THIS COFFEE HAS SOLD OUT. This tiny bean produces mild acidity, sugar-browning sweetness, toasted grain and fruit flavors, and nice body. Bran muffin with maple and mild cocoa roast tones. City+ to Full City+. Nice Hawaiian espresso.
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We bought this amusing small-bean coffee years ago, a distinct cultivar grown on the island of Maui. This is the 14 screen version of the Maui Moka: the earlier lot we had was 11 screen; extremely tiny! The farm was originally a part of the Pioneer Mill sugar plantation since 1860, which diversified the land out of sugar cane into coffee in 1988 under the name Ka'anapali Estate Coffee. They chose to plant four coffee varieties: Red Catuai, Yellow Caturra, Typica and Moka variety. It is a unique farm in other respects, irrigated with a drip system and planted in precise rows to facilitate mechanical processing of the fruit. Given the flaws of this type of harvesting, additional steps must be taken at the mill to carefully sort out unripe coffee cherries that were picked by the machine. All this took serious capital investment to set up, and over time the project proved unsustainable; parts of the farm were sold for residential and resort development. However a portion of the remaining coffee estate is under the care of one of the original farmers, Kimo Falconer, and his new business called Maui Grown. And it's worth noting that they took 1st place last year at the Hawaii Coffee Association's 6th annual Statewide Coffee Cupping Competition!
Maui Mokha is so consistent from one year to the next, and this year's wet processed lot has much of the clean sweetness and toasted grain nuance we've come to expect from these tiny beans! The dry fragrance has a brown bread smell, honey and hints of toasted grains, along with sweet/savory smell that reminds me of bean pie filling. The wet aroma has a touch of carob with an underlying scent of honey and malted sugar. It makes a pleasant brewed coffee, sugar-browning sweetness and mild roasted nut and grain notes pervade the cup as it cools, and lingering in the aftertaste. At City+ roasts there is a raisin note, followed by flavors of bran muffin, and a subtle cocoa roast tone. Middle roasts have that clean, mild cup characteristic that we associate with Hawaiian coffeess. This coffee can be a challenge to roast: It is hard to hear the 1st Crack and a bit harder to judge the color as well. I think air roasters might be the best option, since you can see the roast a bit better. In a Behmor, use the small grid Behmor roaster drum (and still expect to lose a few beans!), and keep eyes, ears, and nose on this coffee.