Best Gourmet Kona Coffee Beans
Gourmet coffee became Specialty Coffee when the term was first used in 1974 by Mrs. Knutsen in the Tea & Coffee Trade Journal-magazine. Knutsen used it to describe beans of the best flavor which are produced in special micro-climates such as Hawaii.
Gourmet Kona Coffee Beans with
“gourmet” or “premium” coffee bean title are not the same as specialty coffee beans. In fact they are only be interchangeable if the gourmet coffee bean’s rating is 80 percent or above. Gourmet Kona Coffee Beans through self regulation are required to be certified 90% from Gourmet Kona Coffee Companies with their lowest Kona bean rating at 92 points and Gourmet’s Hawaii coffee beans have the very high rating minimum of 87 percentile. Gourmet Kona coffee sets the standard In Hawaii according to (SCAA) the Specialty Coffee Association of America; coffee which scores 80 points or above on a 100-point scale is graded as specialty. Therefore all coffees offered at Gourmet Kona Coffee are specialty coffees grown in special Hawaii climate and are distinctive because of their full bold taste and very little defects. The unique hints within flavors and tastes are a result of the special characteristics and composition of the volcanic soil and tropical climate in which they are produced. Note: Aged volcanic soils are best suited for specialty coffee production.
The specialty coffee farm is the most rapidly growing portion of the coffee industry. In Hawaii, specialty beans have increased its market share from 1% to 20% in the last 25 years. To promote and self-regulate the Hawaii industry, growers, exporters, roasters, retailers and equipment suppliers have established trade associations. These associations now exist in both bean consuming and bean producing nations.
Kona Coffee Beans are naturally Gourmet.
Gourmet is a cultural ideal sometimes associated with specialty coffee and the culinary arts of fine food and the associated coffee drink, which is characterized by refined, even elaborate preparations and presentations of aesthetically balanced meals of several contrasting, often quite rich courses followed by gourmet coffee. The term and its associated practices are usually used positively to describe people of refined taste and passion. Gourmet food and coffee tends to be served in more expensive portions.
The term gourmet can refer to a person with refined or discriminating taste who is knowledgeable in the craft and art of food and coffee preparation. Gourmet carries additional connotations of one who simply enjoys food or coffee in great quantities. A gourmet chef is a chef of particularly high caliber talent and skill.
Gourmet food and gourmet coffee beans.
Gourmet may describe a class of restaurant, cuisine or coffee of high quality and of special presentation, or high sophistication. Gourmet is an industry classification for high-quality premium coffees in the United States. In the 21st century there has been an accelerating increase in the American gourmet market, due in part to rising income, globalization of taste, and knowledge of health and nutritional benefits. Individual food and beverage categories, such as coffee, are often divided between a standard commercial and a smaller “gourmet” sub-market.
Gourmet is highest standard of Kona coffee beans
Certain events such as wine tastings cater to people who consider themselves gourmets. Television programs (such as those on the Food Network) and publications such as Gourmet magazine often serve gourmets with food columns and featured coffees. Gourmet tourism is a niche industry catering to people who travel to food, wine or coffee tastings, restaurants, or food, wine and coffee production regions for leisure.
Kona is not originator of the term gourmet coffee
The word gourmet is from the French. Originally the term was used for a wine broker or taste-vin employed by a wine dealer. Friand was formerly the reputable name for a connoisseur of delicious things that were not eaten primarily for nourishment.
How did Kona coffee beans get started
The coffee plant was exported from Africa to countries around the world, primarily to equatorial regions of the Americas, Southeast Asia and India. Once ripe, coffee cherries are picked, processed and dried. Dried coffee beans are roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor. Roasted beans are ground and brewed with near-boiling water to produce the bean as a gourmet beverage.
Beans can have a stimulating effect on humans because of caffeine content. Coffee is one of the most popular drinks from Kona. It can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways but it is usually served hot, although iced coffee has increased in popularity recently. Clinical studies indicate that moderate coffee consumption is beneficial in healthy adults, with continuing research on whether long-term consumption inhibits cognitive decline during aging or lowers the risk of some forms of cancer.
The earliest credible evidence of bean consumption appears in the early-middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen. It was here in Arabia that beans were first roasted and brewed in a similar way to modern preparation. Beans were first exported from East Africa to Yemen, as a plant is thought to have been indigenous to the former. Yemeni traders took beans back to their homeland and began to cultivate them. By the 16th century, it had reached Persia, Turkey, and North Africa. From there, it spread to Europe and Kona, Hawaii.
Fair-trade coffee and organic coffee beans
Coffee is a major export commodity of Hawaii: it is the top agricultural export for Kauai and is among the world’s largest legal agricultural exports for many. Consequently, the markets for fair trade beans and organic beans are expanding.
Legendary bean stories
The word “coffee” entered the English language in 1500’s from the Turkish word kahve; which was borrowed from the Arabic qahwah. It has also been proposed that the source may be the Proto-Central Semitic root q-h-h meaning “dark”. According to legend, ancestors of today’s Oromo people in a region of Kaffa in Ethiopia were believed to have been the first to recognize the energizing effect of the coffee plant, though no direct evidence has been found indicating where in Africa coffee grew or who among the native populations might have used it as a stimulant or even known about it, earlier than the 17th century. The story of Kaldi, the 9th-century Ethiopian goatherd who discovered coffee when he noticed how excited his goats became after eating the beans from a coffee plant, did not appear in writing until 1671 and is probably apocryphal.
Other accounts attribute the discovery of the beans to Sheikh Omar. According to an ancient chronicle (preserved in the Abd-Al-Kadir manuscript), Omar, who was known for his ability to cure the sick through prayer, was once exiled from Mocha in Yemen to a desert. Starving, Omar chewed berries from nearby shrubbery, but found them to be bitter. He tried roasting the seeds to improve the flavor, but they became hard. He then tried boiling them to soften the seed, which resulted in a fragrant brown liquid. Upon drinking the liquid Omar was revitalized and sustained for days. As stories of this “miracle drug” reached Mocha, Omar was asked to return and was made a saint. From Ethiopia, the coffee plant was introduced into the Arab World through Egypt and Yemen.
Gourmet Processing for Kona Coffee Beans
Cherries or berries and their beans undergo several processes before they become the familiar roasted beans. Berries have been traditionally selectively picked by hand; a labor-intensive method, it involves the selection of only the berries at the peak of ripeness. More commonly crops are strip picked; all berries are harvested simultaneously regardless of ripeness by machine. After picking, beans are processed by one of two methods—the dry process method, simpler and less labor-intensive as the berries can be strip picked, and the wet process method, which incorporates fermentation into the process and yields a milder bean.
Then they the beans are sorted by ripeness and color. Generally the flesh of the berry is removed, usually by machine, and the seeds are fermented to remove the slimy layer of mucilage still present on the bean. When the fermentation is finished, the seeds are washed with large quantities of fresh water to remove the fermentation residue.
How are Kona coffee beans dried?
The best method of drying the bean uses drying boxes. In this method, the pulped or partially pulped and fermented beans are spread thinly on raised screen beds which allow the air to pass on all sides of beans, and then the beans are mixed by hand. In this method the drying that takes place is more uniform, and over fermentation is less likely. Most Hawaiian coffee is dried in this manner and certain coffee farms around the world are starting to use this traditional Hawaiian method.
Next, the beans are sorted, and labeled. The small batch microclimate way is to dry coffee beans while sitting on concrete slab or patio; raking over them in full sunlight with accelerated rake use at night to prevent the beans from over fermenting. Some companies use cylinders to pump in heated air to dry the coffee seeds. The patio type of preparation is generally used in places of high humidity.
Roasting gourmet coffee beans
The next step in the process is roasting them. Coffee is usually sold in a roasted form and in rare exceptions it is consumed green. It can be sold ready to brew by the supplier, or it can be home-made. The heating process influences the taste of the beverage by changing the coffee bean both physical and chemical composition. The bean decreases in weight as moisture evaporates and increases in volume, causing it to become light weight. The density of the bean decreases influencing the caffeine content and quality.
Heating transforms the chemical and physical properties of coffee beans into very different product. The process produces the characteristic flavor by causing extreme change on a molecular level. Un-roasted beans contain similar if not higher levels of acids, protein, sugars, and caffeine as those that have been roasted, but lack the taste of roasted coffee beans often due to the chemical reactions that occur during application of heat.
The vast majority of coffee is processed commercially on a large scale, but small-scale roasting has grown significantly with the trend toward “single-origin” coffees served at specialty stores online. Some coffee drinkers experiment with flavor profiles of the beans to ensure the finest possible Kona.
The bean roasters of the past
The first recorded implements for roasting coffee beans were thin pans made from metal or porcelain, used in the 15th century by the Ottomans and a large portion of Persia. In the 19th century, various patents were awarded in the U.S. and Europe for roasters to allow for large batches of coffee. In the 1950s just as instant was becoming a popular drink, specialty coffee-houses began opening to cater to the connoisseur, offering a more traditionally brewed beverage. In the 1970s, more specialty coffee-houses were founded, ones that offered a variety of roasts and beans from Hawaii. In the 1980s and 1990s, the the Kona gourmet coffee industry experienced its best expansion to date. This trend has continued into the 21st Century (today).
My Home-made Kona Coffee Coffee Beans
The actual roasting begins when the temperature inside the bean reaches approximately 200 °C (392 °F), though different varieties differ in moisture and density, therefore progresses at different rates. During heating, caramelization occurs as intensity breaks down starches, changing them to simple sugars that begin the browning of the bean. Sugar is rapidly lost during this process, and may disappear entirely in darker roasts. During roasting, aromatic oils and acids weaken, changing the flavor; at 205 °C (401 °F), other oils start to develop. One of these oils, caffeol, is created at about 200 °C (392 °F), which is largely responsible for coffee’s aroma and flavor.
What Happens before beans are roasted
It consists essentially of sorting, but can also include grinding in larger-scale producers. In larger operations, bags of sorted beans are hand- or machine-opened, dumped into a hopper, and screened to remove debris. The gourmet beans are then weighed and transferred to storage hoppers. From the hoppers, the beans are conveyed to the roaster. Initially, the process is endothermic (absorbing heat), but at around 175 °C (347 °F) it becomes exothermic (giving off heat). This means that the beans are heating themselves and an adjustment of the roaster’s heat source is generally required. At the end of the roasting cycle, the beans are dumped from the chamber and quickly air cooled with an air induction.
During the roasting process, coffee beans tend to go through a weight loss of about 30% due to loss of water and water based compounds. Although beans experience a weight loss, the size of the beans are doubled after the roasting process due to the release of carbon dioxide, release of volatile compounds, and water vaporization.
In Vietnamese beans they are often coated with oil (traditionally clarified butter) and a small amount of sugar prior to roasting to produce a “butter roast”. The roasting process results in an additional caramelized coating on the beans.
During this treatment, while still in the bean state, more caffeine breaks down above 235 °C (455 °F). Dark roasting is the utmost step in bean processing removing the most caffeine; dark roasting is not to be confused with the decaffeination. Depending on the color of the roasted beans as perceived by the human eye, they will be labeled as light, medium, medium dark or very dark. A more accurate method of discerning the degree of roast involves measuring the reflected light from roasted seeds illuminated with a light source in the near-infrared spectrum. Light meter uses a process known as spectroscopy to return a number in parts per million (PPM) that consistently indicates the roasted bean’s relative degree of flavor development.
Professional tasters grade bean characteristics
The degree of roast has major effects upon bean flavor and body. Darker beans are generally bolder because they have less fiber content and a more sugary flavor. Lighter roasts have a more complex and therefore perceived stronger flavor from aromatic oils and acids otherwise destroyed by longer roasting times. Contrary to popular believes, roasting “does not” alter the amount of caffeine in the bean, but does give less caffeine when the beans are measured by volume because the beans loose density during warming.
Maintaining your Kona Coffee Bean’s integrity
Coffee is best stored in an airtight container made of ceramic, glass, or environmentally non-reactive material. Higher quality prepackaged brands usually have a one-way valve which prevents air from entering while allowing the release of gases. Bean freshness and flavor are preserved when stored away from moisture, heat, and light. The ability of beans to absorb strong smells from the air means that they should be kept away from all odors. Storage of beans in the refrigerator is not recommended due to the presence of moisture which can cause deterioration. Exterior walls of buildings which face the sun may heat the interior of cabinets, and this heat may damage beans stored near such a wall. Heat from nearby heaters, hot water mechanisms and ovens will also severely harm your stored coffee.
Brew preparation for gourmet Kona Coffee Beans
Kona coffee beans must be ground properly and brewed properly to create the perfect gourmet coffee beverage. Almost all methods of preparing require that the beans be ground and then mixed with hot water long enough to allow the flavor to emerge but not so long as to draw out bitter compounds. Brewing considerations include the grind size, the way in which the water is used to extract the flavor, the ratio of ground beans to water (the brew ratio), additional flavorings such as sugar, milk, and spices, and the technique to be used to separate spent grounds. Ideal holding temperatures range from 85–88 °C (185–190 °F) to as high as 93 °C (199 °F) and the ideal serving temperature is 68 to 79 °C (154 to 174 °F). The recommended brew ratio for non-espresso coffee is around 55 to 60 grams of grounds per litre of water, or two level tablespoons for a 5 or 6 ounce cup.
The Kona coffee beans may be ground at our roastery, then shipped by our Hawaii Kona coffee store online to the home of your choice. Our coffees are never roasted and ground at a roastery and sold in packaged form. We recommend coffee beans are ground at home immediately before consumption. It is also possible, though uncommon, to roast raw beans at home.
The Kona Grind types for Coffee Beans.
Kona Coffee Beans may be ground in several ways. A burr grinder uses revolving elements to shear them; a blade grinder cuts the beans with blades moving at high speed (not recommended); and a mortar and pestle crushes the beans (my favorite) or a burr grinder has been deemed superior because the grind is far more even and the grind size can be accurately adjusted.
The type of grind is often named after the brewing method for which it’s used. Turkish grind is the finest grind, while coffee percolator or a French Press requires the coarsest grind. The most common are between these two extremes: a medium grind is used in 90% of home coffee-brewing machines.
An excerpt from the Kona Coffee Brewers Guide.
Gourmet Kona coffee beans may be brewed by several methods. It may be boiled, steeped, or pressurized. Brewing coffee by boiling was the earliest method, and Turkish coffee is an example of this method. It is prepared by grinding or pounding the seeds to a fine powder, then adding it to water and bringing it to the boil for no more than an instant in a pot called a cezve or, in Greek, a bríki. This produces a strong coffee with a layer of foam on the surface and sediment (which is not meant for drinking) settling at the bottom of the cup.
Coffee percolators and automatic makers, brew coffee using gravity feed systems. In an automatic maker, hot water drips onto grounds that are held in a paper, plastic, or perforated metal filter, allowing the water to seep through the grounds while extracting its oils and bean essence. The liquid drips through the filter into a carafe or pot, and the spent grounds are restrained in the filter.
In a percolator, boiling water is forced into a chamber above a filter by steam pressure created by boiling. The water then seeps through the grounds, and the process is repeated until terminated by removing from the heat, by an internal timer, or by a thermostat that turns off the heater when the entire pot reaches an ideal temperature.
Kona Coffee Beans and Nutritional Value
Brewed Kona coffee from typical grounds prepared with tap water contains 50 mg caffeine per 100 gram with essential anti-oxidant. The espresso version “likely due to higher amount of solids” has significant content of magnesium, the B vitamins, niacin and riboflavin with 212 mg of caffeine per 100 grams of grounds.