Kona coffee is world-renowned for being one of the finest coffees available, so you can imagine my excitement when I was able to procure some for the first time. At $33 for 7 ounces, this definitely is an “occasional” type of purchase. The brand I selected was Lion Coffee, 100% Kona Coffee. I went for this brand of Kona because it is a light medium-dark roast, and I prefer my coffee to be roasted on the lighter side. In addition, it was easily available through Amazon and had great reviews, so it seemed like a pretty safe purchase.
When I smell these beans, I first notice an astringent smoky flavor. This is balanced out by notes of sweet milk chocolate on the back end. It’s not an unpleasant smell, but it’s not one of my favorites. Some coffees demand deep inhalations when you open their canister. Unfortunately, this is not one of those coffees.
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I brewed this coffee using an Aeropress, 165-degree water, and a medium-fine grind. I prefer using the Aeropress because it is simple, reliable, and gives consistent results. I like my coffee light and rich with low to balanced acidity and the Aeropress is able to consistently deliver that profile.
On to the tasting!
Now this was an interesting cup of coffee. The trait that hit me right away – even more than the taste itself – was how super clean the finish was. Most coffees have a lingering bitter finish. Not this one. The taste was sweet all the way through, and once you swallow, it’s gone. I have never in my life tasted a coffee with such a clean finish. It is this trait, in my opinion, that makes this coffee unique from any other. I was not expecting that.
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In comparison to the out-of-this-world finish, the taste was actually somewhat unremarkable. As expected (being a Hawaiian lighter roast), the acidity was muted yet balanced. The flavor notes I picked up were dark roasted malts, roasted nuts, chicory, ripe strawberry, and blueberry, but nothing came through very strong. Overall the flavor was very balanced – this coffee is meant to be a crowd-pleaser. I hesitate to use the term generic when describing the flavor, but I was hoping for something a little more unique, considering the price.
In fact, the combination of generic flavor and ultra clean finish make me wonder if this is the perfect coffee for people who don’t like coffee. It’s incredibly drinkable, but also utterly forgettable. But that said, it’s hard to really find a fault with this coffee – it is good coffee. It just can’t quite bear the weight of its price.
In conclusion, this is good coffee, but I won’t be buying it again. It’s extremely expensive and the flavors are unremarkable – what you are paying for is a super clean finish. If a clean finish is the primary attribute you are looking for in a coffee then this might be a good purchase for you. For anybody else though your money is better spent elsewhere.
Some other coffee I highly recommend –