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Coffee in Ka‘anapali


Since coffee is known to have been a provision among some of the visiting ships it is likely that claims of the coffee plant arriving in Maui as early as the 1840's are true.

  Coffee connoisseurs consider Ka‘anapali's Mokka to be one of Hawaii's most highly rated varietals. This taste profile by Story House Coffee gives us a good sense of Mokka's complexity: "Nose: Lots of chocolate and pipe tobacco. Smoke shows up strongly in the French press. A nice nutty, hazelnut flavor as well. Finish: It is a medium length finish that ends on chocolate in the vacuum pot and drip. In the French press, it ends on a smoky, nutty note."

Ka‘anapali Estate Coffee (KCE) began its orchard on Maui in the middle of the 1980s. Harvesting continued until Sept. 2001 when KEC discontinued operations and the coffee trees were allowed to become overgrown. In 2003, Kimo Falconer, a former Ka‘anapali Estate Coffee farmer, was given a lease to 125 acres of the original 500 acre farm, this amount includes 35 acres of Moka. He has his own harvesting equipment and purchased KEC's wet and dry milling equipment, which led to the birth of MauiGrown Coffee Inc. Now, along with new residential developments planned for the area, the coffee farm is being restored and will continue on as a permanent agricultural community.

The Ka‘anapali 2020 advisory group, made of members from the local community, have been instrumental in designing the area for future growth. Among other social concerns, the group is focused on preserving the spaciousness of West Maui while planning for the development of the land.

At Pioneer Farms, Ka‘anapali Development Corp. and MauiGrown Coffee collaborate to grow 4 bean varieties. Red Catuai, Yellow Caturra, Typica and about 140 acres of Moka. All varieties are specialty coffee's which were chosen for quality and ability to be grown in the region.

All the coffee varieties grown in Ka‘anapali are specialty coffees. The Maui Moka is derived from the Yemen Moka strain and commands a high market price. Ka‘anapali Development Corp. believes that their Moka has the potential to establish the area as a recognized specialty coffee region similar to Kona.

Although more difficult to harvest, Moka can be marketed to individuals who enjoy roasting their own beans, or homeroasters.


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