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On the Recent Kona Coffee Lawsuit Ruling

Read time: 1 min
A hand holding Hawaiian coffee cherries against a courthouse background.
Christopher C. Nov 13, 2023

Four years and over $33 million in settlements later, Kona coffee farmers have finally won the suit against 20+ defendants for misleading labeling and advertising of “Kona” coffee. Retailers were accused of using the Kona name on ground and whole-bean coffee products that, according to lab tests, “contained little or no such coffee.” Alongside Jamaica (another oft-mislabeled coffee), Kona is viewed as a source of impeccable coffee. Hawaiian coffee is rarer than other coffees, meaning that not a lot is harvested annually. Unlike Brazil, which produces roughly 7 billion pounds of coffee a year, Kona grows 2.7 million. When you look at how much “Kona” coffee is sold at retail, the numbers don't add up. The motion, filed with the State of Washington district court, cites a discrepancy of approximately 17 million pounds. “That is physically impossible,” says the document.

With Fresh Roasted Coffee, you don't have to worry about your Kona being legit. Our Hawaiian 100% Kona comes from Hala Tree Coffee, where it is carefully cultivated by Jean Orlowski and his wife. What started as a six-acre plot (only two of which had coffee trees growing) turned into a thriving coffee operation. For the Orlowskis, however, it wasn't just about producing Kona coffee, it was about producing the best possible Kona coffee. Hala Tree's mission is to improve coffee production throughout Kona, supporting and managing farms on behalf of other Kona producers. You deserve Kona coffee exactly as it should be: 100% true to origin.

We bring our 100% Kona to a medium roast to highlight its coconut and zesty citrus notes, underscoring them with rich molasses. Hala Tree uses wet processing to deliver a clean cup with bright acidity, and then combines sun and mechanical drying before hulling the beans to prevent a burnt taste while roasting. Our Kona selections are not blends. 100% of the coffee in each Kona bag or coffee pod is Kona coffee. If you want truly 100% Kona coffee, FRC is the way to go.

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