Coffee aficionados describe the experience of drinking 100 Percent Pure Kona Coffee as sublime. They easily place it among the world's best coffees, if not the best. It is described as balanced, medium bodied, but without a sharp taste with flower-like notes. It is smooth, and sweet with a hint of chocolate. The intense aroma of a pot of Kona is also one of the hallmarks of the bean that savvy coffee drinkers take notice of immediately.
However, due to the varying percentages of Kona coffee used in "blended Kona coffee," as well as the differing types of beans from other regions and countries used in the blend, your experience will vary dramatically. A blend will never capture the subtlety and flavor of real 100 Percent Pure Kona Coffee.
Many of the small, independent coffee growers that make up the small area of land used for coffee cultivation in Kona also sell their beans directly online. Hawaii- and Kona-based coffee trade organizations, such as the Hawaii Coffee Association and the Kona Coffee Council, are active in ensuring that coffee marked 100 Percent Pure Kona Coffee is the real thing.
The HCA was instrumental in the passage of the state of Hawaii's Truth in Labeling law, that requires 100 percent pure coffee from Hawaii — including coffee from Kona — to be distinguished from coffees that are blends of Hawaiian coffee and marked with a certification seal. Kona coffee blends often do not have more than 10 percent Kona coffee, with beans from other countries making up the other 90 percent.