The prevalence of single-serve coffee makers has been rapidly growing for the past couple of years. It’s easy to see why: you pop in one k-cups, or pod, and out comes your favorite coffee. But what about kona coffee lovers? It can be confusing with all those coffee pods, k-cups and capsules. This guide is designed to help everyone enjoy the smooth taste of kona coffee from their single serve coffee maker of choice. Also, if you haven’t bought a single-serve coffeemaker yet but want to know which one will give you the best kona coffee, stay tuned as we will recommend a single-serve machine for each category.
100% Kona Coffee vs. Kona Blend
This is a reminder that there is a big difference between coffee that declares itself to be ‘100% Kona’ and ‘Kona Blend’. Kona blend coffee is usually only 10% kona coffee beans and the rest is coffee from other regions. The 10% means that for every cup of coffee, there’s only a few beans of actual kona in the coffee. We will highlight both 100% and Kona Blend coffees in this guide so make sure you know which one you want when you order it.
100% Kona K-Cups:
1. Hawaii’s 1st Coffee Store
This small family farm on Maui roasts their kona coffee in small batches immediately prior to shipping to you. Their coffee is made up of two grades: Fancy and Kona #1. They conform to Hawaii’s strict standard of what can be considered 100% kona and do it while keeping their prices budget-friendly.
Hawaiian Mountain Gold is actually owned by another company named Ferrari coffee. Whatever the arrangement is, they have 100% pure kona in k-cups. They frequently sell out, so keep checking back if you find that it’s out of stock (such is the norm for small family farms).
Update: last time we checked these k-cups were going for $400 a box on Amazon?!! We used to have Pooki’s Mahi as our #1 recommended k-cup, but we can’t in good conscience recommend it at that price. If the price comes back down then we’ll probably recommend it #1 again.
Pooki’s Mahi is a company based out of Oahu (that’s the island with Honolulu on it). The coffee beans themselves are all 100% kona coffee and come from various farms in the kona coffee belt. The taste profile of these k-cups is: robust with hints of wine, and a spicy finish. What does that mean? Expect any treats with berries or ginger to pair extremely well with this coffee. Each case contains 24 k-cups with a price per cup of $1.67. For 100% kona coffee that is actually a really good deal.
Hawaii Roasters is another company that just released their 100% kona keurig-compatible coffee. The combination of sun-dried and medium roast means that the coffee is brighter than your average cup of kona. Of course kona coffee has always been incredibly smooth, and Hawaii Roasters’ brew is no exception.
These cases only have 10 k-cups per case, meaning that the average price per k-cup is $2.10. That means that Pooki’s Mahi coffee is actually cheaper overall, even though the cost of the container is more.
5. Green Mountain Limited Edition 100% Kona Coffee
Update: they are temporarily sold out. We’ll update this page when they’re back in stock.
I had the chance to try out Green Mountain’s 100% Kona coffee back when it first became available last year, and it was amazing. It’s expensive ($49.99 total and $3.12 per k-cup), but if taste is your number one priority then it is totally worth it.
The only reason we have it #3 on this list is that it is extremely limited and Green Mountain only offers it at certain times each year. But if you want the best quality kona coffee that your Keurig can make, go for the Green Mountain.
Even though these K-cups come from a Hawaii-based company and are called ‘Kona Classic’, they are actually a blend: which means 10% kona coffee.
That being said, the k-cups are reasonably priced: you get 2 boxes of 10 k-cups each. They work for all Keurig brewers, with the exception of the newer Vue models. Click their Amazon page below for more details.
Tully’s Kona Blend coffee manages to capture the distinguishing flavors of kona coffee. When you first coffee in your Keurig machine, you’ll notice a distinct floral aroma. The coffee itself is smooth and nutty at first, which gives way to a citrusy aftertaste. For a kona blend it sure tastes just like how 100% kona usually tastes. This K-Cup Package has 18 k-cups, but if you want to save money they also offer larger versions of Tully’s kona coffee, up to 108 count. Click through to find out more:
Most Kona coffees lay on a continuum: sweet on one side and tart on the other. Some even manage to land a perfect balance of both worlds. The Caza Trail Kona Blend coffee leans more on the tart side. It’s has a light and delicate body, which means that the coffee doesn’t sit on your tongue for too long. The smell reminds you of Hawaiian flora in the morning, which is a wonderful aroma to wake up to!
This pack isn’t just Kona coffee, it’s a collection of gourmet coffees and teas from all over the world. It’s a 22 count K-cup package that contains, in addition to Kona Blend: Italian Blend, Breakfast Blend, Hazelnut, Mexican Organic, Kahlua original, and many more. It makes a great gift if you aren’t sure what they like, or are new to the coffee game and want to try an eclectic mix of gourmet coffees from around the world.
How to Get 100% Kona Coffee for your Keurig Brewer:
What if you want to brew 100% kona coffee with your Keurig Brewer? Unfortunately there currently isn’t any ready-made 100% kona k-cups available, but there are some very easy ways to get 100% kona coffee through your Keurig machine.
Pod Adapter – There are adapters that enable to you to use coffee pods in place of K-cups, which opens you up to a whole new world of coffee types and flavors.
Grind your own and use a reusable K-Cup Filter – With this option you can buy whole bean coffee and simply use a reusable K-cup filters. Keurig recommends that you grind coffee on ‘french press’ mode (or if you have a hand grinder: 8-10 seconds). If you don’t have a coffee grinder, then go to any cafe and have them grind your coffee for a french press (I know Starbucks offers this service for free!).
Kona Coffee Pods
Pods are just like K-Cups except that they work in a variety of single-serve coffee makers, including: Cuisinart, Krups and Senseo. For a full compatibility list, check out this compilation from CoffeeWiz
1. Aloha Island Coffee Organic 100% Pure Kona Coffee Pods
This coffee from Aloha Island might have been my favorite of the single-serving coffees, if only because of the low-acidity. If you have trouble with acidic coffees, this one is a great to enjoy kona coffee without troubling your stomach. This medium-roast coffee also comes in very convenient 8 gram packages, which means that its compatible with all major pod-taking coffee machines (some can only take a maximum of 10 grams).
Those who follow this blog know that I’m a bit of a chocolate lover. When it comes to coffee pods the Senseo coffee pods had a sweet aroma and very distinct chocolaty notes. It reminded me of Starbucks’s Verona Blend (although not as darkly roasted).
Reunion island has made a kona coffee pod is almost as smooth as any kona coffee brewed in a french press. The delicate taste complements the floral aromas that are abundant in each cup. This one is a really tasty coffee.