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About > How Pure Kona Coffee is Graded

The United States (Hawaii) is the only coffee growing area in the world that requires continual rigorous testing and certification for its coffee.

Kona Coffee, in particular, is graded by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture based upon a grading system that takes into account a number of factors, including a coffee bean's size, shape, moisture content and number of defects it contains.

There are five primary grades of Kona coffee, consisting of
  1. Extra Fancy
  2. Fancy
  3. Number 1
  4. Peaberry
  5. Prime.
The Extra Fancy bean is the largest and has the fewest defects, followed by Fancy, Number 1, and Prime.

Type I Beans: Two Beans Per Cherry

green bean grades Kona Extra Fancy
Size:Will not pass through a 19/64" round hole
Moisture Content: 9% to 12%
Defects: 10 or less full imperfections per lb.
Other Beans: 50 or less other type beans per lb.
Undersize: No more than 10% by weight

Kona Fancy
Size: Will not pass through a 18/64" round hole
Moisture Content: 9% to 12%
Defects: 16 or less full imperfections per lb.
Other Beans: 50 or less other type beans per lb.
Undersize: No more than 10% by weight

Kona Number 1
Size: Will not pass through a 16/64" round hole
Moisture Content: 9% to 12%
Defects: 20 or less, full imperfections per lb.
Other Beans: 50 or less, other type beans per lb.
Undersize: No more than 10% by weight

Kona Select
Moisture Content: 9% to 12%       Size: Optional      Defects: 5%

Kona Prime
Moisture Content: 9% to 12%
Defects: 25% defective beans, by weight.
Included therein no more than 5% by weight sour or black beans.

Type II Beans: One Bean Per Cherry

Kona No. 1 Peaberry
Size: Will not pass through a 10/64" slotted hole
Moisture Content: 9% to 12%
Defects: 20 or less, full imperfections per lb.
Other Beans: 50 or less, other type beans per lb.
Undersize: No more than 10% by weight

Kona Peaberry Prime
Moisture Content: 9% to 12%
Defects: 25% defective beans, by weight.
Included therein no more than 5% by weight


The Peaberry bean, representing a tiny fraction of the total Kona crop, is a differently shaped bean from the other graded beans. Whereas a typical coffee bean is flat on one side and curved on the other, the Peaberry bean is rounded and oblong in nature. To the coffee connoisseur, it is the champagne of coffee beans.

Although the grading process is time-consuming and an additional cost to farmers, it ensures the integrity and quality of Kona coffee that reaches the end-consumer.


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