Exceptional Hawaiian grown Pure Kona Coffee is a specialty coffee estate that specializes in small-batch, craft-style Kona coffees. We select and roast only the highest grade Kona beans available, and our coffee is sold straight from our local farm. A simple Hawaiian old fashioned farm producing 100% pure Kona coffee beans.
Every cup of pure Kona coffee is first pickled, dried, sorted and roasted by Hand. Pure coffee in Kona is produced observing the highest quality standards in the World.
Pure Kona Coffees Hero’s Called “Kona Nightingales”
Between 1900 and 1945 donkeys were used as bacic transportation in Kona, especially for transporting 100 pound bags of ripe coffee cherry out of the rugged coffee lands up or down to the main road for transport to mills. Dubbed “Kona Nightingales” because of their, not so musical, braying. The noble donkey played a vital role in the Kona coffee industry.
The history of Pure Kona Coffee is as fascinating as it is complex. I will highlight the history and hopefully stir desire to seek more information at your local public library.
Pure Kona Coffee Brand’s Humble Rise
Coffee is found on a small tree with large, shiny leaves. The genus coffea is of the family Rubiaceae, the same ornamental family as the Gardenia and the Ixoras. Coffee is divided into 2 major categories: Arabicas and Robustas. Mild coffees are labeled as superior and are from the Arabica variety. Kona coffee is listed as a mild. They flourish in a subtropical environment. Brazils are also Arabicas, but climate, cultivation and procedures while processing into green coffee adds variations in the final product. Robustas are generally heartier, larger and grows well in tropical climates. They tend to be more coarse and bitter. This is the most abundant coffee on the market. Grown primarily in Africa and Indonesia it usually finds itself in instant coffee or blended with other beans to mask the bitter flavor.
Arabicas are, dare I say, sissy plants. They shock easily and need protection from the sun and wind. Who doesn’t? The Kona Coffee Belt fits well into the wimpy plant’s idea of Utopia. Nestled between Mauna Kea to the north and Mauna Loa to the south, the mountains provide perfect protection from the winds. As an added bonus, the mountains manipulate the clouds. Kona is known for its bright and sunny mornings and its afternoon clouds which act like a giant umbrella (or security blanket). The circling cloud cover provides fantastic afternoon shade that the plants thrive on. In addition to the natural protection, the volcanic soil, ample rainfall and elevation of the fields makes Kona an ideal location for nature’s plants.
The first recorded written reference to coffee was in the 10th Century, during the height of the Dark Ages. The Persians are credited for bringing coffee to Arabia Felix, now Yemen, from Ethiopia.
A humorous part of the word coffee is how nobody could decide on what to call it. “Coffee” as we know it comes from the Arabian word gahwah and the Turkish derivative kahveh. The English called it chaoua, up to 1598. That didn’t seem right, so in 1610 they used cahoa. Obviously that stunk so they utilized cahue in 1615. Everyone seemed happy until 1638, then they changed the word to coho. Sounding too much like a terrible disease, in 1650 they suggested the words coffey and coffee. It took the English 50 years to decide, so in 1700 the single word coffee was passed into the language. For such a nice treat it has had its ups and downs. Even today people want to change the word: Want a cup of JOE? How about a Mocha Latte with an Espresso shooter? Please let’s stop the madness and call it what it is……a cup of coffee.
Pure Kona Coffee Arrive First on Oahu
Coffee seeds arrived on Oahu around 1817 by Don Paulo Marin. He loved horticulture and just happened to be King Kamehameha I’s royal physician. I guess that’s better than being a non-royal physician, huh? Nothing spectacular happened with the new seeds, so in 1825 King Kamehameha II and his lovely wife, Kamamalu, set off for England with their entourage which included Boki, the Governor of Oahu. With a huge twist of fate, the king and queen died of measles. I bet England still feels pretty bad about that. I’ve always said, If I become important, I’ll stay away from England. People die way too often over there. Does Pocahontas ring a bell? Anyway, Boki (remember him?) the Governor of Oahu, took control and headed back to Hawaii to properly bury the royal stiffs. In his sorrow, he decided to hire an agriculturist named John Wilkinson. In this sorrowful voyage, they stopped at Rio de Janeiro to pick up some fresh, young coffee plants to bring back to Hawaii. A novel idea but he wanted to plant them on his land in Manoa Valley. He also picked up sugar plants for the same selfish reason. Sugar, as it turned out, was a major handicap for the coffee industry in later years. As history explains it, this became the seed bed of the Island Coffee Industry. I see between the lines. I see a distraught man collecting seedlings to bankroll his retirement. Do you think he started coffee for the betterment of the Hawaiian people?
Pure Kona Coffees Official Start
In 1828, Reverend Samuel Ruggles planted the first Coffea Arabica seedlings in Kona, actually in Naole near Kealekekua. They were planted as ornamentals. In 1842 the first serious effort to produce coffee commercially was on Kauai. A whopping 245 pounds were exported in 1845. It is officially the first export of coffee from Hawaii. Nothing to brag about, but who ever remembers number two? Kauai Planters sold out in 1858. My quess is that it didn’t live up to expectations. Kona district, Hilo district started the first major commercial venture on the Big Island. On the Hilo side, it did moderately well, but sugar became the major crop of Hawaii. On the Kona side it did excellently, but it was a small area and it only seemed to grow well above 2,000 feet. The farmers could not figure out how to control the white scale blight. The great commercial venture quickly shifted to sugar cane, hindering the ideal conditions of the Kona District.
Pure Kona Coffee Mill Boosts Economy
In 1893, two major events occurred that changed the fate of Pure Kona Coffee. The first was the Ladybird beetle. Introduced from Australia, the little beetle was highly successful in controlling the white scale disease. Second, The Hawaiian Monarchy was brutally overthrown. The Provisional Government began leasing the crown lands for coffee plantings. In the mid 1890’s, W.W. Brunner converted his pineapple cannery below Captain Cook to a coffee mill, thus giving Kona coffee the boost it needed.
I could continue on with the invention of the vacuum pack in 1898 that revolutionized the global coffee market or the vicious monopoly of regional or national brands of blending coffees in the 1930’s. It created the cheaper mass flavor instead of the richer class flavor. Pure Kona Coffee has gone through good times and bad times. Keep in mind, for those of us that truly enjoy a great cup of morning Kona coffee, nobody said it was going to be easy.
Gourmet kona coffee – Coffee Store – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Originally posted 2018-01-15 08:20:43.