Real Coffee Lovers, Real Reviews

AWARDS & ACCOLADES

2020: Hawaii Entrepreneurs of the Year, CPG Category

2019: Coffee Review "Top 30 Coffees" list for Barrel Aged Puna

2019: AllRecipes.com "Best Gifts for Coffee Lovers"

2018: $25,000 HI Plan winner for Espresso Bites!

2018: Forbes "Top 12 Roasters in the USA"

2018: Forbes “Worlds Best Hotel Coffee is at the Four Seasons Hualalai”

2017: Hawaii 40 Under 40

2015: Voted "Hawaii’s Favorite Artisan Beverage" by edible Hawaii Island readers.

2014: Earn Hawaii Senate Certificate

2013: Puna Honeyed Yellow Caturra in Coffee Review’s "Top 30 Coffees of 2013" list

2013: Grand Champion coffee in the state of Hawaii

CELEBRATING DIVERSE HAWAIIAN COFFEES

BIG ISLAND COFFEE ROASTERS

As coffee lovers, for a long time we thought of Hawaiian coffee as a gimmicky souvenir - artificially flavored and stale 10% Kona coffee blends. Coming from the foodie scene and coffee culture of Portland, we were disappointed to have the Hawaiian coffee growing region so close, yet plagued by Kona coffee counterfeit scams and poor roasting.

Everything changed in 2010. We found a small Hawaiian coffee farm in a wild, disadvantaged region of the Big Island - Puna, opposite of where Kona coffees are grown - posted on Craigslist. With little to lose we thought, “Why not?” As we integrated with the community of farmers and sampled an array of fresh coffees from Hawaii, we were surprised by the local diversity that often gets overshadowed: bright Ka’u coffee, earthy Maui coffee, and winey Puna coffees were often counterfeited as Kona coffee because no one had heard of them. 

The more we learned the complicated steps to produce great Hawaiian coffee, the stranger it became that the final product would be sold as an inauthentic Kona coffee blend.

We wanted to change that: to celebrate diverse, authentic Hawaiian coffees and the stories behind them. We wanted to let aficionados taste the difference between specialty Kona coffee, Maui coffee, Ka’u coffee and more. All fresh roasted and milled in small batches.

Hawaii is populated with over 900 small coffee farms and Kona coffee is only a small part of that. Just as the term “champagne” can only be applied to wine in a specific place in France, Kona coffee can only be called “Kona coffee” if it’s grown on the west side of the Big Island, in the Kona district. Ka’u coffee is on the south side of the Big Island, Puna coffee is grown on the east side, and Hamakua coffee is grown on the north area of the Big Island. Maui coffee is clearly grown on Maui.

At just 0.04 percent of the world’s coffee supply, Hawaiian coffee is rare and growing it is expensive and risky. What drives coffee lovers to seek it and farmers to grow it? What makes Hawaiian coffee so “good”? Like many heirloom crops and artisan products, it’s simply different  and the experience you have of Kona coffee in the cup largely depends on the coffee growers and roasters you purchase from. 

Each region of Hawaiian coffee tastes different and in the best Hawaiian coffees you’ll experience sweet, balanced, and clean flavors, often with notes of chocolate, vanilla wafers, nuts, stone fruit (peach or apricot), cherry or jasmine. In Ka’u coffee you’ll taste roasted nuts, flowers, spruce, berry or citrus; in Maui coffees you’ll experience vanilla wafer and nuts; in Puna coffee you’ll experience red wine and almond.

What does Kona coffee taste like? It depends on the coffee growers, cultivar, and roasters, but the best Kona coffees are silky, sweet and delicate with notes of chocolate, caramel, peach, honey and flowers. Traditionally, Kona coffee growers focused on a cultivar called Kona Typica, but now many cultivars and varieties are grown, from Kona Geisha, to Pache and Bourbon. 

Today we’re thrilled to offer a widest array of the best Hawaiian coffee available, including unique varieties, micro-lots, origins, and award winners. Some of our past favorites have been the HCA Grand Champion Kona coffee, Kona Geisha, Wood Valley Ka’u coffee, our own Puna coffee, Puna Kazumura.

Coffee club members receive the full array of Hawaiian coffees we have available, including 100% Maui coffee, like yellow caturra, red catuai and Maui Mokka, 100% Kau coffee, 100% Kona coffee, Puna coffee and more. 

It’s this specialization, this small-batch/large-variety combination that makes us one of the best Hawaiian coffee growers and roasters. 

We’re thrilled to have been named by Forbes as one of the 12 Best Roasters in the USA, the World’s Best Hotel Coffee, Hawaii’s Favorite Artisan Beverage, Grand Champion in the State of Hawaii, and Hawaii CPG Entrepreneurs. We’ve been recognized by Hawaii Magazine, Coffee Review, Forbes, Hawaii Coffee Association, Edible Hawaiian Islands, The Senate of the State of Hawaii, and more.

Big Island Coffee Roasters offers an experience like no other: the best 100% Hawaiian coffees available with a dedication to quality and exclusive varieties from each Hawaiian coffee growing region -- 100% Kona coffee, Ka’u coffee, Maui coffee, Puna coffee and more.

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