A small, rounded-form cultivar with a unique cup. Mild acidity, sweet-grain and fruit flavors, and nice body. Rustic dark honey and raisin bran cereal flavors, along with a dusting of cocoa comes out in the darker roast levels. City+ to Full City+.
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. With this, the Moka is now available in both washed and natural types. This is the natural (Dry-Process; DP) coffee, and I admit that 80% of the character here must be attributed to the process, since the elevations this is grown at are quite low, even by Hawaiian standards. But it is a tribute to the farm and their methods that they are even able to pick and process such small seeds! It requires extra care and specialized equipment. And it's worth noting that they took 1st place last year at the Hawaii Coffee Association's 6th annual Statewide Coffee Cupping Competition!
Dry fragrance from this coffee has a honey-wheat sweetness, a hint of toasted grains along with suggestions of sweet, cooked pumpkin.. The wet aroma has some rustic dark honey and a touch of carob, the break setting off caramel popcorn and granola bar smells. The cup has very low acidity, and may seem a bit imbalanced and flat, especially when hot. The positive qualities compensate well though: rustic sweetness, mild dry fruit, and shifting grain and nut tones. At City+ roasts there is a raisin bran cereal flavor. Chocolate comes through with some roast development, but remains subtle in flavor. 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 keep eyes, ears, and nose on this coffee!