As the name implies, Hawaiian Queen Coffee specializes in Hawaiian coffee. Hawaiian coffee is always a bit of a treat to try because it is the only place in America where coffee is grown and supply is pretty limited, so it is hard to come by.
The Private Reserve 100% Kona Coffee was listed as a medium roast, but upon opening the bag, it definitely seemed closer to a dark or French roast. The aroma carried with it some deep chocolate and roast notes with some very subtle fruit notes. Upon tasting the coffee, the dark chocolate and walnut notes came to the surface right away. As the coffee cooled, I tasted more subtle stone fruit notes, but they were definitely overshadowed by the nutty and chocolate notes. One of my favorite attributes about the coffee was the thick, syrupy mouthfeel. The coffee sat on your tongue with some really nice weight that paired well with the flavor notes.
I found the acidity and sweetness a bit lacking though. Both were fairly muted and again overshadowed by the dark, roast notes of the coffee. The acidity actually came through most in the long, resonant finish that carried with it a nice lightness and brightness that wasn’t present earlier in the coffee.
I’m personally partial to lighter roasted coffee, so I try to not allow my personal preferences to influence a review. Part of the reason I prefer lighter roasts though is that it allows more of the delicate flavor notes to come through in a coffee; I think that is true for this coffee too. It was one of the better dark roasted coffees I’ve had and clearly had a lot of potential. That said, I think some of the fruit notes and sweetness of the coffee were eliminated when it was roasted so dark. The coffee is also one of the most expensive coffees I’ve seen ($46.95 / 16oz) and I don’t think the quality necessarily worth that price.
Disclosure: Pull & Pour received coffee samples for this post, however, as always, all opinions are 100% my own.