A few weeks ago I emailed Armeno Coffee Roasters to ask if there was any chance of seeing my old favorite coffee Maui Kaanapali Moka again. This coffee had disappeared from the market a few years ago. All I knew was that the plantation had closed down.
I was thrilled when I got a prompt response from John Parks, one of the owners of Armeno, saying he’d called the new owner of the plantation and Armeno was going to get a sample of new Maui Moka to try out. The sample must have been good since last week Armeno sent out an anouncement that Maui Moka is back!
About the plantation
This coffee is grown on the Hawaiian island Maui on the Kaanapali estate. Full details on the grower and estate can be found at their website. Specifically they have this to say about the Maui Moka:
Moka (a.k.a. Mokka, Mocha, Maui Moka)
This by far was the most intriguing variety in the trials. Based on the outcome of the cupping results, Pioneer Mill eventually planted a third of their acreage to this variety. It is contrary to the belief that large beans mean a better cup. In the case of Moka, size does matter! It is hard to find a bean larger than a screen 14. The bean is round and is often mistaken for a peaberry. Upon closer examination one can notice the classic dicotyledonous flat side signifying two whole beans per cherry. The cup is smooth and wonderfully fused with different chocolate flavors and often times with good acidity.
In the cup
The bean is quite small compared to other coffees and the smell of the roasted coffee is divine. I could hardly wait to see if it would be as good in the cup as I remember.
Yesterday I finally brewed up a pot and I must say it’s as good as ever. The nose is rich and complex and the flavor outstanding. The coffee has a medium-full body with relatively low acidity and rich chocolate flavors. The coffee drinks equally well black or with cream and sugar. The aftertaste is pleasant and fades quickly compared to other coffees with this much body and flavor.
Armeno’s meticulous treatment of their coffee (which is carefully chosen, roasted to order in small batches and shipped immediately) shows through in all their coffees, and the Maui Moka is no exception. There is no burnt flavor or bitterness, just rich coffee goodness.
At $19.95 per pound this rare bean may not be for everyone, but if you’re a coffee lover who likes a richer cup I highly recommend the Maui Moka. The full, rich body sets it apart from Hawaiian Kona and other fine coffees and makes it my absolute favorite coffee.