months
    • Famous scenic stretch road to Hana
    • Mile long of sandy shore at Kaanapali Beach
    • Nicknamed the Garden Island
    • Known for lush valleys, waterfalls and hiking trails
    • Has more beaches than any other Hawaiian Island
    • Most hiking trails than an other Hawaiian Island
    • Largest coffee plantation in the US
    • Often referred to as the “Big Island”
    • Kilauea volcano is the most active and largest in the world
    • Known for black sand beaches
    • Grows most of the world’s macadamia nuts
    • Home to some of the world’s largest telescopes
    • 2
      Select Your Stay Dates
    • 3
      Choose Rooms & Guests
    Apply A Special Rate
    Oh snap! It looks like the rate you selected is not available.
    Your Selection Has Been Applied
    Your Summary
    Back to Top