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This was my third trip to Hawaii, and my first to the island of Maui. In previous trips, I had visited coffee farms in the Kona region of the Big Island, and on the island of Kauai. The coffees of Hawaii, particularly those of Kona, are among the most esteemed (and pricey) in the world.
Since Hawaii is one of the United States, its economic picture is very different from the more impoverished parts of the world that grow some of our finest coffees. Nevertheless, it’s still so interesting while visiting a coffee-producing region to take some time to visit the farms. Not only do you learn about where coffee comes from and how it is grown, but you can also pick up coffee as fresh as you’ll ever find it – right from the farm. You’d have to grow it and roast it yourself to get it any fresher and more flavorful.
– We drove straight from the airport to the MauiGrown Coffee store, through which all of Maui’s coffee farmers make their coffee available throughout the area and for shipping off-island. While there, manager Jeff Ferguson talked to us about the four different varieties of coffee grown on Maui, and some history.
– We were able to visit the trees of MauiGrown Coffee, where the four varieties are organized in lots. With the growing popularity of Hawaiian coffee, there are many lots available for sale.
– By coincidence, the Maui Coffee Association was holding their first fair for the public to learn more about the individual farmers themselves, and the blends that they’ve perfected. It was an amazing opportunity to talk with individual farmers about how they became involved in growing coffee.
– On the Road To Hana (worthy of an Indiana Jones movie, those who have visited Maui know what I’m referring to), we stopped at a fruit stand where everything for sale was grown on-site, with the farmer herself describing the produce and how it was grown. While I stopped because the sign said coffee, I had no idea I would be treated to coffee also grown on-site and roasted only days earlier.
Another amazing coffee origin experience! I look forward to sharing more of these stories, and how important it was to me as a coffee drinker to experience it for myself.
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