Whenever I'm in our Kona store, the question I get asked most is, "Why is Kona coffee so expensive!?" I'm here to explain it(to the best of my ability) to any of you that might be having that same question.
Kona Coffee is one of the only coffees that is grown commercially in the United States. It grows on the volcanic slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii. Sunshine in the morning, rain in the afternoon, perfect elevation and that rich volcanic soil make this, in my opinion, the perfect cup! Am I biased? Well...maybe a little. Kona coffee was the only coffee served in our house growing up.
The main reason as to why it is expensive is the cost of labor. Kona coffee is handpicked by our farmers for 6 months straight. It is picked at the peak of ripeness and graded(post on coffee grading to come) according to size. The larger the bean, the better the quality. The coffee is then dried, roasted and packed all by us, right in our Kona store.
In other countries, coffee is picked mechanically by the machine, shaking coffee trees and mixing over-ripe and under-ripe beans of all sizes which usually results in a sour cup of coffee. In other countries it cost 3 cents per pound to mechanically pick, in Kona it cost 65-75 cents per pound of handpicked coffee.
Another reason is the availability of Kona coffee. It only makes up about 1% of coffee in the whole world. That's crazy rare! The last 5 years there was a Coffee Cherry Borer infestation that devastated many Kona Coffee farms(that's a whole other post to write). It set a lot of farms back, including us. Because of the limited supply, a lot of companies do a blend of 10% Kona and 90% of random coffee beans from all over the world. But we have stuck with only serving 100%.
Now, I'm not good at math but I'm going to break this down for you so you can see just how much you're paying for a cup of Kona from us. I'll use my favorite, Private Reserve Signtaure. Here at KMC, we use 1tblsp per cup of coffee. A lot of coffee places use 2 tblsp, but trust me, ours is strong! So if you're using 1 tblsp per 6oz Cup, you can get 32 cups of coffee from 1lb!
So at $1.40 per cup...is it really that expensive?
I would love to hear your thoughts or if you have any questions!
Thanks for reading!