Hawaii resolution sets Kona coffee blends to 51 %

Hawaii resolution sets Kona coffee blends to 51%

November 10 - 2021 Coffee Geography Magazine

Hawaii State Council passed a stricter resolution that changes the current state law which allows distributors to use Hawaii names like Kona and Ka’u on coffee products that contain as little as 10 percent of beans from the named area to at least 51 percent Hawaii-grown to use geographic names in their labeling. The present policy is too lenient and enables large distributors to push local farmers out of the market. It’s also damaging to their brand

“When consumers are misled into believing that ‘Kona’ blends are (genuine) Kona coffee, and they are disappointed by the taste of those blends, our heritage coffees … are permanently damaged,” coffee farmer Bruce Corker said during the meeting.


The resolution was introduced by Councilman HolekaInaba, from North Kona, Hawaii who now plans to reach out to state legislators directly to facilitate swift action at the next legislative session, which begins in January.

hawaii map

Roughly 600 Kona coffee growers, including Corker, filed a lawsuit against major coffee retailers, including Safeway, Walmart, and Amazon, in 2019 for labeling coffee that did not originate from Kona as “Kona” blends. Some of those companies have offered preliminary settlements totaling more than $13 million, as it was reported by CGM at the time.

Genuine Kona Coffee is highly prized throughout the world for its full bodied flavor and pleasing aroma. Coffee trees thrive on the cool slopes of the Hualalai and Mauna Loa Mountains in rich volcanic soil and afternoon cloud cover. ... Coffee trees typically bloom after Kona's dry winters and are harvested in autumn.

The main differences between 100% Kona Coffee and a Kona Blend is that a 10% Kona Blend will taste like the predominate 90% cheaper coffee used in its blend. Almost none of the flavor notes that make 100% Kona Coffee special will show through at such a low percentage.