Maui Moka – My Favoritie Coffee Is Back!

Armeno Coffee RoastersA 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.

If you’re interested in trying it you can order Maui Moka directly from Armeno’s website. While you’re there check out their other coffee varieties.

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Irish Coffee

Place in a mug (preferably an Irish coffee mug):

  • 1.5 oz (1 shot) Irish whiskey
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Get a small plate handy. You’ll need it quickly.

Steam this with the steamer on an espresso machine until it’s about as hot as coffee. About 160-180 degrees Ferenheight if you’re counting. Using a grill lighter or match immediately ignite the vapors of the whiskey, let burn for one to three seconds, and snuff by placing the small plate over the cup.

Make and add to the cup:

  • 1 shot espresso

Top with:

  • Lightly whipped cream

The whipped cream should not be whipped as much as you would for other purposes but rather be to soft peaks.

The shortcuts

We don’t all have espresso machines or want to whip our own cream for just one drink, so here are some possible shortcuts…

You could probably do the whiskey and brown sugar mixture in the microwave. You’ll still want to ignite it. That is a very important step.

Strong black coffee could be substituted for the espresso.

For the whipped cream, buy the stuff in the can and don’t shake the can before you use it. You’ll get a thicker, more liquid cream out that’s perfect for this recipe.

Thanks to Amy for reminding me of this recipe. It’s been a long time since I made it, but I think I remembered it all.

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Kopi Luwak – Review 2

Armeno Kopi LuwakAfter trying the excellent luwak coffee from AnimalCoffee.com I decided I had to try Armeno Coffee Roasters offering of this rarest of coffees.

Armeno is my preferred coffee roaster from which I drink several pounds of coffee each month. Their Kopi Luwak has gone through the same unusual process as the Luwak Coffee from animalcoffee.com, and while their coffee left nothing to be desired it will still be nice to have something to compare it to.

The packaging (shown in the image above) is a stark contrast to AnimalCoffee.com’s gift box however is sufficient to protect its contents. One of the things Armeno offers over other roasters is freshness. They ship only coffee roasted the day of shipping, and since Armeno is located in western Massachusetts their coffee reaches me overnight. If you’re not convinced freshness makes a difference, give Armeno a try. I think you’ll be surprised.

Now for the tasting… Cup one is with cream and sugar. The coffee is medium bodied with excellent flavor and a pleasant bouquet. There is a slight nuttiness to the coffee and no hint of bitterness. The finish is clean, with no acid or bitterness. There is a bit of fruit to the aftertaste and perhaps a little smoke.

Even black the coffee holds its balance extraordinarily well. Those who feel they need cream or sugar to combat the bitterness of coffee will likely find they don’t need it in this coffee.

Final Thoughts

Overall the coffee is very well balanced, a little mild for my taste, but I like strong coffees. In comparison to the Luwak from animalcoffee.com I have to say the flavor of the Armeno offering is a bit more refined, however, this smoothness comes at the price of some of its uniqueness and complexity.

This definitely ranks in the best coffees I’ve ever had. Armeno fetches $120/lb for this treat, but thankfully they offer a 4 ounces portion for a mere $30. Not a bad price for bragging rites on trying the rarest coffee in the world, but if you’re looking for a nice presentation and the full experience, I’d recommend a gift box from AnimalCoffee.com.

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Kopi Luwak Coffee – Try It Again for the Second Time

AnimalCoffee LuwakAnother cup of poop please…

Well, the coffee has been ground and is just about done brewing. Soon it will be ready to be consumed… again.

Yup, that’s right. This coffee’s already been eaten by a cute little critter called the luwak. For more detail on that, check out my article The Straight Poop on Kopi Luwak

AnimalCoffee.com specializes in this rarest of all coffee and was nice enough to send me a sample since I’d never tried it.

The out-of-the-box experience on this coffee is unbelievable. It shipped from Indonesia packed in bubble wrap, cardboard, then paper. The entire package (as pictured here, click on the thumb for a larger image) comes in a sharp looking wooden box with a Luwak Coffee plaque, a lucite paperweight, a card describing the Luwak Coffee process, and a package of the coffee. The whole experience tells me I’m about to try something very exclusive.

The smell of the bean was earthier than other coffees. There’s a complexity to it which I hope is an indication of how it will taste in the cup.


Well, the coffee is brewed and it’s tasting time. I’m trying it with half-and-half and sugar. The flavor is strong and complex, but without the bitterness usually associated with coffees that are this rich. There is a pleasant earthy flavor I cannot quite place. I can honestly say it stands apart from every other coffee I’ve ever had.

The bouquet has a lot to do with the flavor of this coffee. While I’m at a loss to describe it, it is very plesant and quite unusual. I’m trying it black now, and even in the absence of sugar there is not even a hint of bitterness.

The aftertaste dissipates quickly much like a pure Hawaiian Kona. It’s a smooth finish with a slight nuttiness to it. The perfect finish to the perfect cup. Both with cream and sugar, as well as black this is an outstanding cup of coffee.

Final Thoughts

This is one of the best, most unique coffees I’ve ever had. If you or someone you know are the type of person who seeks out the best coffee in town, have tried dozens of mail-order coffees and are always on the lookout for something unique, AnimalCoffee.com has just the treat for you.

With the steep price this will no doubt remain a rare treat, but with gift boxes starting at $20 this is the ultimate coffee gift. With a great presentation, outstanding flavor, and bragging rights for trying the rarest and most expensive coffee in the world it’s the perfect gift for the coffee connoisseur.

If you don’t want to spend the $100+ per pound for coffee for your office you should get a quote on coffee service from www.coffeeforless.com! Get your office coffee delivered right to your office!

Kopi Luwak, Paperweights and URLs

paperweightAfter writing about Kopi Luwak Coffee and specifically AnimalCoffee.com and their sweet paperweights and Luwak Coffee gift boxes I got an email from Troy Davis of AnimalCoffee.com thanking me for the exposure and graciously offering to send me a sample of Luwak Coffee.

I naturally accepted and offered the suggestion that he should put his site name on the paperweight somewhere.

Troy responded:

I did consider having the URL of my site put inside the paperweights and key rings however both are made in a tiny hut in a fairly remote village in west Sumatra.

I kid you not.

If you had any idea of the time and trouble I have been through just in getting those items as they are now, of a standard that is acceptable to me; I am loathe to further complicate things. It is difficult for me to explain to the people in the village why I want to collect cat poo, have it encased in resin, and insisting it be done neatly. They think I’m insane but I pay well.

I am very amused. I suppose these are the challenges you face in the cat poo business.

Yesterday I received a small package from Indonesia. Inside a layer of tape, paper, cardboard and bubble wrap I found a wooden box with a metal plaq on top. Within that was a card with the story of Luwak coffee, a luwak coffee paperweight and a quarter pound of Luwak Coffee. What a great presentation.

I’m holding off until tomorrow (Saturday) to try this so I can enjoy it while I’m not driving, but the coffee smells fantastic. Thanks for sending me the coffee Troy!

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