Wake Up (in Maui!) And Smell The Coffee: Two Can’t-Miss Coffee Shops in Kihei
We can’t write about Hawaii without covering their coffee culture. Even if you’re not a coffee lover, Hawaiian coffee is worth trying, especially because the coffee beans are grown on the islands (thought not ALL coffee served on the islands is from Hawaiian grown beans, so choose wisely).
Hawaii is actually the only state in the U.S. that grows and sells its own coffee beans—the most notable style coming from the Kona growing area of the Big Island. In a cup of Kona coffee you can expect to taste brown sugar, milk chocolate, honey, and a hint of a bright fruit flavor. These coffees are bright, crisp and clean. For more fun facts on Hawaiian coffee, click here.
Since we were staying at an Airbnb in Kihei, we naturally scoured their local coffee scene on Day 1 for our morning jolt. Coffee (and tea and juice) lovers need look no further than Java Coffee in Kihei. They have the full line-up of coffee drinks, from a basic cup to fancy custom concoctions as well as homemade eats and treats. My macchiato was full of true craft coffee aroma, rich with roasted notes without being too bitter. We didn’t get to try juices but everything at Java is homemade and fresh squeezed so I’d bet money on their excellence.
And let me tell you, their banana bread is worlds apart from your typical loaf. It pairs perfectly with a hot cup of coffee and is so moist it melts in your mouth. I would even go so far as to call it addictive. Maui seems to have a love affair with banana bread (I’m not complaining!) and it’s no secret. Read all about the history of banana bread in Hawaii, the best places to get it on the island, and then make your own!
Our second go-to coffee spot was Akamai Coffee Co., a cafe and on-site coffee roaster also located in Kihei. The hip yet cozy shop already had their holiday decorations up so all that was missing was a fireplace by their “Instagrammable” ceiling-hung swinging chairs.
Harnessing my inner advenuress, I asked the barista to surprise me with a drink of her choice. She presented me with a Caffe Misto. (A misto is very similar to a latte, but where a latte mixes espresso with steamed milk, a misto is coffee mixed with steamed milk.) It was full bodied and bold (not to be mistaken for a glass of wine) thanks in part to the beans being locally grown and roasted—it’s what we love most about the coffee here. Most coffee connoisseurs believe that roasting is an essential part of the seed-to-cup process to get the finest tasting coffee into your cup, and we don’t disagree. The roasters at Akamai Coffee Co. have spent countless hours fine-tuning the Maui coffee bean roasting process to achieve the highest quality flavor notes and profiles in each and every batch. The proof is in the cup!
You be the judge—purchase fresh-roasted Akamai beans here and see what you think.