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As the saying goes, it’s with mixed feelings that I write this. It’s been a couple months since our amazing origin trip to the Hawaiian island of Maui. It was my third trip to Hawaii, but first to this particular island. While the Kona region of Hawaii’s Big Island gets most of the praise, the islands of Kauai and Maui also produce some incredible and unique coffees.
One of our first stops upon landing on Maui was to hit the MauiGrown Coffee Store to stock up on excellent coffee for the week. While there, we met Vice-President Jeff Ferguson who spent time walking us through the history and practices of coffee grown on Maui.
Purely by (awesome) coincidence, the Maui Coffee Association would be holding its first fair and coffee tasting for the public. Jeff let us know where we would find it, and that he would also be there.
The Maui Coffee Association represents those coffee farmers on Maui that grow the four varieties of coffee that MauiGrown Coffee roasts to standard, packages, and sells to the world. The fair was an opportunity to get to know the individual farmers themselves, and learn more about them.
Since each one was a coffee lover, they also blended and packaged their own individual coffees in small batches for local customers. Each grower was on-hand to provide tastings of their coffees.
Jeff was also on hand, walking us around the fair and introducing us to the farmers. Jeff’s energy for coffee and its growing is amazing, and contagious. It was interesting to meet each farmer, and learn the story of what got them interested in growing coffee in Hawaii. It was reminiscent of when I accompanied Fire Roasted Coffee’s Dave Cook as he met the Big Island’s Sharkman for the first time – the successful farmer has a unique profile and attachment to the earth.
Read: His Name Was Sharkman
We even met a couple that makes a salad dressing from the coffee that they grow on their lot.
An amazing coincidence while we were already in Maui to become acquainted with the people that truly give us some of the world’s best coffee. Next on the horizon for me is an origin trip to a less affluent part of the world than Hawaii. Until then, I still could not help looking at coffee differently, and leaving with an even greater appreciation of the labor involved in making good coffee available to us.
Learn more about the Maui Coffee Association.