Kona Coffee is a delicious coffee hailing from the Kona districts on the Big Island of Hawaii. One of the more expensive Gourmet Coffees in the world, Kona Coffee is much sought after. The rich flavor and complex aroma are more than enough to win hearts and palates.
I say we can absolutely love this delicacy being available in the convenience of pods. Let’s take a look at some of the best Kona Coffee K-Cups available, and how you can be sure you’re getting the real deal, not some cheap knockoff.
Best Kona Pods For 2019
- Blue Horse Kona Coffee K Cups 100% Kona Coffee: Best Overall, with great taste, aroma, and practices for farming and processing coffee.
- 100% Kona Coffee Single Serve Cups By Hualalai Estate: Runner Up. Authentic taste and recyclable plastic pods.
- Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee K Cups Kona Classic: Excellent Blend with easy availability across retail chains and e-commerce platforms.
- 100 Ct. Solimo Medium Roast Coffee Pods, Kona Blend: Best value for money.
- Maud’s Kona Coffee Blend (Kona Coast), 100ct.: Good value for money, low acidity, single-origin, fair trade certified, and recyclable plastic pods.
- Caza Trail Coffee, Kona Blend: Good value, lovely aroma.
- San Francisco Bay OneCup, Kona Blend, Single Serve Coffee K-Cup Pods: Excellent taste, masterful blend, and compostable pods.
- Don Francisco’s Kona Blend: Good value for money.
- Cameron’s Coffee Single Serve Pods, Kona Blend: Compostable pods, and good value for money.
Buying The Right Kona Coffee Pods
What Are 100% Kona Coffee K Cups?
Many companies throw off the name Kona in their marketing. Much of it can be misleading. Only coffee grown in the Kona Districts of the Big Island in Hawaii can be considered Kona.
The State of Hawaii has been trying to fight off the duplicates with the “100% Kona Coffee certification.” Of course, people have found a way around, especially with blends. Some diligence on the part of the customer can ensure they have the authentic product. Simple things like looking for the certification and checking for possible blends goes a long way.
Kona Coffee Blends
Kona is an expensive coffee, so blending it with other coffees is a way to reduce costs. Many of these blends use just about the minimum required 10% Kona, while other coffees fill up the rest.
Some companies and sellers also use the moniker 100% Kona Coffee in their blends, which represents only the rather small amount of original Kona used in the blend. This goes against the grain for the real 100% Kona Coffee packaging, where the entire coffee has been sourced from Hawaii.
It is worth noting that while Kona Coffee exclusively comes from Hawaii, not all Hawaii coffee is Kona. Similarly, though Kona is made from Arabica beans, the distinct flavor is by virtue of the region where it is grown.
9 Kona K-Cups Of Note
1. Blue Horse Kona Coffee K Cups 100% Kona Coffee
Blue Horse is my top choice for the best Kona 100% Kona Coffee K cups. The coffee is grown on a family farm with a lot of attention to detail. The beans used are pesticide-free, ensuring that chemicals don’t alter the taste of the coffee.
Where taste is concerned, Blue Horse delivers authentic Kona coffee taste and aroma. It’s a lovely balance of bitter and sweet, while the aroma is complex and rich.
Beans used for these K cups are hand-picked, sun-dried, and rainwater-wasted. They pretty much follow the conventional way to deliver the taste and flavor that has made Kona coffee famous.
You’ll notice Blue Horse K-cups are expensive compared to several other gourmet coffees. Kona Coffee is expensive, and its blends that manage to reduce the price. Since this is 100% Kona, the price is pretty much in line.
2. 100% Kona Coffee Single Serve Cups By Hualalai Estate
Another offering of 100% pure Kona coffee K cups, Hualalai Estate K Cups presents a great flavor and taste. Each box includes 12 single-serve cups. The icing on the cake here is that the cups are recyclable. Rather than the plastic ending up in landfills, the cups may be put to better use.
Each K-cup includes 11 grams of coffee, which is one gram more than what convention cups hold. It’s a small change, but you get more coffee per cup and better taste.
The pesticide-free coffee is grown on the slopes of the Hualalai Volcano, which gives the estate its name. The medium-dark roast gives the coffee a great taste. It has excellent flavor and stops short of going bitter.
While the coffee tastes good, the cups sure could have been better quality. On some occasions, the coffee grounds find their way into the cup. That’s a rather annoying problem, considering the cost of the K cups.
3. Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee K Cups Kona Classic
Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee K Cups Kona Classic is widely available and fairly well known. The sellers proudly declare that this Kona blend can be seen in several retail chains, including Walmart and Walgreens. It is perhaps the most easily accessible Kona coffee blend available at a store near you.
Kona Classic is a medium roast, expected to be suitable for most people. The coffee used is packaged at their facility in Oahu. As a blend, these K cups do include Kona Coffee, though the cups contain Arabica beans sourced from all over the world.
Though it offers excellent taste, do keep in mind, this is a blend. Kona Coffee forms about 10% of the mix, while other beans take up the rest. This is true for most blends, and worth noting since they form a majority of products available in this niche.
4. 100 Ct. Solimo Medium Roast Coffee Pods, Kona Blend
Solimo is an Amazon company that is geared towards offering excellent value. And this product does exactly that. Solimo Kona Coffee blend uses 10% Kona, and the rest of the beans are sourced from Latin America. The pods are compatible with Keurig 1.0 and 2.0 K-cup brewers.
Solimo claims that the coffee has a “Delicate body, vibrant acidity and a soft, subtle aroma”. It is smooth and has a balanced flavor. Keep in mind, that this coffee is geared towards value, rather than taste. Each K cup costs mere cents and a box of 100 cups costs barely more than 10 cups of 100% Kona Coffee.
That isn’t to say that this coffee is terrible to taste or drink. But if you want a taste of Kona, this isn’t it. To their credit, the Solimo medium roast coffee pods can stand their ground against other blends.
5. Maud’s Kona Coffee Blend (Kona Coast), 100ct.
Another blend with great value, Maud’s Kona Coffee Blend (Kona Coast) employs premium beans to great effect. The coffee is a blend of 10% Kona and 90% Arabica beans sourced from other parts of the world.
The beans used are single-origin, Fair Trade Certified, while the pods are made from #5 recyclable plastic. It is a medium roast designed to satisfy most palates, and it does help that the coffee is flavorful. Maud’s Kona blend has an undertone of chocolate-nutty flavor and balances the bitter and sweet aspects pretty well. The low acidity of the blend adds another feather in its cap.
Maud’s Kona coffee blend is available in a box containing 100 pods, all compatible with Keurig 1.0 and 2.0.
6. Caza Trail Coffee, Kona Blend
Caza Trail’s Kona blend uses coffee from Hawaii and Latin America to go along its 10% Kona coffee. A blend of Arabica beans, this is a medium roast aimed at pleasing most people. The kosher-certified K-cups are compatible with Keurig 1.0 and 2.0 brewers.
A wonderful aroma accompanies each cup of coffee. As for taste, it is somewhat balanced with flowery undertones. The seller says that this coffee has a “vibrant” acidity. It makes an excellent contribution to the flavor and body of the coffee. However, if you’re looking for a coffee with low acidity, this certainly isn’t it.
Overall, it does taste better than expected. Certainly nowhere close to 100% Kona, but a delicious blend nevertheless.
7. San Francisco Bay OneCup, Kona Blend, Single Serve Coffee K-Cup Pods
A delicious Kona blend in environmentally responsible pods, the San Francisco Bay OneCup certainly leaves an impression. It’s specially designed pods are compatible with Keurig, Bunn, and Cuisinart single-serve brewer. Now that’s quite a healthy variety of coffee makers at your disposal!
Pods used are commercially compostable, making them environmentally friendly compared to the usual fare of plastic pods. The pods have a paper lidding, mesh filter, and a plant-based ring.
San Francisco Bay OneCup Kona blend uses premium coffee for its blend to add to the flavor. The company ensures that the coffee is responsibly sourced, apart from being delicious. They are known to pick coffee beans grown in a 100% shaded environment, for better flavored coffee. Overall, these pods bring a satisfying and tasty cup of coffee.
8. Don Francisco’s Kona Blend
Don Francisco’s Kona Blend offers excellent value and strives to marry it with taste. The medium roast blend is made using medium roast Arabica beans sourced from around the world. The combination creates a coffee that has subtle fruity notes for taste and a lovely floral aroma.
Interestingly, the company has been a family-run business since 1870. As a long-running family business, they certainly have put pains into ensuring the quality and value of their product.
9. Cameron’s Coffee Single Serve Pods, Kona Blend
Cameron’s Coffee Single Serve Pods beautifully match the value-for-money proposition with environmental sustainability. The pods are commercially compostable. As long as you have access to a facility that can handle these pods, you can be sure they won’t see a landfill.
The pods have paper lidding and a mesh filter. As you can imagine, the mesh filter works better for taste than the conventional plastic cups that are widely used.
As for the blend itself, the taste is fairly good. Made from premium coffee, Cameron’s Kona blend has a rich aroma and the taste has undertones of chocolate and nuts.
Choosing The Right Pods
Finding the best Kona Coffee K-cups is an exercise in several factors, including your personal choice. As an expensive gourmet coffee, you may prefer to consider costs and choose blends over 100% Kona coffee. Of course, quality and value for money make for compelling arguments as well. I have listed the products above in the hope that they will be helpful in making an informed decision. Included are most factors generally considered, ranging from cost to proper disposal of the cups – and everything in between.