Brazen Hazen

100% Kona Coffee: What it Means and Why it Matters 

Our Beans are the Real Deal



The label "100% Kona Coffee," means that the coffee you purchase contains only coffee beans grown in the Kona District of Hawaii.

At Brazen Hazen, we think the richness of Kona Coffee is a true gem that demands to be experienced and savored. With its smooth velvety texture and enticing aroma, each cup you brew will transport you to a world of paradise. But what does Kona Coffee mean and why does it matter?

Kona Coffee is the term for an Arabica coffee grown exclusively in the Kona District on the island of Hawaii (known commonly as the “Big Island.”) Roughly 35 miles long, a mile and a half wide, and at an elevation between 500 to 3,200 feet, the Kona District sits on slopes of the Mauna Loa and Hualalai volcanoes.

With its consistent temperature, well-drained mineral rich soil, and 70-plus inches of rainfall a year the Kona District has the perfect climate for coffee to thrive. Kona Coffee is known for its smooth, mellow, and well-balanced taste with low acidity. It often exhibits notes of nuttiness, chocolate, and sometimes fruity undertones. It is considered by coffee connoisseurs as some of best in the world due to its high quality, unique flavor profile, and limited production.

When purchasing coffee grown in this unique terroir, there’s an important distinction between the terms “Kona Coffee” and “100% Kona Coffee.” As of this writing, a product being sold only needs to contain 10% Kona Coffee to be labeled as “Kona Coffee.” Meaning you could purchase a product you believed to be entirely Kona
Coffee but is a mixture of Kona and potentially inferior beans. In its current state, the law doesn’t stop companies from using the Kona label for low-quality, high-profit coffee that often misleads consumers. An example of this is when companies use logos and branding utilizing Hawaiian iconography (such as images of hula dancers, palm trees, or outlines of the Hawaiian Islands) but the coffee only contains 10% Kona coffee, the rest from elsewhere. Not only is this marketing deceptive, but it also competes with small farmers producing pure, 100% Kona coffee.

Hawaii Island coffee farmers have been battling for years to ensure that products marketed as Kona Coffee are grown in Kona. Legislation has been introduced to crack down on mislabeling, penalize companies that try to mislead consumers, and increase the minimum percentage of Kona Coffee required for a product to carry the label. Proposals range from 51-100% and supporters of the highest end of that range say that requiring coffee labeled as ‘Kona’ to be 100% Kona beans will safeguard the value and integrity of the brand.

Protecting the brand’s value protects local farmers’ ability to get the best prices for their products. The label "100% Kona Coffee," different than just “Kona Coffee” means that the coffee you purchase contains only coffee beans grown in the Kona District of Hawaii. This label guarantees the coffee is only pure and authentic Kona Coffee, without blending or mixing with beans from other regions. By purchasing only 100% Kona coffee, consumers not only get the best quality, but they also support small, American-owned farms that are inherently fair-trade. So not only does 100% Kona Coffee taste good, but it’s also a purchase you can feel good about. 

We are committed to crafting genuine 100% Kona Coffee

At Brazen Hazen, we’ve always been ahead of the times- only ever offering 100% Kona Coffee- no blends, no compromises. We are committed to crafting genuine 100% Kona Coffee, but even there we go a step further. Not only is our coffee 100% Kona, but it’s the top tier of 100% Kona. By selecting only the finest beans, we try to capture the true quality and essence of authenticity.

Our strict grading requirements relating to bean size and allowance of defects ensure that only the best quality beans make it to our customers. If 100% Kona Coffee is the best you can get, Brazen Hazen aims to be the best of the best.

There is no grading requirement for the final taste of Kona Coffee, so taste can still vary based on a variety of factors. The type of tree, the elevation where it grows, the health of the trees, the care involved in hand-picking only the ripest fruit, the processing of the seed, and the mills’ ability to clean, size sort and remove defective coffee from the mix can all affect taste. Finally, the roaster’s ability to highlight the unique characteristics of the coffee is instrumental in defining the final flavor. That’s why at Brazen Hazen we use the skills of a master roaster to guarantee consistency and quality every step of the way, from tree to cup. 

When purchasing Kona Coffee, make sure to read the labels so you know what you’re getting and for the best quality always insist on 100% Kona. At Brazen Hazen, you can always be sure what you’re getting; 100% Kona, 100% quality.