Buying Extra Fancy Kona Coffee in Canada 2022

Read this article BEFORE you buy Extra Fancy Kona Coffee online or in-person to avoid falling for a Kona Coffee scam.

Kona, Hawaii is well-known as one of the best coffee growing regions in the world. It’s rich and flavourful in a way that is unique to the region. Kona coffee has trademark macadamia nut flavour notes… not surprising for a coffee from Hawaii. In the aroma you’ll pick up cherries and honey, and you’ll find the body smooth and full. Kona has a subtle hint of crisp acidity that brightens and contributes to the balance of the cup.

Many coffees on the market that claim to be “Kona” coffees are not 100% grown in Hawaii. If you follow the tips in this coffee guide you be more certain that your coffee is true Kona. Lower quality blends marketed as Kona are often blended with cheaper coffee beans. It helps you as the buyer to know some key points to make sure you’re buying 100% Kona coffee.
 
Cupper’s Coffee & Tea sources only the highest quality coffee and our Kona is no exception. When we sell Kona coffee, it’s only from 100% Kona green beans imported direct from Hawaii by us. We sell our Kona Extra Fancy coffee only once a year (usually at Christmas) and only by reservation. Give us a call or stop by the store to get on our reserve list today.
 
Separate from our specialty coffees, we also have over 30 coffees available all year. If you are looking for the best coffee in Canada, look no further than Cupper’s Coffee & Tea.

What is Kona Coffee?

Kona Coffee is grown in the Kona region on the big island of Hawaii. Only coffee grown on the hills of Mauna Loa and Hualalai can claim to be “Kona Coffee”.

By Hawaiian law you only have to have 10% Kona grown coffee to brand your coffee as a “Kona Blend”. But when Cupper’s Coffee & Tea sells Kona, each bag is 100% Kona grown coffee. Why would you pay premium prices for a cheap coffee blended with only 10% real Kona beans?

What Makes Kona Coffee Special?

Coffee grown in the Kona region has a smooth, creamy macadamia nut flavour. You may also pick up hints of fruitiness and honey. A true Kona coffee also has a smooth buttery aroma. (There’s a reason we always sell out of our Kona every year!)
 
The Kona coffee belt is a 48 km long strip of land on the sides of the volcanic slope of Mauna Loa. The soil that the beans grow in is dark and fertile with good drainage. Due to its unique position, this belt of land makes the perfect home for new growing coffee plants. The beans get adequate sun in the morning, but have shelter from harsh heat with the shade from nearby trees.
Every year, we source our Kona from Lions Gate Farms on Hawaii. They are a multi-generational family farm and we at Cupper’s have worked with for years. Lions Gate has grown and processed heirloom Arabica coffee beans for over a century. They still use their original mill built in 1942 for processing the coffee. Once the green beans are grown, harvested, and processed, it ships to our store where we roast it. We don’t roast until our reservation dates to ensure the best, freshest coffee in the world!
 
Lions Gate Farms also grows macadamia nut trees alongside their Kona coffee. They harvest the nuts, and process and roast them there as well. Having the coffee grown in the macadamia trees definitely helps lend the flavour of the nuts to the coffee… something we appreciate. It’s also why we often have a small bag of macs alongside your reserved coffee. We can’t promise it every year, but we love them too.
 
Fun Fact: It takes over 300lbs/square inch to crack the shell of a macadamia. Talk about a tough nut!

What is Extra Fancy Coffee?

Extra Fancy Coffee is a special grading. It’s given by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDA). The HDA grades all Hawaiian coffee, and assesses for bean size, shape, and any flaws. Hawaiian coffee can have many different grades. Extra Fancy Coffee is the highest grade given by the HDA.

Extra Fancy Coffee

First and best is the Extra Fancy. Extra Fancy is the highest grade of bean. These beans will be the largest of all Kona grades. All beans will be uniform in colour and size, and have little to no defects.

Fancy Coffee

Second highest rating is the Fancy Coffee. These are still very large beans, and they are uniform in size and colour. They also have a very few more defects than the Extra Fancy grade.

Kona Number 1 Coffee

This is the mid-range of Kona ratings. These are medium-sized beans that still have a uniform colour and size. They have more defects than the Fancy and Extra Fancy grades. 

Kona Select Coffee

These are Kona beans, but of lower quality and consistency. There is no colour or size requirements for this grading. The beans tend to be a bit smaller. Unlike the previous grades, up to 5% of these beans can be defective.

Kona Prime Coffee

This last, lowest grade Kona has the smallest beans of all the grades. There are no colour requirements for the beans. And finally, they can have up to 20% defective beans.
 
At Cupper’s we only source Extra Fancy Kona coffee. We want to make it easy to buy the highest quality Kona coffee every year.
Cupper's new Kona Extra Fancy Coffee bag

3 Things To Know Before Buying Kona Coffee

These 3 key points are important for all coffees. They’re especially important when you’re buying a top quality, top tier coffee.

The Blend

If a coffee calls itself a “Kona Blend” it may contain as little as 10% Kona coffee beans. The rest are usually a decent quality, imported, non-Kona coffee. Do not spend premium money on an lesser product. Always check that your Kona coffee is 100% pure Kona beans from a traceable farm. When you buy your Kona coffee from Cupper’s, you know you’re getting 100% pure Kona from Lions Gate Farms.

The Grading

Learn the grade of your Kona coffee. Extra Fancy Kona coffee tends to have a higher price tag. It is worth the cost for the flavour and clarity you get with each cup.
 
Also note that in a Kona Blend you are likely receiving a lower grade of Kona bean, even if it’s only 10% of the blend. It’s rare that an Extra Fancy rated bean gets used in a blend with anything else.

The Roast

If you go through all the trouble of sourcing quality green beans, make sure it’s roasted properly. We have almost 30 years of experience roasting coffee so that each cup is perfect. We roast each small batch of coffee to highlight the natural flavour of the beans.
 

There are many key points to remember when buying specialty coffees. At Cupper’s Coffee & Tea we make it as easy as possible for you to enjoy premium coffee. Best of all, you know you’re going to get exactly what you want without any fuss or concerns. Give us a call at 403-380-4555 to reserve your Kona coffee today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Kona Coffee grown?

Kona Coffee is grown on the hills of the volcanoes Mauna Loa and Hualalai on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Is Kona Coffee Arabica?

Yes. Kona coffee is of the Arabica coffee variety.

Why is Kona Coffee so expensive?

Kona, Hawaii is geographically perfect for growing coffee. The optimal coffee growing space in Kona is a relatively small area. Thus, only a certain volume of premium coffee is available on a yearly basis.

Why is Kona Coffee so good?

There’s a combination of factors here, but the high elevation and rich volcanic soil are a great start. Then you add in the cloud coverage on that side of the island and the perfect temperatures. All these together makes Kona an ideal coffee growing area – which results in superb coffee.

Is Kona Coffee worth it?

In short… yes! Kona coffee has a smooth, creamy, macadamia nut flavour. You may also pick up hints of fruitiness and honey. A true Kona coffee also has a smooth buttery aroma. If you’re buying high-grade coffee from Cupper’s, you’re getting the best coffee available.

Which Kona coffee is best?

100% pure, Extra Fancy Graded Kona Coffee is the best Kona. That is the highest rating given by the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture. And it’s best when it’s 100% pure, not blended with any other coffees.

Who sells Kona Coffee near me?

Cupper’s Coffee & Tea is the best place to buy Kona Coffee in Canada. We guarantee it’s 100% Extra Fancy Coffee from Lion’s Gate Farms in Kona, Hawaii, fresh roasted by us at Cupper’s.

Is Kona Coffee low acid?

Kona coffee tends to be less acidic than other coffees, but this is also dependant on brewing method.

Is Kona Coffee strong?

Kona coffee is very smooth and balanced. If you like a stronger coffee, brew your coffee at a high grounds to water ratio. For more info on brewing strength check out our Beginner’s Guide to Coffee Beans.

Is Kona coffee good for espresso?

Kona coffee makes an amazing espresso. Honestly, it’s good darned near any way you decide to brew it!

Is Kona Coffee a dark roast or medium roast?

To us, Kona coffee tastes best as a medium roast. We always try a test roast or two before making the final decision each year. We use those to decide how dark we’re going to roast it for that season.

Does Kona Coffee come in K-Cups?

We can grind your Kona Coffee for a reusable K-Cup.