I am a big fan of Kona coffee, and while not many coffees will beat out a perfectly roasted and brewed cup of Kona in my book, it is well worth noting that there is a lot of coffee grown in Hawaii outside of Kona and a lot of it is really excellent – and more affordable than pure Kona. Trader Joe’s 100% Hawaiian Coffee is one of these. This coffee is a single-plantation coffee grown in Hawaii but outside of the Kona area. Trader Joe’s won’t say exactly which plantation produces the beans, but at less than half the price of Kona beans, it’s worth a little mystery.
This coffee is a very dark roast with strong earthy flavors and a hint of smokiness. It does not have the berry overtones than some of my favorite dark roasts have, and instead has a woodsy and slightly spicy finish to it that reminds me of cloves. TJ’s says it makes good espresso, and I can see that because it’s clear that this is an all around coffee. It blends very well with milk and would stand up to the other flavors in something like a mocha or vanilla latte.