Kauai Coffee Guide – Best Brands, Beans, & Pricing

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For more than a century, coffee has become an integral companion of many people’s morning routine. This can be attributed to its powerful, stimulating effect and tantalizing aroma.

Besides being an ideal morning routine for many people, coffee comes with a myriad of health benefits to the human body, especially the skin. If you want to be revitalized and have smooth skin the natural way, coffee comes in handy.

That being said, the market today is thronged with different coffee products. This makes it harder and harder to distinguish between quality and low grade coffee.

Grown in the natural habitats of Hawaii with the cool trade winds, Kauai coffee is one coffee brand that you can rely on to meet all your morning and healthy needs.

Top 5 Kauai Coffee Brands

Kauai coffee, often misspelled as Kauia coffee and Kuai coffee, is one of coffee aficionados favourite selections. If you were wondering where to buy Kauai coffee, look no further! Check out our top recommendations here:

History Of the Kauai Coffee Company

Considered the most efficient and largest coffee plantation in Hawaii, the Kauai Coffee Company has a rich history behind its success. Originally, the company was a sugar company known as McBryde, back in the 1800’s.

In 1987, the sugar fields were converted to a coffee plantation, best known as the Kauai Coffee Estate. It then began to represent the largest and most diversified agricultural project in Hawaii for the past 50 years.

Today, the Kauai coffee estate sits on 3,100 acres of land, and is considered to be the biggest coffee plantation, not only in the state of Hawaii, but in America as well.

In 1992, the plantation experienced a massive setback to the crop with Hurricane Iniki, which swept away over 8.5 million dollars worth of the crop and properties.

This was a severe setback that nearly tarnished the future of the Kauai Coffee company. However, they came back stronger than ever; in 1996, Kauai Coffee Company’s harvests massively exceeded other companies in the region, combined.

Keep in mind that Kauai Coffee Company seems to be the only Kauai coffee brand to sell it, hence, by default, making it the best Kauai coffee one can have! You can check out the whole estate by scheduling a walking tour, which is a lot of fun for tourists and coffee aficionados.

Here is their address, just in case you want to enjoy a plantation full of lush coffee trees:

870 Halewili Rd Kalaheo, HI 96741.

Kauai Coffee Company’s Harvesting And Production Process

best kauai coffee

Apart from the climate and soil quality, there are many factors that determine the quality of coffee beans. A vast majority of the coffee plants grown at the Kauai Coffee plantation are of the varietal Yellow Catuai, also known as Brazilian seed.

This is a high quality coffee seed that is genetically engineered to bring the most nutrients out of the coffee plant. Other varieties on the farm include varietals Typica(Guatemalan seed), Mundo Novo( Central American seed), Blue Mountain (Jamaican seed) and Red Catuai (Brazilian seed).

With that in mind, Kauai coffee has massively invested in modern coffee production and processing for over a decade. The company has enlisted modern technology and techniques to ensure that the customer receives only the best quality coffee beans from their farms.

It’s for this reason that Kauai Coffee Company is the sole producer of more than half of the coffee consumed by customers in America.

To ensure that quality is maintained, a rigorous quality control process is undertaken from the time the crop blossoms, to when the end product is shipped to the stores. This can be said of very few coffee companies around the globe. Again, this all can be traced back to the Kauai coffee plantation.

Fun fact: this plantation full of lush coffee trees is the biggest one in Hawaii!

Make sure to give the plantation a call ahead of time to schedule a walking tour. You can even have a seat and enjoying treats in the tasting area as well as check out the gift shop. Coffee lovers will thoroughly enjoy this tour.

Blossoming

The mountainous region of Hawaii is quite natural, with a serene climate that is perfect for coffee plant growing, in the combination of cool trade winds and the mountain rain. Kauai coffee starts to blossom between February and March. The sight of the coffee trees alone will make coffee lovers feel appreciative to see what coffee actually LOOKS like before it arrives to them, as pure quality beans!

Just like any other fruit, coffee cherries delicately blossom with a beautiful fragrance. The coffee beans are the seeds found inside the cherry.

Harvesting

After blossoming, the fruits take around 5 months to ripen. Harvesting in Kauai usually takes place in the month of October. The harvesting period usually takes three to four months, and always ends in December.

Kauai coffee uses the latest and safest mechanical harvesting technology to harvest their coffee beans, which makes the load easier. This distinguishes Kauai Coffee from other coffee producing companies in the entire region.

The harvesting process on the farm is usually carried out 24 hours, around the clock, 7 days a week. The company only utilizes three shifts a week for the entire process.

This module is quite unique, which makes Kauai Coffee stand out from other coffee producing companies. Only the fields with maximum ripeness are selected for harvesting, due to the existence of numerous micro-climate conditions on the island.

Wet Processing At Kauai Coffee Company

book and coffee

The wet processing stage basically involves the separation of viable cherries from the bad ones, in three categories. At Kauai Coffee, the cherries harvested are quickly delivered to the wet processing plant, to avoid fermentation, and damage to the coffee cherries.

The cherries are then separated into three types, unlike most coffee processing companies. Other companies separate their cherries into only two types.

Kauai separates the coffee cherries depending on the level of maturity, i.e. ripe, natural, and immature. In order to determine how to categorize the coffee cherries, inherent differences in the densities of the cherries are noted.

This requires high end technology that Kauai Coffee has invested heavily on. These best of the best Kauai coffee beans are then graded into five categories at the wet processing plant.

Taste Profile of the Kauai Coffee

Kauai coffee is a low acid coffee blend, producing a smoother flavor. Once a person takes a sip of Kauai coffee, they’ll immediately know how mild the drink is…. and also appreciate the environment of mountain rain and cool trade winds that help sculpt these delicious flavors.

Keep in mind that there are 5 different versions of Kauai coffee. The best of these five is the Jamaican Blue version of Kauai.

This particular blend is full of flavor, has low acidity, and is very aromatic. Many people who drink Kauai coffee know that it delivers a great tasting product that can be consumed with, or without sugar and other condiments.

Kauai Coffee Vs Kona Coffee

When it comes to coffee on the Hawaiian islands, Kona is a highly rated blend. Kona has a staunch reputation in Hawaii for being the best out of all coffee flavors that are produced in the state.

This coffee is produced in the rich volcanic soil of an active volcano. It has a bolder flavor, and very sophisticated taste. It also has more acid, and has a richer taste than Kauai.

This type of coffee is not for people with sensitive stomachs. Still, it is frequently consumed by many coffee drinkers in Hawaii. Kona’s flavor is bolder than Kauai’s, and provides more of a caffeinated punch.

Kauai would win because of its low acidic content, and its smooth flavor. Kona might provide way more flavor, but Kauai has a more sophisticated taste.

Also, the taste of Kauai is very consistent, unlike Kona. Remember that Kauai is only grown in one area, but Kona’s growth is widespread on Hawaii’s main island. This causes it to taste different at different times.

Kauai Coffee Vs Molokai Coffee

kauai coffee island view

Molokai is another major coffee brand that is grown on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. This particular coffee is not as popular as Kauai or Kona.

However, many people in Hawaii (and in the states) enjoy this coffee version. Molokai taste is fairly smooth for its darker blends, and its medium blends have a higher acidic content.

This coffee’s taste is not harsh, so it will go down smooth, but it is not as flavorful as Kauai. Still, the taste of Molokai is very satisfying.

Ultimately, Kauai would win between the two, because it provides a more distinctive flavor that is hard to deny.

Kauai Coffee vs. Oahu Coffee

Oahu coffee is produced on the Waialua Estate in Oahu. This style of coffee is full of flavor, and it is very easy on a person’s stomach. It also has a hint of chocolate and other flavorings.

Oahu coffee is sold in different varieties, and the acid content is low. This style of coffee is appreciated because of its different taste and flavor, but it doesn’t have the same basic coffee taste like Kauai.

While Oahu coffees are big on flavor and easy on the stomach, Kauai coffees are just more natural tasting. If you just want the basics, with low acidity and a smooth taste, Kauai is the winner here.

Other regions in Hawaii produce coffee as well. They include Kau, Puna, and Hamakua. All of these coffee growing regions make original coffee blends, but they still have a hard time competing with Kauai’s distinctive brand.

Kauai is highly rated, because the flavor is good, and it is a smooth coffee for drinkers to consume. Once again, Kauai is not considered Hawaii’s best, but it is highly rated among Hawaiian coffee drinkers in the state, and around the world.

Environmentally Friendly Practices to Grow Kauai Coffee Beans

One of the key aims of Kauai coffee is practicing sustainable farming that is environmentally friendly. Such is seen in their drip irrigation system, which is the largest drip irrigation in the world. You can learn all these details if you sign up of one of the walking tours on the plantation.

By utilizing drip irrigation, Kauai is committed to preserving water and minimizing soil irrigation in the same proportions. The irrigation process not only supplies the roots of the coffee plant with water, but also the much needed fertilizer.

The water used in wet processing is only used once, and is further treated before being used back on the farm for irrigation. Additionally, in a bid to mitigate soil erosion and surface runoff, Kauai Coffee Company has grown hedgerows along the edges of the farm.

These are contoured plantings and diversions that are very helpful in protecting the native plants in the surrounding forest. To top it all, the company utilizes modern cultivation techniques that reduce the use of herbicides on the farm by 75%.

By doing so, not only is the soil acidity level kept at par, but also the quality of the cherries are greatly improved.

Unlike many other plants, coffee plants are quite delicate to grow and maintain. It’s for this reason that utilizing modern techniques come in handy for maximizing productivity and quality.

With the current trend at Kauai Coffee Company, its only expected that the company will continue to spread its territories even wider in the coming years.