MauiGrown Coffee: Kona is No Longer Best in Show
By Erica Garza
You might be familiar with the claim that Kona coffee is the best coffee, a result of a unique island microclimate and extra care taken by generation after generation of coffee farmers. And sure, the coffee is far from bad and offers a realm of health benefits. However, a new rumor is swirling in the trade winds and it has something to do with a little thing happening in Ka’anapali.
On the West Maui Mountains near Lahaina, a 500-acre estate owned by MauiGrown Coffee grows several varieties of Arabica coffees to satisfy a variety of palettes. Established in 2003 by James (Kimo) Falconer, on the former grounds of Ka’anapali Estate Coffee, MauiGrown Coffee now produces four distinguished varieties, earning it praise as one of the best small businesses in Maui.
Deriving its name from the color of its ripened cherry, yellow instead of red, the variety comes from C. Arabica, which was found in Brazil in 1950 and sent to Kona from El Salvador via quarantine in1954. Performing best in hot, drier conditions, Yellow Caturra is clean and mild with spicy overtones.
This variety is a result of a breeding program in Brazil in the 1960s. A cross between Caturra and Mundo Novo, the type carries strong consistency for brightness and body.
Progeny 502 and 6661
Extremely similar to the Guatemalan Typica grown in Kona, Progeny 502 grows late in the season after all other varieties have reached their full potential. It is grown at the highest elevations of the estate, producing a taste of mild acidity. Progeny 6661 was brought to Kona from faraway Ethiopia. It is like Progeny 502 in quality, but stems from a much larger coffee bean.
A third of the farm’s acreage has been devoted to this exciting variety, which offers a smooth chocolate taste with low acidity. Moka is said to be over 1,000 years old due to its origination in Ethiopia.
Located in Lahaina at 277 Lahainaluna Road next to the famous Lahaina Smokestack, MauiGrown Coffee ships coffee anywhere in the country and additionally sells MauiGrown sugar and logoware.