Sea Island Hawaii Kona

Sea Island Hawaii Kona
Sea Island Hawaii Kona
Country: USA
Region: Hawaii
Brand: Sea Island

Sea Island Coffee is an "exotic coffee merchant" at the pricier end of the market. As the name suggests, their focus is on island coffees with offerings from Jamaica and, as here, Hawaii – however, their full range covers the all of the major coffee producing areas.

They also offer a range of Kopi Luwak coffees, although they expand the definition to include Jacu bird and even bat "processed" beans.

While both trendy and reassuringly expensive, I'm not a huge fan of "poo coffee". Partly this is because I'm unconvinced that my tastebuds are sensitive enough to detect any benefit, but a bigger issue is the well documented animal welfare concerns around some of the producers.

This is Greenwell Estate Private Reserve Hawaii Kona, and is produced in a more conventional, digestion-free manner. At £16 for 125g, it's one of the more expensive coffees I've had – but does the taste justify the price?

The grounds have a warm, sweet aroma with a little white wine vinegar acidity and just a touch of creamy milk chocolate.

Brewed, the sweetness is reduced and a more fruity character of sharp redcurrants starts to put in an appearance.

In the mouth, it's surprisingly delicate; a soft acidity balanced with gentle red fruit hits the tongue first, fading to a tea-like tannic finish. While it's on the mild side for my normal tastes, it's refreshing and goes well with a hot sunny day in a way that a big, aggressive coffee isn't.

Tasty, but probably not enough to justify such a high price tag. Given that price, 3.5 stars.

This review was originally published 16th June, 2014. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.