100% Hawaiian coffee is highly regarded and adored by coffee connoisseurs worldwide. Even though Hawaii is the only U.S. state with a thriving commercial coffee industry, Hawaiian-grown coffee is relatively scarce. With an annual production value of about $50 million and approximately 900 farms located throughout the island chain, Hawaiian-grown coffee accounts for less than .05% of the global coffee market.
This rarity and the exceptional growing conditions present in Hawaii make Hawaiian-grown coffee a bean worth knowing and tasting. In this ultimate guide, we’ll help you understand what Hawaiian coffee is, where it grows, how to buy it, and the exceptional offerings we farm and roast at Kauai Coffee.
Hawaiian Coffee Origins
Coffee is not a native species to Hawaii. It was introduced to the islands in the late 1700s by Spanish sailors and was first planted in the Manoa Valley by Chief Boki, Governor of Oahu, in 1825. Today there are unique coffee-growing regions or origins on all of the main Hawaiian Islands that produce exceptional coffee.
When it comes to 100% Hawaiian coffee, most coffee drinkers think of Kona coffee first. However, Hawaiian coffee lovers know that Kona is only part of the story. Kona does not refer to a variety of coffee but rather a growing region on the southeast side of the Big Island. Much like tequila and champagne come from specific geographical areas, Kona coffee comes from the Kona coast of Hawaii, and coffee grown on the island of Kauai is Kauai coffee.
Both Kona and Kauai cultivate Arabica coffee varieties such as Typica, Catuai, and Mundo Novo and produce delicious and distinct 100% Hawaiian coffee beans. So, if you enjoy Kona coffee, you will love tasting and exploring Kauai Coffee.
Hawaiian Coffee Growing Conditions
With naturally nutrient-dense volcanic soil and the perfect mix of tropical sun, rain, and temperatures, it’s no wonder coffee from Hawaii is exceptionally delicious and sought after.
Kauai is geographically the oldest and fourth largest of the main Hawaiian Islands. The island does not have any active volcanoes, but where there were once volcanoes, there are now mountains and fertile, volcanic soil. Little is known about why volcanic soil affects the flavor and characteristics of agricultural products grown in it, but just as grapes grown in volcanic soil produce distinct wine, so too does coffee.
Kauai’s climate is tropical, with only slight fluctuations in temperature and humidity throughout the year. The Kauai Coffee Estate is located on the southwest shore of the Garden Island, which receives optimal amounts of sunshine and rain year-round.
How to Buy Hawaiian Coffee
When it comes to trying and buying Hawaiian coffee, there are a lot of options. With numerous farms, packages, and labels it can be hard to know exactly what is inside every bag. Here are a few terms to know and look for when shopping for Hawaiian coffee.
- 100% Kauai Coffee and 100% Hawaiian Coffee – when you see labels and packages with these statements, you can rest assured that every bean in the bag was grown within the state of Hawaii or a single geographic origin within the state. The best place to buy 100% Hawaiian coffee is directly from the farm, estate or producer. You can only buy 100% Kauai Coffee from our website, our Visitor Center, and most grocery stores in Hawaii. We ship worldwide from our online store and have several subscription options to ensure you’re never low on aloha.
- 10-20% Hawaiian Coffee – because 100% Hawaiian coffee is a specialty coffee and relatively scarce, Hawaiian coffee blends are something you may see on your local grocery store shelf. Hawaiian coffee blends must contain at least 10% Hawaiian coffee and are an excellent option for coffee drinkers looking to add a little aloha to their morning cup. Kauai Coffee 10% Hawaiian coffee blends and 20% Hawaiian coffee single-serve pods are available for purchase at grocery stores and select retailers on the mainland.
- Rainforest Alliance Certified – The Rainforest Alliance certified seal stands for efficient farm management that reduces soil erosion, water use, pollution, and waste while also protecting wildlife and reducing threats to the environment and human health.
- Fair Trade Certified – Goods that are Fair Trade Certified provide safe working conditions and sustainable livelihoods while protecting the environment and giving back to the communities where coffee is cultivated.
- Non-GMO Project – Non-GMO Project verification has been the market’s trusted seal for GMO avoidance for more than ten years. At Kauai Coffee, we harvest many unique coffee varietals on our 3,100-acre Kauai Farm; each plant is as authentic as nature intended.
Kauai Coffee Company is an authentic Hawaiian coffee estate. With over 4 million coffee trees grown on 3,100 acres, Kauai Coffee Company is Hawaii’s largest coffee grower, and thus the largest coffee grower in the United States. From growing the coffee to roasting and packaging, we employ sustainable, environmentally sound practices throughout every step of the process. Additionally, our 100% Kauai Coffee products have the unique distinction of being triple certified by all of the above sustainability, social and environmental advocates.
Kauai Coffee Estate Reserve
For the Hawaiian coffee connoisseur, Kauai Coffee Estate Reserve coffee is 100% Kauai Coffee and the cream of the crop. Presented both as estate-designated and single-coffee varietals, some of our most popular and highly rated offerings include Peaberry and Kauai Blue Mountain.
- Peaberry – Available in dark and medium roasts, this coffee is brimming with tropical sunshine and bright citrus flavor notes.
- Kauai Blue Mountain – A unique, well-balanced coffee with a malty flavor and fruity notes.
- Mundo Novo – Medium bodied with a crisp, woody, bold flavor and nutty undertones.
- Poipu Estate – Available in medium and espresso roast. Delicate but deep aroma, floral, with a well-rounded, full body that adds to the buttery mouthfeel.
- Kalaheo Estate – Rich aroma with nutty notes and sweet chocolate overtones
- Typica – Available in dark and medium roast, Typica is flavorful and well balanced with a hint of tartness.
- Red Catuai – A mild to medium-bodied coffee, touched by a smooth, sweet finish and a hint of cardamom.
- Acaia – Smooth, frothy cup with flavor attributes of milk chocolate, mocha and caramel
- Artisan Crafted – Exceptional small-batch, limited edition, and barrel-aged coffees
Our ‘ohana collection is Estate Reserve Kauai Coffee with a story to tell. Enjoy the exceptional coffee and artist-created characters and labels.
- Rooster Alarm – Flavor notes of rich dark chocolate and molasses, with a malty finish
- Big Braddah – Full-bodied with a soft side. Rich aroma with hints of sweet fruit with well-balanced acidity and a syrupy mouth feel.
- Auntie Aloha – Sweet floral notes of rose & jasmine with a finish of clove & anise
- Kauai Sunrise – A combination of dark and medium roasted beans gives this coffee an unmatched aroma.
- Polihale Sunset – Malty with subtle hints of cocoa and vanilla bean and bright acidity
100% Kauai Coffee
An authentic taste of aloha in our famous blue bag. 100% Kauai Coffee is roasted and flavored to perfection by our Roastmasters.
- Estate Roast – One sip of our medium roast coffee and you’re instantly transported to paradise! Smooth, delicious, and bright with light floral notes
- Cold Brew – 100% Hawaiian Coffee ground and designed to be cold brewed
- Hazelnut – Hawaiian Hazelnut coffee is a 100% Hawaiian ground coffee, featuring a smooth, delicious flavor and amazingly rich and nutty aroma.
- Coconut Caramel Crunch – 100% Kauai Coffee combined with a hint of all-natural flavoring. The combination of sweet, nutty caramel, tropical coconut, and our medium-roasted beans makes this delectable coffee the perfect cup for any occasion.
- Vanilla Macadamia Nut – With all-natural flavoring, we combined vanilla beans with toasted macadamia nuts and 100% Hawaiian coffee beans for an authentic taste of Hawaii.
- Chocolate Macadamia Nut – We combined chocolate with toasted macadamia nuts and 100% Hawaiian coffee beans for an authentic taste of Hawaii.
- Toasty Banana Nut Cream – Delicious tropical banana flavor is combined with creamy vanilla and a hint of hazelnuts.
- Salted Caramel – The warm, sweet taste of luscious caramel with a hint of salt makes this the perfect morning or afternoon treat
- Paradise Mango Twist – Combines a hint of mango with chocolate and vanilla notes, giving this coffee a very unique flavor profile.
- Estate Reserve Decaf – Decaffeinated with the Swiss Water Process.
- Estate Reserve Half Caff – Our Swiss Water Decaf and Yellow Catuai mixed together for 1/2 the caffeine!
- Swiss Water Decaf Coconut Caramel Crunch – The taste of sweet, nutty caramel blended with tropical coconut, all without the caffeine!
- Swiss Water Decaf Vanilla Macadamia Nut – The taste of vanilla beans and toasted macadamia nuts combined with 100% Hawaiian coffee beans and no caffeine
100% Kauai Prime Whole Bean Coffee – Our Ready to Roast 100% Kauai Prime Whole Bean Coffee features a smooth, delicious flavor and amazing aroma. This Yellow Catuai Varietal is a 100% Hawaiian coffee. Its high-quality, raw, unroasted, coffee beans are perfect for at-home or commercial coffee roasters!