Kona Coffee is one of the crown jewels of the coffee industry. It's coffee picked from the Hawaii's world-renown Kona Belt which due to its unique climate produces some of the smoothest and most low-acid coffees in the world. As such, the Kona coffee market can often be a mixed bag and so finding the best Kona coffee brand can be a little tricky. Some brands use less than pure Kona beans while others sell blends with less than 10% of actual Kona. While there's certainly a market for these products, they don't necessarily appeal to those looking for the genuine Kona coffee experience and can confuse newcomers to this space.
Looking for True Kona Coffee?
In my quest to find the best Kona coffee available, I came across Royal Kona whose tagline is “Coffee For Royalty”. That's a bold statement that sets the bar quite high. They offered to send us a bag of their 100% Kona Medium Roast Private Reserve for us to put their tagline to the test. I happily obliged.
Before jumping right into my experiences with this premium Kona coffee, it's worth providing a brief background on the company. Royal Kona has been around since 1969 and since then has earned a stellar reputation as one of the best Kona coffee brands on the market. They are actually the largest Kona Coffee roaster in the world and are the leading supplier of coffee to Hawaii's hotels, restaurants, and retail stores. While an impressive resume doesn't always equate to good coffee, it's often at least some indication of quality. If you'd like to learn more about what to look for when shopping for Kona coffee, check out our Kona coffee guide.
Royal Kona Review
As soon as I opened the bag, an enticing aroma filled the entire kitchen. It was deeply fragrant and very strong. My family members, who would also have the opportunity to try this coffee, were thoroughly impressed by its engrossing scent.
I'm not one to normally drink my coffee black, but when in conducting this Royal Kona review, I was happy to make the exception in order to fully savor all of the coffee's nuanced flavors. The first thing that jumped out to me was its unsurpassed smoothness. To even call this coffee smooth would be an understatement as there was literally zero bitterness. In truth, it had me redefining my standards for what I considered to be smooth coffee. The brew was full-bodied and offered a wonderful velvety texture from start to finish. Coffee lovers who have sensitive stomachs will especially appreciate this coffee for its low-acidity. Prior to drinking this coffee, I considered Gevalia as being one of the smoothest coffees I'd ever tasted. However, having tried Royal Kona's Private Reserve, I can now say this is the smoothest coffee I've ever tried. I now understand why Royal Kona is considered by coffee connoisseurs the best Kona coffee around. It's deeply rich flavor is intense but at no point overwhelming making it an impeccably well-balanced cup of coffee. My family members who in my opinion qualify has coffee snobs fell in love with this coffee as well. Strange as this may sound, drinking this coffee each morning helped set a positive tone of the rest of the day.
After drinking this coffee black for a few days, I decided to try it with cream. A friend of mine had gifted me some fresh cream right from her ranch so I was eager to use it with this coffee. The results were nothing short of magnificent. I loved the coffee black. But the fresh cream gave the brew a thickness that brought my Kona coffee experience to a whole new level.
In concluding this Royal Kona review, it's no wonder at all why this is ranked by many as hands-down the highest quality Kona coffee available. True Kona coffee isn't cheap and buyers should beware of Kona coffee brands that sell their coffee at extremely low prices. In those cases, chances are that it's a blend or made with less than pure Kona coffee beans. Royal Kona sells a 7oz bag for $19.99 (if you buy direct from Royal Kona). I can tell you that any aversions to paying this much for coffee will disappear when you taste it. It's worth every penny in my book and I look forward to enjoying this as a regular part of my coffee life.