I once had a cappuccino that I credit to changing my life. Within the first sip, I literally watched my life change. This life altering taste was in the Summer of 2012 while I was a baker at Jane in San Francisco. Previous to this I had spent two summers and a winter vacation serving coffee at Anthony’s in Paia, Maui. A favorite pre or post-beach spot for locals, Laird Hamilton and a few visitors on their way to Hana. In those formative years, I learned that coffee was caffeine and it was kinda bitter and kinda delicious. However, this drink prepared for me by Ariel at Jane was nothing like any coffee or espresso drink I had ever encountered. It was different; it was a unique drink, it was liquid sunshine, it was, it was life altering. And so started my quest to experience that drink all over again.
I sought out the roaster of those epic beans, which happened to be a tiny roasting company at the time. I was able to track them down, and I asked to sweep their floors and maybe just maybe learn a little about roasting. I was, of course, denied. I talked the manager at Jane to teach me how to use the beautiful and probably $18,000 La Marzocco espresso machine. By lesson two I was way too freaked out about breaking that machine to continue. But I also traveled; I toured the entire West Coast and New York, in search of that first sip’s ecstasy. Just like the sip that I had experienced at Jane. But it was to no avail. When I moved back to Hawaii, at the time, there were no good coffee spots; it was dismal. I thought the only way to find that perfect cup was to learn to make it myself.
So there I was at my old high school job learning to remake coffee. The location was the same, but the setting and owners were different. Honolulu Coffee Co. has a fantastic barista training program, and that is where I learned my stuff. I probably didn’t sleep much in those few months of training, but I did learn a ton. I was a quick study and soon got hired by a sweet little farm to table restaurant where I honed my skills. It was there that I learned Maui actually grows pretty good coffee often ranking above some Kona’s. It is the roaster on Maui that brings the Maui bean into the ranks of the Kona and Kau beans. It is this very roaster that comes close to making liquid sunshine in a cup and a cappuccino to match my life altering coffee experience. The Roaster is Oma Maui Coffee Roasters, and they are amazing!
-For more coffee talk check out this post highlighting some of Maui's best coffee spots. Many of them serve Oma Maui Coffee Beans
-Stay tuned for an inside look at Maui Coffee and the geniuses behind the bean.