Hawaiian head scratcher
A Review of Diamond Medium-Light Roast 100% Pure Kona Coffee by Aloha Island Coffee
Posted on 6/10/2016 by Chops
I have to start this review with a confession: I am conflicted about writing it. Certain products come with certain expectations. No one is purchasing a can of Folgers and expecting a superior product lovingly crafted by scantily-clad virgins. However, when I purchase a bag of 100% Kona Coffee, regardless of origin, I fully expect a baseline of higher quality.
Thus, when I opened a bag of Diamond Medium-Light Roast 100% Pure Kona Coffee by Aloha Island Coffee, I was taken aback. Not by its quality, but by its stunning lack thereof.
First of all, the company claims that this is a medium-light roast. It is for this reason that I have decided to include a handful of beans in every review picture from here on out. The beans were so dark and shiny that I wondered if they had packaged the wrong product. They looked and smelled like a dark French roast. I would never believe these beans as a medium roast, let alone as medium-light. I have absolutely no idea where they got this designation from.
So, I thought, maybe the taste is where the medium-light comes from. I prepared my cup using a fine-mesh cone dripper with filtered water 30 seconds off the boil. Wow, nope, not even close. At best, this brew tasted like a French roast from Starbucks. It was very dark and harsh with mostly bitter flavorings and a high amount of acidity. The body was somewhat thin, felt chalky on the palate, and finished dry. Kona coffee is known for its smooth flavors and vibrant nuance, but this cup had none to give. In fact, I had to doubt whether it was Kona at all.
Overall, you can probably see why I am conflicted about writing this review. Kona roasters are generally top notch, or at the very least, honest about their products. Aloha Island Coffee has sold me a vastly inferior product that is far, far below the regional standards. It was such a unexpected shock, that I have to wonder if the product itself was an accident, like they mislabeled a dark roast or burned a batch and failed to notice. Either way, it's still a ding on the roaster and I have to grade the final product. If this is indeed what passes for medium-light roast at Aloha Island Coffee, then I highly advise avoiding the product. I would hate to taste the charred mud tar that they consider dark roast.