K-Cups have become the go-to coffee for many of us who love the convenience and ease of brewing a cup of coffee. But how do you find Kona K-Cups that are going to give you that signature taste you learned to love in Hawaii?
Kona coffee has a reputation of being a mild, drinkable, low acidity coffee. It gets its taste primarily where it is grown. The volcanic soil of the islands coupled with lower elevations give a consistent mild chocolatey flavor that a lot of other varieties and locales don’t have.
There is a huge difference between 100% Kona coffee and Kona blends. These blends often have just 10% Kona coffee which can lead you to feel cheated by how little it they contain. However, some blends stay true to the flavor of Kona coffee.
Today, we will look at the best, pure Kona coffee as well as the best Kona blends in our favorite, convenient K-Cups.
100% Pure Kona K-Cups
Hualalai Estate Coffee
I love to hear the great story behind a successful business that started from nothing. Hualalai Estate started with a Kona math teacher named Joel Cooperson. He started growing coffee as a hobby on 2 acres of his property and selling at the local Kona Walmart in 1996. As his reputation grew, he started sourcing beans from other farmers and expanded.
All of their coffee is Kona grown, sourced from small local farmers so you can rest assured you are getting pure, quality Kona coffee. While it may not be certified organic, it is pesticide free which is a plus with these 100% Kona K-Cups.
- Bold roast with no acidity
- Creamy and almost nutty in flavor
Pooki’s Mahi is an Oahu based company that sources all of its beans from various farms in Kona. They offer several varieties in their Kona K-Cups which gives you many options depending on what you like. All of their cups are Eco-Cups with a clear lid and mesh sides.
Coffee is able to flow freely through this special filter. Their coffee is also pesticide free and made from high quality Kona beans. The cups come packaged in vacuum sealed bags so once you open it, be sure to seal it in at least a ziploc bag to maintain freshness.
- Lighter roast
- Smooth with a hint of wine and a spicy finish
- Largest size of bean is used and sourced from a single estate
- Crisp citrus with dark chocolate taste, and aromatic wood aroma
- Made from the rarest and smallest coffee bean with an oval shape
- Crisp citrus and dark chocolate taste, night-blooming flowers and aromatic wood aroma
- Darker and richer flavor
- Light citrus notes that give way to a dark chocolate finish
- Swiss water processed
- Robust but delicate tasting medium roast
Hawaii Roasters is another company that has just featured their coffee in K-Cups. Their coffee is hand picked and sun-dried. The combination of sun-dried beans that are medium roasted gives this coffee a brighter taste than most Kona coffees but still incredibly smooth. They also feature Eco cups with a clear top and mesh sides in the sealed bags.
- Full City roast produces a delicate and mild taste
- Bright flavor that is not too strong
Blue Horse is made with full city roasted beans. The beans are all grown on a small family estate that is pesticide free. It is hand picked, sun-dried, rain water washed, you name it. This estate oversees every aspect involved with growing, picking, processing, roasting, and packaging of their coffees. It has by far, the most complex flavor of any of these Kona K-Cups we have talked about. You can really taste the quality and care that Blue Horse has taken in preparing it for you.
- Complex fragrant notes with a lingering sweetness and low acidity
- Chocolate aroma finished with hints of almonds and vanilla
As I said before, Kona blends are 10% Kona Coffee that are mixed with the beans of other regions. This helps to bring the price down making it more accessible for everyday drinking. Often the heart of Kona coffee is tasted but it is carried the rest of the way with the other beans.
Here are our top 3 picks for Kona K-Cup blends:
Don Francisco’s Kona Blend
Don Francisco succeeds in blending this coffee while keeping the taste of the Hawaiian islands intact. They blend 10% Kona and the rest is premium Arabica Latin American coffees. This is a typical plastic K-Cup as opposed to the Eco-Cups that the 100% Kona comes in at a fraction of the cost.
- Delicate floral aroma
- Subtle fruity notes
Caza Trail Coffee Kona Blend
This blend utilizes premium Kona Moku coffees to blend with Latin American Arabica beans. Caza Trail manages to balance the flavors well with a little bit of tartness in its acidity while still having a lightness to its delicate body. This allows you to drink this coffee without the taste lingering too long on your tongue.
- Floral aromas much like the Hawaiian flora in the morning
- Vibrant acidity and smooth delicate finish
San Francisco Bay OneCup Kona Blend
San Francisco Bay created this blend with beans grown on the Hualalei and Mauna Loa Slopes. This is one of the highest reviewed Kona blends on the market due to its flavor complexity and drinkability. It’s unique OneCup design allows the coffee to filter through the mesh filter instead of through a punched hole. You won’t be disappointed with this Kona blend.
- Sweet and juicy flavor profile with a nutty aroma
- Medium, creamy body with a long caramel finish
It’s Up To You
Flavors and aromas can bring back memories which is the draw with Kona coffee. The flavors and aromas you may have experienced the last time you visited Hawaii are brought back each time you sip a cup of the magical beverage.
The ease and convenience you get from K-Cups coupled with the wonderful taste of Kona coffee is a perfect partnership.
While pure Kona is exceptional in both flavor and quality, the price can be a deterrent. This is why the blends that are available still give you a little bit of that flavor, without the price per cup being so high. We hope that we helped to direct you to the top tasting Kona K-Cups out there. Check out our other K-Cup recommendations.
Let us know which one is your favorite. We love to hear from you!