In exploring the vast expanse of Google, we've found dozens of coffee guides attempting to describe the tasting notes in Hawaiian coffee. Frankly, most are exceptional at selling advertising and links, but predictably fall short at presenting a decent map or guide for drinkers. In an effort to create a better resource for gift seekers and coffee drinkers, we opted to create our own.
Now we drink three to four different Hawaii-grown coffees every day (more if you include cupping); usually they vary in region, roast level, processing method, or roast profile. And yet, even with a few years of accumulated experience doing this, applying blanketed regional distinction is a tricky thing. Especially when dozens - and, in Kona's case, hundreds - of small farms differ in cultivation & processing protocol. And while we have strong impressions of each region, we preferred to build this coffee guide based on multiple professional reviews. Enter: Word Cloud.
Our Word Cloud's are populated by tasting notes featured on Coffee Review ("The world's leading coffee buying guide"), submitted by professional cuppers, and in the descriptions of coffees from a select few reputable coffee growers and/or tasters. We've not included reviews from less common varietals or regions which lack sufficient information.
It should be obvious, but this coffee guide is not intended to be definitive nor exhaustive. You'll notice that some are more character-rich than others, which is attributable to the density of reviews we were able to find. These little coffee clouds will be updated as new evaluations appear.
PUNA COFFEE for the Nut-lover
You know the type: they hike with trail mix, snack on spoonfuls of nut-butter, gravitate towards the baklava, and toss almonds on their salads. They'd rather fill their houses with the aroma of roasting nuts than expensive perfume. For these folks, we'd suggest Puna Kazumua wholeheartedly. (As a side note, we'd also recommend Puna Kazumura for all of you Bulletproof coffee folks.)
Fruity & floral, syrupy & lush, complex, bright & sweet. The fruit lover waits until it's peak season for the lush flavors of a ripe fig or a juicy green apple. They have an orchard, or a friend who has an orchard, and U-pick until they're freezer is stuffed with berries.
They'll love the many-fruited dimensions of Ka'u coffee: from orange to currant, often accompanied by notes of vanilla or chocolate.
KONA COFFEE for the Chocolate-lover
Good chocolate can be found in many places, but never in the checkout line at the grocery store. The chocolate lover knows this. They're satisfied with a few dark squares every day, and would rather hand over their cell phone then give up the chocolate.
Chocolate aside, Kona coffees are known for their overall balance: silky, deep, rich, delicate, sweet and lively. Sometimes peach, other times plum.
MAUI COFFEE for the Pastry-lover
Soft croissants, billowy brioche, and fresh baked bread, the pastry lover stops at anything remotely resembling a bakery. They only use real butter and smell their pastries before eating. Sound familiar? (It does to us: Nudge-nudge mamma Nalani!) Maui coffees are typically round, soft, and mellow. Gentle honey, earth, and caramel. A lovely compliment to pastries and toast.