|Dec. Degrees||20.7364, -156.3241|
|UTM||04Q 0778668E 2295279N|
This morning, after waking up, you probably poured yourself a cup (or more than one) of coffee before starting your day. This sacred reddish-brown liquid is a life force for many of us. But there’s a lot going on before that bag of beans ever reaches your cupboard…
We were fortunate enough to get the chance to tour a small coffee farm while traveling — and it was an awesome experience! Nestled on eight acres in the “upcountry” area of Maui, O’o Farms is a small coffee and vegetable farm that produces many items needed for its parent restaurants. Additionally, they also sell their award-winning coffee to the general public.
The trip to O’o Farms is a very scenic drive; you head out from Kahului, steadily climbing the western foothills of the Haleakala Volcano, passing through the rural town of Kula, until finally reaching the farm site off a small paved road. Once parked, you are met by a representative and taken the short distance up the hill to the main part of the property.
Our tour guide was farm manager Ancil, who did an amazing job explaining each step of the coffee growing, roasting, and distributing process. After being caffeinated, we were led on a walking tour of the farm, and while we didn’t spot any of the friendly chameleons, we did get up close and personal with many coffee plants (as well as vegetables & herbs).
From here, it’s on to a covered shelter where you dine family-style with your fellow coffee buffs. With the advantage of having chefs on staff at the farm, they are able to prepare a large breakfast for the group using only the freshest ingredients, many of which come directly from the farm itself. You literally can’t get much more “farm to table” than this! (And yes, you get to have more delicious pour-over coffee.)
Following breakfast, you take a short stroll over to the production building, and learn about the various intricate steps involved in taking beans from the humble coffee plant and turning them into an all-important morning beverage. Being that O’o Farms is a smaller operation, it really allows you to get up close and personal with the entire process, and ask all sorts of questions.
Once you see things for yourself, you realize just how complicated it is to produce coffee, and will never see those shiny bags on the store shelves quite the same. (Tip: If you aren’t into coffee, they also offer a lunch tour.) Either way, if you have a few spare hours on your trip to Maui, it’s definitely worth taking the opportunity to tour O’o Farms!
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