CHOCOLATE TOUR
From blossom to bar

Our chocolate tour was so beautiful! It was great to get to see all of the lush cacao plants at the organic farm in Kula.

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Chocolate & Coffee Tour
An Adventure

When I heard about those tours I thought, “Wow, a tour that combines two of my absolute favorite things: coffee and chocolate”.

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One of the most impressive flowering tree’s of Maui is the stunning Jacaranda. You might be familiar with this tree, as it is a hard one to forget! The tall and full amethyst shaded blooms announce the arrival of spring time. They drop their flowers between May to mid June creating a beautiful carpet of purple and blue colors beneath the trees. Now, are these trees native to Maui? What is the history behind them? Keep on reading to learn more about these breathtaking parts of nature, and learn where you can go to view them! Maui’s Jacaranda spring into bloom right about now!

History Behind the Jacaranda

The Jacaranda’s were originally found in Brazil but spread across many tropical locations in the world including South America, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, and all the way to Africa, Pakistan and even Portugal! The ‘Upcountry’ part of Maui was settled by Portugese farmers and ranchers. We think that this is how the Jacaranda found it’s way here from Portugal.
A man named Elmer Cravalho grew up in the Keokea area where the first trees appeared.
Cravalho became a legislator in the 1950’s and on to become the mayor of Maui County between 1969-1979. In the late 1950’s, Elmer pursuaded the Territorial Highway Commission officials to plant the Jacaranda trees along the upcountry highways including the Pukalani and Kula areas.

 

How big do the Jacaranda Trees grow?

Jacaranda Bloom

These trees can grow up to a whopping height of 60 to 90 feet, and their canopy can spread as large as 30 feet! Depending how much water they receive, in 7 to 14 years a Jacaranda can reach a height of 25 to 30 feet.
Seedlings typically take up to two whole years to bloom! The purplish blue flowers have a small hint of a honey smell to them. Once the flowers have dropped to the ground, they lose their scent completely.
In some parts of the world, there are Jacarandas that are over 200 years old!

Where to find the Jacaranda

Jacaranda Bloom

After all this talk, you must be ready to see the Jacaranda, and even take some photos too!

Upcountry is the beautiful countryside part of Maui. You will find this area on the Haleakala mountain side, away from the shoreline. The largest towns found Upcountry are Pukalani, Makawao, Kula and Haiku. This part of Maui is a very rural, agricultural and residential area. However, there is also quite a bit for visitors alike!

You definitely won’t be able to miss these trees during your drive up the mountain. Our favorite place to view the magic is on the road toward Maui Winery which is on Kula Highway. The Kula baseball park also has some beautiful views!
After visiting the Jacarandas, get ready for some coffee and chocolate!
Come visit us a MCCT, and you will even be able to spot Jacarandas on your way to us on Naalae road.

Breakfast at Grandma’s Coffee House

Would you like to make a full day of your trip Upcountry? First stop on the list, we would recommend having coffee and breakfast at our beloved Grandma’s Coffee House. You will find this cozy cafe with a scenic deck at 9232 Kula Highway. Relaxed vibes and organic coffee made from local, house-roasted beans. This is a great way to start your day off right!

A little bit of history on Grandma’s Coffee House. Grandma AKA Minnie Franco, was just 16 years old when she started hand-picking, drying and roasting wild coffee beans grown on the slopes of Haleakala! Back in 1918, water was extremely scarce, and this was the only stop for coffee Upcountry. Grandma would barter her brewed coffee with the ranchers and paniolo (cowboys) on their way back and forth from Ulupalakua and Kaupo.

To this day, the beans are still roasted in a century-old wood-fired roaster, the same one which Minnie acquired in 1885.
You can feel the history when you walk into this coffee shop. It is just like you are at Grandma’s! Not to mention, the baked goods are so very tasty!

Whether you come up country to see the Jacaranda, visit us at MCCT, or are heading all the way up to the volcano of Haleakala, we recommend putting this beautiful gem of Maui on your bucket list. It really is such a special place! Now that you know when Maui’s Jacaranda Spring into Bloom, tag us on instagram so we can see your photos of the Jacaranda!


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The worldwide pandemic has changed and effected us all, especially businesses. There were some positive changes, while others negative. Hawaii has taken a drastic hit with Covid. Many businesses had to permanently close down, while others were able to transition and figure out a way to survive and thrive. This pandemic has given us “fresh eyes” and we chose to take the positive route, and find a solution! Continue reading if you would like to know how businesses in Hawaii have pivoted during COVID 19.

What is a business pivot?

This is the process of addressing a problem when a company is experiencing an important or difficult challenge that is keeping it from achieving its goals. This can include anything from changing a product to entering a new industry. Many businesses are transitioning into the online world, or learning to expand to clients or customers in new, innovative ways.

How MCCT has pivoted

Here at Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours (MCCT), we previously offered private tours or group tours. Now, with COVID 19 safety restrictions, we choose to offer private tours only. This allows us to stay open and operate in a very health safety environment for our guests and for those who live on the farm. Not only this, but it is also much better for our guests. You get a private and more intimate experience with more one on one interaction with your tour guide, and a better learning environment with the smaller size group. This is truly an exclusive experience! We are excited to offer a much more memorable and enhanced tour for our guests. We minimize the “footprint” at the farm and offer the “less is more” concept.

With MCCT making this transition into 2021, we are realizing very positive results. Unfortunately many other businesses are being deeply affected by the pandemic. I am now going to talk about a few of our favorite businesses and their success stories with adapting during this unprecedented time.

 

Miso Phat Kihei, Maui

Miso Phat is a sushi restaurant located in Kihei, Maui. With Covid hitting Hawaii quite hard, this restaurant needed to make a pivotal decision in order to save their business. Online ordering has become a very popular way of eating out. Restaurants on island are only operating at less than 50% capacity and people are cautious about dining in. This makes online ordering a huge convenience. Miso Phat made the business savvy decision to revamp their website with enhanced online food ordering with the expertise of Charles Oreve, the owner and CEO of the marketing agency, The X Concept.

Now, Miso Phat’s online sales have soared! They are doing better than they were pre-Covid, all with a few changes, business minded creativity and guidance from Charles.

Charles has also helped us at MCCT and Hawaii Farm Tour with the re designing of our website, and is currently building us a new website for Hawaii Farm Tour.

Farmers harvesting ginger covid safe
farmers harvesting ginger covid safe

 

Hawaii Farms

 

All over the state, we have many farms. Some farms sell their vegetables at local farmers markets. Others sell produce in local heath food stores, Costco and local restaurants that have re-opened. In April 2020, when businesses really started to close down and quarantine came into effect, certain farms made the executive decision to start selling CSA boxes. These affordable farm boxes are packed with fresh fruit and veggies from your local farm, and delivered to your door. With this, you can take away the worry about going to the grocery store and getting possible exposure, and you also have the convenience of fresh food being delivered! Not to mention, there is zero waste, and the cardboard boxes are re used by the farms to pack future boxes.

Birds eye view of farm
Birds eye view from farm

The CSA farm boxes are quite affordable, making it an option for any family to have! Depending which farm you choose, some have organic options or even customization. This makes your weekly or bi weekly order unique to what you want. Click here or here to visit two different farms on Maui that offer CSA farm boxes.

There are many examples of how businesses in Hawaii have pivoted during Covid 19 and the creative new ways to operate their businesses. Some are bakeries that have shut down and started selling DIY baking kits. Others are wineries that could not offer in person tasting. Now you can order a tasting kit delivered to your door!

What ever it may be, it is quite interesting to see how the world has adjusted and changed. Especially during one of the most difficult times in history. We would love to hear your success story! Please share with us by tagging us on instagram or commenting below.


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