Hawaiian coffee accounts for just .04% of the worldwide coffee market, with an annual production value of around 50 million dollars. That may seem like a small contribution to the global coffee industry, but with the number of coffee varieties you can find growing across the state, Hawaii is a specialty coffee lover’s paradise. Use this quick guide to learn more about Kauai Coffee varieties and decide which delicious bean to buy and brew next!
What is Coffee Variety?
You have heard it before, but variety really is the spice of life when it comes to coffee. In fact, it may be the single-most-important factor that determines the quality of your morning cup. If it has been a little while since your last science class, variety is a rank in the system we use to classify and name plants, also known as taxonomy.
Variety is a rank below species that differentiates groups of plants that are smaller than a species but have some characteristics that are similar and some that differ from the species. It may be most helpful to think of coffee varieties the same way you think about grapes and wine. For example, you may already be familiar with some of the grape varieties that make wine like merlot, chardonnay, and zinfandel. While they are all grapes, the subtle differences in how they grow and taste make all the difference in the wine they produce.
Kauai Coffee Varieties
There are more than 100 species of coffee across the world, but Arabica and Robusta are the two most prominently used to make the caffeinated concoction we all love. Kauai Coffee is the largest coffee estate in the United States with 4 million trees planted on nearly 3,000 acres of volcanic soil. We grow Arabica coffee and cultivate the following varieties:
Acaia is a rare variety originating from Brazil and closely related to Mundo Novo. It produces a larger bean and fruit that when roasted has a sweet fragrance with hints of chocolate, caramel and nut, finishing with citrus and tea-rose as it cools.
Catuai (Red and Yellow)
Red and Yellow Catuai make up approximately 80% of the coffee grown on our farm. It is derived from a cross between the highly productive Mundo Novo and compact Caturra varieties making it an ideal choice for Kauai. Catuai produces a high yield of fruit and grows well in full sun and at higher altitudes. When roasted, Catuai coffee produces a sweet aroma and earthy notes. Try Catuai Coffee in any of our 100% Kauai Coffees.
Kauai Blue Mountain
When it comes to the most sought-after types of coffee in the world, the Jamaican Blue Mountain varietal is often placed at the top of the list. Known for its sweet, floral taste, bright acidity and lack of bitterness, Authentic Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is one of the rarest and most expensive coffees available.
However, did you know that the Blue Mountain variety now grows in other regions around the world? In 1990 Kauai Coffee acquired the Blue Mountain Varietal from the University of Hawaii Trial plot and planted a single field for study. Once our field was established the Kauai Blue Mountain variety was born. Our dark roast Kauai Blue Mountain is a customer favorite because it is smooth, mild and well-balanced with malty and fruity flavors.
Mundo Novo coffee plants are extremely productive and produce a high-quality cup. Mundo Novo coffee trees can grow taller than other varieties and originates from Brazil. The Kauai Coffee Estate Reserve Mundo Novo is a dark roast with bold, nutty, and woody flavor notes. It makes for an exceptional cup of coffee with a wonderfully smooth finish.
According to World Coffee Research, Typica is one of the most culturally and genetically important varieties of Arabica coffee in the world. It grows very well at higher altitudes and produces a larger coffee bean than some of the other varieties grown at Kauai Coffee. It’s also the genetic origin of other well-known and loved varieties such as Jamaican Blue, Kona and Java. Try the Kauai Coffee Estate Reserve Typica for a flavorful and well-balanced coffee with a hint of tartness and ripe berry.
A natural mutation of Typica originating in Brazil, Yellow Bourbon is known for its high quality and high yield. Sweet and floral when roasted with hints of fruit, rounding off with spice and milk chocolate.
Shop for 100% Kauai Coffee online to find your favorite variety today. Want to see where your coffee grows? Visit the Kauai Coffee Estate for a guided Farm Tour or free self-guided walking tour and sample.
Icatu is a high yield varietal with a good resistance to leaf rust. Icatu was recently planted on the Kauai Coffee farm and the first crop was harvested in 2021.