Though it may seem like trivia, Hawaii is the only place in the United States that commercially harvests coffee. For years, Kona coffee from the Big Island of Hawaii has been a staple of Hawaii's bean scene, but in recent years, coffee has spread to a number of the outer islands.
On Maui, coffee trees spring from the Kaʽanapali hillside which at one time was planted with sugar. When sugar fell on difficult times, coffee was planted above Kaʽanapali to test if it was a viable crop. With the closing of the Pioneer Sugar Mill, the coffee industry in West Maui seemed doomed to go down with it.
But the trees were placed under new management, and in 2004, MauiGrown Coffee produced its first locally grown crop. Having tested the climate for multiple bean varieties, it was determined that four types of beans—Yelllow Caturra, Red Catuai, Arabica, and Moka—were well suited for the slopes of Ka'anapali between 500 and 1,200 feet.
Today, visitors can stop into the MauiGrown Coffee store at the base of the Lahaina smokestack. Not only can you get a freshly-brewed cup of 100 percent Maui-grown coffee, but you can also learn the history of the coffee plantation and the future of coffee on Maui.
For caffeine addicts who also have an urge to support the local economy, an espresso on the deck of this plantation-style store is a fulfilling, energizing, yet somehow relaxing, way to begin the day.