Since Samuel Reverend Ruggles brought Brazilian coffee plants over to Hawaii in 1828, the region of Kona has been producing coffee that is renowned for its rich flavor, distinct aromas and now more than ever, its steep price tag. The unique weather patterns that are found in the region have been and remain perfect for the plants, bright sunny mornings followed by cloudy skies and rain after noon with little wind and mild nights. Because of the distinct flavors and the popularity which followed the brand name as much as the product, it has never been a cheap option.
And now the option of a freeze-dried instant version seems to be pleasing fans both in and outside of Hawaii. For many years people have been selling cheaper versions of Kona which didn’t use the actual bean, or blended versions which mixed it with other types of coffee to make the production cheaper but still kept costs fairly high. With the introduction of a blend which is 100% Kona coffee bean, many coffee connoisseurs are contented that they can capture the scent from the porous, mineral rich volcanic soil through the vapors arising from a mug of coffee.
Coffee times are changing
It had been thought that such a pure strand of coffee bean should never be cheapened by having it mass manufactured into a slick lane, fast life, ready when you need it cup of coffee. It was believed that the true flavors could and should only be delivered in preparing the beans in a traditional and deliberate way. So what changed? The 1999 legal battle between Kona coffee farmers and cheap “Kona branded” knock-off producers certainly was a milestone in the change to accepting a convenience version of the coffee. Whilst the traditional farmers wanted to protect the way their beans were savored, if the growing demand from the world at large was for an instant variety then better it is the real thing than some lesser version being touted by opportunists taking advantage of the situation.
Preserving a legacy
So now people can access the coffee from almost anywhere — I say ‘almost’ because the near-monopoly of the coffee world is still a market in the firm grasp of a few companies whose names of course there’s no need to mention. And whilst the instant Kona can be purchased online and in supermarkets in parts of the U.S., it is still not as readily available as its popularity demands or even as it could be if more people were exposed to it. The brand was first established in the middle of the 19th century and over 160 years later it is still going strong. The increased accessibility of this instant variety will ensure that it is still a recognizable figure even after another 160 years.
This article on instant Kona coffee was supplied by the freelance writer Blizzerand.