American Coffee Beans

Region: North America
Profile: Earthy, woody
Production: 234 million lbs (1.2% global production)
Global Rank: 15
Varieties: 100% Arabica, 0% Robusta, 0% Liberica

American Coffee Overview

Only two US states grow coffee commercially: Hawaii and California.

We’ll start with Hawaii because they’re famous for the Kona bean, which you’ve undoubtedly heard of. Kona coffee is grown on the western coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on the slopes of two active volcanoes: Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Like other elite coffee-growing regions, Kona offers high elevations and plenty of rain and sun, but Kona also has near-permanent cloud cover shielding the coffee plants from destructive direct sunshine. The resulting coffee is sweet with hints of berry and lemon, though there’s a surprising amount of variation between the many tightly-packed farms.

And Kona isn’t the only coffee-growing region in Hawaii. Almost every island produces its own distinct coffee. Kauai and Molokai both produce coffees which are much mellower and smoother than a traditional Kona bean.

California has begun growing coffee commercially as well, though the volume is much smaller than Hawaii.

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