The Story of Maui Coffee
The Kaanapali Estate is approximately 4 miles north of Lahaina directly above the Kaanapali resort. The 500 acre farm is originally a part of the Pioneer Mill sugar plantation, which diversified the land out of sugar cane into coffee in 1988. Pioneer Mill had been farming the land since 1860.
In October of 2001, Kaanapali Estate Coffee ceased operations due to prohibitive costs, but choose to keep the trees alive by continued irrigation but without any general maintenance.
In 2002, a lease of the land was secured by MauiGrown Coffee in an attempt to resurrect these mature coffee trees to full productive status, and in 2003 the first crop from this new venture hit the market.
Growing and Processing
The entire estate is planted in a hedgerow style with the tree spacing 36 inches apart in the rows and 12 feet separating each row. The entire farm is drip irrigated, with the water coming from the West Maui Mountain streams feeding the 100-year-old ditch system formerly used by the sugar plantation.
Harvest is normally in the fall months extending into January. Theoretically harvesting can be done almost year round, but flowering usually begins in February and picking during this period can negatively affect the following crop.
Once harvested and processed the coffee finds its way to various coffee roasters. Maui Coffee Company is located in Lahaina just a few miles from the coffee plantation and roasts coffee daily.