Are you looking for the best Hawaii coffee companies? This guide from a Hawaii local has everything that you need to know!
Hawaii is known for quite a few things. Beautiful beaches, juicy pineapples, sugarcane fields, and sunny skies are just the start. But if there’s one thing that may surpass all of that in terms of popularity, it may be Hawaii coffee.
Hawaii coffee – specifically, Kona coffee – is one of the most coveted types of coffee in the entire world – and for good reason! Thanks to the unique growing conditions, Hawaiian coffee beans have a special, bold flavor that you can’t get anywhere else. It sounds like the perfect gift from Hawaii, doesn’t it?
That said, there are many, many Hawaii coffee companies out there. It can be hard to weed out the good from the fantastic if you don’t know what to look for. Luckily for you, I’ve come up with a list of the best Hawaii coffee companies for you to enjoy.
Hawaii Coffee Questions
Does Hawaii Grow Coffee?
Yes! There are approximately 830 coffee farms across the Hawaiian Islands. About 790 of these farms are located on the Kona side of the Big Island.
Where Is Coffee Grown in Hawaii?
While the vast majority of Hawaii coffee is grown in Kona on the Big Island, there are also coffee farms on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Molokai.
Is Coffee Native to Hawaii?
Despite the fact that coffee is grown all over the Hawaiian Islands, coffee is actually not native to Hawaii.
Coffee was first introduced to Hawaii from Brazil in the 1820s. This new crop was originally planted in Oahu’s Manoa Valley, but it didn’t really thrive. As a matter of fact, coffee crops in Hawaii struggled for a while – at least until coffee was planted on the Big Island in 1828. And, as they say, the rest is history.
Why Is Hawaii Coffee So Expensive?
The easy answer is because everything in Hawaii is expensive. There is limited land in Hawaii, which means that there can be limited coffee crops. On top of that, the many Hawaii coffee companies hand pick the coffee berries (or coffee cherries – the fruits that hold the coffee beans). This means that there is also a high cost of labor to factor in.
Kona coffee, in particular, has an added factor that contributes to the cost and the quality of the beans. The vast majority of Kona coffee farms are located on mineral-rich volcanic soil, which, as you can imagine, is rather rare. These unique growing conditions also enhance the flavor of the coffee beans. In other words, it’s no surprise to find out that Kona coffee is widely regarded as the best Hawaii coffee in existence.
Last but not least, Hawaii is one of only two states in the U.S. that grows coffee! (The other being California.) So if you want U.S.-grown coffee, your options are limited.
Bottom line: Thanks to the rules of supply and demand, Hawaii coffee is – and will likely remain – quite expensive.
Hawaii Coffee Blend Scam
If you’re committed to getting 100% Hawaiian coffee, you need to make sure you do your research (or just scroll down to the Hawaii coffee options below, because I’ve already done it for you!).
In order to be considered Hawaiian coffee or Kona coffee, blends need to have just 10% of its beans sourced from Hawaii or Kona. That means 90% of the beans can be from anywhere else in the world! So you need to be especially vigilant and look for products that say 100% Hawaiian coffee or 100% Kona coffee.
Best Overall Hawaii Coffee Companies
There are loads of Hawaii coffee companies for you to discover, but I’ve selected the best of the best to make your decision a little easier.
Big Island Coffee Roasters
Big Island Coffee Roasters is one of the coolest Hawaiian coffee companies. First, it has won quite a few awards, including Honolulu Magazine’s “Best Local Coffee Company” in 2021, Coffee Review’s “Top 30 Coffees of 2020,” and Hawaii Magazine’s “Small Business Editor’s Choice Awards.”
And on top of all those fancy titles, Big Island Coffee Roasters has an admirable commitment to sustainability. This Hawaiian coffee company uses 100% renewable energy, pays living wages, sources beans from local Hawaii farmers, and donates a part of their profits to wildlife rescue and habitat restoration charities.
With all of that going for it, it’s no surprise to find out that Big Island Coffee Roasters serves up some of the best Hawaii coffee. Try their 100% Kona Coffee Kona Peaberry, their 100% Kau Wood Valley Single Estate, or their 100% Hawaiian Espresso Blend Hawaiian Harmony.
*Bonus: Big Island Coffee Roasters also sells a revolutionary “chocolate” bar, in which the cocoa beans are swapped out for coffee beans! Officially known as Espresso Bites, these delicious bars are the perfect Hawaii snack to start the day.
Koa Coffee is definitely one of the best Hawaii coffee companies around. And in case you don’t believe me, you can believe all of the awards that Koa Coffee has garnered over the years, including the PCCA Coffee of the Year, the Gevalia Cupping Competition, and Forbes’ Best Coffee in America.
With so many accolades, you really can’t go wrong with any of Koa Coffee’s products. But the best sellers include the Estate Medium Roast Whole Bean 100% Kona Coffee, the Peaberry Medium Roast Whole Bean 100% Kona Coffee, and the Private Reserve Dark Roast Whole Bean 100% Kona Coffee.
It is important to note that not all Koa Coffee products are 100% Kona coffee or 100% Hawaiian coffee, so be sure to double check!
Hawaii Coffee Company
The Hawaii Coffee Company is the largest roaster of Kona coffee on the entire planet! And it may be the most famous Hawaii coffee company as well.
While these many brands might be a little overwhelming, don’t worry! You’re bound to get an amazing batch of coffee, regardless of which Hawaii Coffee Company brand you choose. That said, if you’re looking for 100% Kona coffee, your best bet is to check out the Royal Kona Coffee selection.
If you’d like a little more guidance, a few of the Hawaii Coffee Company’s best sellers include Lion Coffee’s Toasted Coconut Coffee, Royal Kona Coffee’s Private Reserve Medium Roast 100% Kona Coffee, and Lion Coffee’s Vanilla Macadamia Nut Coffee. (It is important to note that neither of the Lion Coffee blends contain Hawaii coffee, despite their island-inspired flavors.)
If you’d really like to learn everything that goes into making your morning cup of caffeine, you can take a Lion Coffee roastery tour.
As an added bonus, the Hawaii Coffee Company also owns Hawaiian Island Teas, which is great news for tea drinkers everywhere!
Kauai Coffee Company
The Kauai Coffee Company is actually the only coffee company on Kauai, but it is also one of the best Hawaii coffee companies ever.
There are loads of different types of coffee that you can buy from the Kauai Coffee Company, including the Kauai Coffee Estate Reserve Sun Dried Typica, the Hawaiian Chocolate Macadamia Nut Coffee, and the Kauai Sunrise Coffee. But the best is definitely the Kauai Estate Preserve blends, including the Kauai Blue Mountain, the Poipu Estate, and the Roast Master’s Choice.
Regardless of which type of coffee you choose to order from the Kauai Coffee Company, you’re guaranteed to get 100% Hawaiian coffee. (If you’re looking for 100% Kauai coffee in particular, you’ll have to read the fine print.) After all, with four million coffee trees, there are a lot of beans to roast and package!
But one of the reasons the Kauai Coffee Company is so great is because of the experience when you visit in person! While there, you can sample dozens of types of coffee – all grown on the property – for free! And, once you pick your favorite, you can buy a bag from the gift shop just a few steps away! My personal favorite thing to do while visiting Kauai Coffee is to follow the free self-guided tour that they have.
Best Kona Coffee Companies (And Other Big Island Coffee Companies)
If there’s one type of Hawaii coffee that’s more famous than the others, it’s Kona coffee. As I mentioned earlier, Kona coffee is famous for quite a few reasons, including the mineral-rich volcanic soil. And because of these ideal growing conditions, approximately 790 of the 830 coffee farms in Hawaii are situated in Kona.
It is important to note that even though Kona takes up only half of the Big Island, pretty much all of the coffee farms are there. Very few Big Island coffee companies are on the Hilo side of the island.
Hula Daddy Kona Coffee
Hula Daddy Kona Coffee has primarily made a name for itself as a great place to visit. During your time in Kona, you can stop by the Hula Daddy Kona Coffee farm and learn everything you’d like to learn about this morning must-have. Visit the coffee orchard, stop in the roasting room, and enjoy a free coffee tasting.
And while a visit to the Hula Daddy Kona Coffee farm is the best way to experience this Hawaii coffee brand, the coffee they produce is nothing to balk at either. All of their products are 100% Kona coffee, so you can’t make a bad choice. Try the Karen J Red Bourbon Coffee, the Kona Sweet, or Laura’s Reserve SL 34. You won’t regret it.
If and when you decide that Hula Daddy Kona Coffee is your Hawaii coffee company choice, you can sign up for the Hula Daddy coffee club. Through this club, you’ll get delicious coffee delivered to your doorstep every month!
Heavenly Hawaiian Kona Coffee Farm
Heavenly Hawaiian Kona Coffee Farm is a little Kona coffee farm that has won dozens of awards for its absolutely delicious Kona coffee. As a matter of fact, the Kona Silk alone has won 13 awards – and the Kona Bold isn’t too far behind with its 7 awards. They’re both definitely worth a try!
If you have the chance to visit the Heavenly Hawaiian Kona Coffee Farm in person, I highly recommend it. After all, visiting a coffee farm is one of the best things to do in Kona. While there, you can take a tour to learn everything you’d like to know about coffee.
For a more comprehensive list, check out our dedicated article on the best Kona coffee brands.
Best Oahu Coffee Companies
But not all Hawaii coffee companies are in Kona. If you happen to stay on the most frequently visited Hawaiian Island, Oahu, you can still visit a Hawaii coffee company.
There’s just one coffee company on Oahu, and that’s Waialua Estate on the North Shore. Once upon a time, the land that is now Waialua Estate was a sugarcane plantation. But once that era of Hawaii’s history came to an end, the land was then used to grow tasty coffee beans.
Since Waialua Estate has cornered the market on Oahu coffee, its products can be quite pricey. That said, it might be worth a splurge every once in a while.
As an added bonus, Waialua Estate also produces chocolate, which is perfect if you have a sweet tooth!
Best Maui Coffee Companies
While there are a couple of Maui coffee companies, MauiGrown Coffee is the only one that consistently produces 100% Maui coffee. In other words, the beans made by this particular Hawaii coffee company are extremely special.
There are quite a few MauiGrown Coffee blends that are worth a try. I recommend the 100% Maui Estate Blend Dark Roast or the 100% Maui Estate Blend Medium Roast, depending on what level of roast you prefer.
If you happen to find yourself in Lahaina, Maui, you can visit the MauiGrown Coffee store!
Best Molokai Coffee Companies
Even though Molokai is one of the smallest islands in the chain, it actually has its own coffee company!
Coffees of Hawaii Estate and Farm
Situated in the little town of Kualapuu, Coffees of Hawaii Estate and Farm is the only Hawaii coffee company on Molokai. In addition to producing these high-quality beans, Coffees of Hawaii Estate and Farm is committed to taking care of the land and preserving Native Hawaiian culture.
While Coffees of Hawaii Estate and Farm is located on Molokai, it also sources beans from Maui and the Big Island. This means that you can get 100% Molokai coffee, 100% Maui coffee, and 100% Kona coffee from this company. In other words, Coffees of Hawaii Estate and Farm is undoubtedly one of the best Hawaii coffee companies around. Why not try the beans from all three locations to determine which one is your favorite?
Have you tried any of the coffees from this list of the best Hawaii coffee companies? Let me know in the comments below!
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