Big Island Coffee Roasters Kona Peaberry Review

By

Bryan Huynh

on February 27, 2024

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Kona coffee frequently appears on lists of the world's greatest beans, but unless you reside in Hawaii, getting your hands on these delectable beans can be challenging. Supporting companies like this makes the coffee taste even better in my opinion. I was fortunate enough to sample the whole bean Kona Peaberry offered by Big Island Coffee Roasters. The Kona Peaberry coffee had a delicate, subtle flavor, and the beans were some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Continue reading to hear my full review on the Big Island Kona Peaberry! Check out our Coffee Clubs page to compare and read reviews of our favorite coffee clubs!

Background

Big Island Coffee Roasters is a coffee company situated in the Puna area of Hawaii. The founders discovered a small coffee farm on Craigslist and dived deeply into the complicated industry of small batch coffee. The founders of Big Island Coffee Roasters collaborated with other local coffee producers, and won many Hawaiian coffee awards. Their main goal was to share the diverse, authentic Hawaiian coffees and the stories behind them. Each package is milled in small batches, roasted to order, specialty grade.

Big Island is an environmentally conscious organization, which I appreciate. The business works hard to source sustainable coffee from Hawaiian growers and runs entirely on renewable energy. They provide fair rates to local farmers and donate to wildlife rescue and habitat restoration groups.

Since 2015, Big Island Coffee Roasters has appropriately funded over $2 million in coffee producers. Every year, they hold give-back campaigns, with earnings helping organizations including national parks, Project Hawai'i, and the Ocean Film Festival, among others. The company has also given back to the Puna community, a historically underprivileged area, and was recognized with a Hawaii Senate Certificate for its efforts!

Summary 

This 100% Kona Peaberry coffee received the highest grade and the finest Kona peaberry in a cupping of Hawaiian coffees for Coffee Review's May 2019 tasting report. Peaberry coffees have such a stronger aroma, sweetness, and lipid density than normal coffee beans. These Kona peaberry beans can be compared to the "only child" of a coffee cherry, gaining all of the nutrients to itself.

Peaberry coffees are extremely rare, accounting for about 3-7% of the whole harvest. These pea-shaped natural coffee bean structures are considered to occur when multiple pistils are pushed off of the coffee flower, resulting in only one seed forming inside the coffee fruit instead of two.

Big Island's whole bean Kona Peaberry was lovely and aromatic, with a great medium-light roast. They yielded a robust and sweet coffee with distinct aromas of chocolate, cinnamon, and fruit. In a nutshell, this coffee is amazing!

Region: Kona District, Kealakekua growing region, Big Island of Hawai'i

Processing: Washed

Suggested Brewing Ratio: 17:1

Roast: Medium-Light

Tasting Notes: Caramel, plum, cinnamon, a hint of cacao and cedar; deeply sweet and rich. Pros

  • Choice of roast level and grind size
  • Steeping sachets are fully compostable
  • Great for pour-over or French press brewing
  • Eco-conscious company
  • Fully Hawaiian coffee
  • Hawaiian Coffee of the Month Club available

Cons

  • Pricey, like most Kona coffee
  • Shipping fees for smaller orders

Buying the Product

Big Island's ordinary coffee is packaged in high-quality bags that include a variety of useful information like tasting notes, roast dates, and processing processes. If you're thinking of gifting Kona coffee as a gift, I would highly recommend Big Island. It's a bit pricey, but considering the quality of the beans and the company's sustainability methods, that's not surprising, and it's good to see packaging that seems appropriately elegant.

A great part about Big Island Coffee Roaster’s is that you are able to purchase the exact coffee bean that you want! Additionally, you can choose to build your own bundles or simply sign up for the Hawaiian Coffee of the Month Club. The club is best suited for those who don’t mind a bit of a surprise. You'll get access to the world's largest selection of 100% Hawaiian coffees. Each month, members experience unique, new Hawaiian & Kona coffees ranging from Kona Red Bourbon to Kauai Yellow Caturra.

Choose your preferred roast level and grind type, and the featured Hawaiian coffees will come freshly roasted and tailored to your taste. Your coffee beans are sent every four weeks, and arrive freshly roasted. Do you want to add a month to your membership or skip a month? You can easily make that change.

This Medium-Light roast coffee enhances the classically delicate, subtle Kona Typica profile. If you have the option, I would always recommend buying freshly roasted coffee beans. This will avoid the ones that have been sitting on shelves for a long time. Orders are roasted Sunday through Friday and mailed Monday through Friday. Roast dates are added to each order's bags. Packages cannot be sent on Saturdays or Sundays.

Big Island Coffee Roaster - $19.00 (Free shipping on orders over $79 to all U.S. states. 

Orders under $79 ship via USPS for $5.95.)

Standard: 5 - 8 business days after your order is placed.

Fastest: 2 - 4 business days: $25.50

Learn more about Big Island Coffee Roasters here!

Results

A nice touch that this packaging offers is a resealable zip. Most coffee bags you have to cut or it comes with a small clip but the seal ensures your coffee beans will be safe and last longer. From the moment I opened it, I knew that this was going to be a great experience. This medium-light roast is very easy to drink and you will get hooked. I have been drinking this everyday since I opened it and don’t think I'll stop anytime soon. The aroma and cup characteristics include black cherry, magnolia, fresh-cut cedar, maple syrup, and a dash of thyme. Structured with sweet undertones and round, soft acidity; rich, syrupy mouthfeel. A resonant finish with flavors of black cherry and cedar. The tasting notes did not lie one bit, I could taste each aspect! Big Island Coffee Roaster’s lets you enjoy the amazing cherry aroma, medium acidity, smoothness, and unique taste of Kona peaberry coffee no matter where you are in the world. 

I would give the Big Island Coffee Roaster’s Kona Peaberry a cupping score of 93/100. In accordance with the Total Score Quality Classification, it would be considered outstanding, also known as a specialty coffee.

Cupping Scores

Published by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. The Cupping Form allows you to note the following coffee flavor qualities: Fragrance/Aroma, Flavor, Aftertaste, Acidity, Body, Balance, Uniformity, Clean Cup, Sweetness, Defects, and Overall. These are evaluated on a 16-point scale indicating quality levels in quarter-point increments ranging from 6 to 9. To score your coffee, go through each specific flavor attribute and mark the points based on your own personal appraisal. 

Quality Scale

  • Good: 6-6:75
  • Very good: 7 - 7.75
  • Excellent: 8 - 8.75
  • Outstanding: 9 - 9.75

The Final Score is calculated by adding the individual scores for each of the key criteria in the "Total Score" box. Defects are then subtracted from the “Total Score” to arrive at a “Final Score.” The Scoring Key below has shown to be an effective technique to represent the range of coffee quality for the Final Score.

Bottom Line

Big Island Coffee Roasters has been dedicated to developing and showcasing Hawaii's coffee quality and diversity. Not only will you get great tasting brews, you are supporting a great cause that Big Island is working towards. Coffee lovers out there, this is your sign to ditch your old brews. If you aren’t scared to try something new, then why not give it a shot? This is best suited for those who enjoy medium-light roasts. The Big Island Coffee Roasters Kona Peaberry brewed a great tasting AND smelling cup of coffee. This medium-light roast develops tasting notes of caramel, plum, cinnamon, with a hint of cacao and cedar. You can expect this cup of coffee to be rich-toned and deeply sweet.If you don't believe me, try it yourself and try to taste each flavor with each mouthful. If you are not really interested in Hawaiian coffee, return to our coffee reviews! We've sampled a lot of coffee. Check these out to see if their more your taste: 

Big Island Coffee Roasters Kona Noir Review

Atlas Coffee India Roast Review

Atlas Coffee Ethiopia Roast Review

Atlas Coffee Ecuador Coffee Review

Atlas Coffee Tanzania Blend Review

About the Author

Product Tester & Writer

Bryan Huynh

Product Tester & Writer

Bryan Huynh is a determined Product Tester & Writer. Being a coffee addict, it is only right that he mainly tests and reviews different coffee from around the world and coffee subscription services.

Bryan Huynh is a determined Product Tester & Writer. Being a coffee addict, it is only right that he mainly tests and reviews different coffee from around the world and coffee subscription services.