Kona, on the west coast of Hawaii, has produced coffee since the early 1800’s. Kona’s sunny mornings and cloudy afternoons provide the perfect climate the coffee plant prefers. That along with rich volcanic soil, and the amazing amount of hand-labor and care help produce one of the smoothest premium coffees in the world.
Lions Gate sits on 10-acres right in the middle of the Kona coffee belt.
Our Kona coffee is grown on “heirloom” trees that are from 60 to 100 years old. Like a fine wine grape, age adds body and depth to coffee.
Kona is ripe from September through December and each one of our 3,000 trees must be hand-picked several times during the season. Once picked, we pulp and process the coffee cherry immediately to prevent spoilage.
Once milled, we spread the wet beans out in the sun on a “hoshidana” drying rack. This allows the beans to slowly seal up and preserves the flavor. The drying coffee is called “parchment” or Kona Gold because there is a golden skin covering the bean.
Once dry, beans are milled to remove the parchment skin, and graded. Only beans which grade (primarily by size) as Prime and above can be called “Kona”, the remainder is called “Hawaiian”. Finally, green Kona ready to roast! It takes about 7 pounds of cherry to get to one pound of roast.
Our coffee carries the Seal of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association for 100% Kona Coffee. We are a certified Estate grower, meaning we only sell coffee from our farm.
What is Estate Coffee?
Estate Coffee is the product of one farm, unmixed with crops from other farms, and processed through to roast under the control of the estate farm. This produces a set of unique coffees, each with their own label, comparable to the different wines from the individual estates in the Napa Region of California, for example, as opposed to a generic wine from mixed grapes.
Our Estate-grade is the top three bean sizes (Extra Fancy, Fancy and #1) all grown and processed here at Lions Gate.
Our Roasts – Medium and Dark
We roast several times a week and rarely ship coffee that is more than 3 days old. Fresh is good!
Coffee roasting is an art, and we continuously watch the bean during the process to ensure that the color and consistency match the desired roast. Contrary to common sense, a dark roast is lighter and less caffeinated than a medium roast. This is because the roasting process removes some of the bean’s natural oils and acids, leaving a dark roast with a lighter flavor. Most coffee professionals recommend a medium roast for Kona as more bean, instead of roast, flavor comes through, but taste is highly subjective. Try your favorite today.
Our medium roast is a brown bean with a dry surface. This roast highlights the smooth Kona flavor, and is never harsh or bitter. Many say it tastes slightly nutty. Surprisingly, has more “kick” than our dark roast. Medium roast is also called “City Plus”. Typically the preferred roast of our East Coast and Midwestern customers.
Our dark roast is a rich, dark bean with only a touch of sheen. The carmelized sugars in a dark roast give it a mellow full-bodied”coffee” flavor with a smooth, not bitter, aftertaste . The taste is unrivaled by any other varietal. This roast goes well as an after-dinner drink or for those who like to breakfast with an excellently smooth and flavorful cup. This roast is also called “Full City”. Preferred by our West coast and Asian customers.
If you prefer to roast your own beans, we will gladly ship you green coffee. Our green is 100% Lions Gate Estate Kona, as is all our coffee.