Organic Kona Coffee

Organic Kona coffee is grown on mountainous slopes on the Big Island of Hawaii. Kona coffee benefits from mild weather and moist growing conditions as well as the volcanic soil of the Hawaiian Islands. Because of its scarcity as well as its quality Kona coffee is one of the world’s most expensive coffees. Organic Kona coffee is therefore rarer and somewhat more expensive. Coffee was first grown in the Hawaiian Island in the early 19 th century from cuttings brought form Brazil. The Kona brand itself dates back to the 19 th century and an Englishman, Henry Nicholas Greenwell. Although Hawaiian coffee was first grown on large plantations a crash in the worldwide coffee market in 1899 led owners to lease or sell land to their workers. This started a tradition of family operated coffee farms of five to twelve acres. The fact that families continue to grow on the same land has led to the tradition of sustainable coffee growing that is the hallmark of growing healthy organic coffee. Top grades Kona coffee are Kona Extra Fancy, Kona Fancy, Kona Number 1, Kona Select, and Kona Prime.

Growers in Kona districts have used natural methods of controlling pests. For example there was an infestation of a pest called a root-know nematode in the 1990’s. Growers responded by using a resistant rootstock from the Coffea liberica type of plant. Grafting to this root stock provides growers with a superior coffee that is resistant to the infestation without the use of synthetic treatments. A later infestation by the coffee berry borer was found on Arabica coffee plants. A naturally occurring fungus, Beauveria bassiana, is known to deter this pest. A drought had reduced amounts of the fungus. By importing this naturally occurring fungus growers were able to keep producing safe organic coffee and other types of Kona coffee without resorting to pesticides.

When purchasing organic Kona coffee buyers should be aware than a Kona blend is not a blend of Kona coffees but a blend of Kona coffee with coffees from elsewhere in the world. The minimum amount of Kona coffee in a true Kona blend is ten percent. Pure Kona coffee is allowed by the State of Hawaii to be labeled 100% Kona Coffee. Unfortunately Federal Law does not protect the consumer against misleading labeling by those selling non-Kona coffees. Good organic Kona coffee is a high quality coffee grown in ideal growing conditions on small farms using sustainable growing techniques. It can often be a shade grown organic coffee although the cloudy conditions where Kona coffee is grown reduces the amount of direct sunlight that plants are exposed to anyway.

Organic Kona coffee, like all good organic coffee, contains organic coffee antioxidants that have been shown to have beneficial effects on human health. Medical research has indicated, for example, that more organic coffee can lead to less diabetes and that more organic coffee can lead to less colon cancer as well. In each case data indicates that persistent coffee consumption can reduce the risk of these conditions.

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