Roasting coffee is as much an art as it is a science. Just ask those who have made coffee roasting and brewing their life’s passion – people like Jeff Ferguson, co-owner of MauiGrown Coffee Company Store in Lahaina.
Since the MauiGrown Coffee Company Store opened in 2006, residents and visitors have been drawn to this plantation store which features MauiGrown Coffee’s prized coffee varietals. Thanks to Kimo Falconer, who helped revive the coffee farm; and Kaanapali Land Management Corp., who assembled a dedicated coffee team; several Arabica coffees – Maui Mokka, Yellow Caturra, Red Catuai and Typica – are grown and harvested in the breathtaking Kaanapali Coffee Farms community in West Maui.
These exceptional coffee varietals suit a multitude of palettes, and great care is taken to ensure the quality of the coffee from seed to cup, including the roasting process.
“It is at the roasting process where we enhance a cup’s characteristics,” said Ferguson. “We roast all our coffee for the store and wholesale to ensure the best quality and consistency.”
According to Ferguson, the store uses an infrared burner, the only one of its kind on Maui. The heat is distributed more evenly throughout the roasting process which allows more flexibility to develop the character of the Maui coffees. The process also helps improve consistency. By roasting several small batches almost daily, they are able to provide even fresher coffee.
For some varieties, such as the Red Catuai, they provide three different roast levels – each roast level brings out a different nuance of the coffee. Some of these roasts are blended together such as the store’s famous Lava Flow, a unique blend of dark roasted coffees with full-body flavor. MauiGrown Coffee’s 25-year Anniversary blend introduced two years ago still remains a favorite amongst customers with all four varieties roasted at different levels.
“There’s nothing like a great cup of coffee and discovering which coffee appeals to your own unique palette is part of the exciting journey,” said Ferguson. “We invite everyone to stop by our store for some fresh Maui coffee and to learn what makes an exceptional cup of coffee. Don’t forget to also visit us later this month, when we’ll be introducing the Maui Mokka’s new harvest, a medium roast coffee fused with a range of chocolate tones.”
The MauiGrown Coffee Company Store is open Monday-Saturday, 6:30 am-5 pm. They are located at 277 Lahainaluna Road next to the historic Pioneer Mill smokestack. Free coffee samplings are offered. Coffees can be purchased at the store by the pound or order online at www.MauiGrownCoffee.com. For information, please visit their website or call 808-661-2728. Kamaaina discounts are offered.