There are thousands of different kinds of coffee out there. The dizzying variety of coffee beans, combined with the various roasting and preparation methods and additional flavorings, makes it nearly impossible to try them all In a lifetime. Where would you start? High on your list should be kona beans coffee, a true delicacy.

Kona coffee gets its name from the locations where it is grown. Only the coffee beans grown on Mount Hualalai and Mauna Loa in the Kona Districts of the Big Island of Hawaii can legitimately be identified as kona. No other coffee can rightfully use that term.

One rare coffee that is cherished by gourmets and coffee lovers is Kona coffee. The supply is limited for this unique coffee because it is finicky to grow and must have the precise combination of climate and soil as well as temperate evening temperatures with warm mornings with plenty of sunshine, and sufficient afternoon precipitation to do well.

When sold, Kona coffee is divided by quality or seed type. Two basic types of bean exist. Type I coffee consists of a variety with two beans for every cherry, with one flat side and one oval side. In comparison, Type II only had one round bean per cherry. Coffees made from Type I beans include Kona extra fancy, Kona fancy, Kona number 1, and Kona prime, while peaberry number1 and peaberry prime come from Type II. These Type II beans are usually more difficult to find.

You may have noticed coffees labeled as kona blend on your grocer’s shelves. These coffees are usually blends of true kona and more common coffees, and the proportions vary widely from brand to brand. In fact, there may only be as little as ten percent of true kona in some kona blend coffees. The remainder is typically Brazilian, Central American, or other beans. In Hawaii, state laws mandate that manufacturers indicate the proportions on the labels. Federal law does not require this however.