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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When you think of Maui, the first images that come to mind are often sun-kissed beaches, lush tropical landscapes, and the vibrant culture of the Hawaiian islands. Yet, nestled in the fertile, volcanic soil of this paradise, lies another treasure waiting to be discovered—Maui’s world-renowned coffee. At Maui Chocolate and Coffee Tours, we invite you to embark on a sensory journey, through our Maui Coffee Tour,  that explores the rich tapestry of Maui’s coffee culture, from the meticulous farming techniques to the distinctive flavors that make our coffee unique.

The Journey Begins: From Bean to Brew

1. A Warm Welcome to the Plantation

Your tour begins with a warm aloha at our plantation within Kupa’a farms, where you will be greeted by the stunning vistas of coffee trees set against the backdrop of Maui’s breathtaking landscape. Our knowledgeable guide will introduce you to the history of coffee cultivation on the island, explaining how the unique climate and volcanic soil create the perfect conditions for growing exceptional coffee.

2. The Art of Coffee Cultivation

As you stroll through the rows of coffee trees, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the hard work and dedication that goes into each cup of coffee. Our guides will explain the entire process, from planting the seeds to nurturing the young plants. You’ll learn about the sustainable farming techniques we use, including organic practices and permaculture principles that help protect the environment and ensure the health of our coffee plants.

3. Harvesting the Coffee Cherries

One of the most exciting parts of the tour is witnessing the coffee harvest. Depending on the season, you might have the opportunity to see our skilled farmers hand-picking the ripe coffee cherries. This method ensures that only the best cherries are selected, which is crucial for producing high-quality coffee. Our guides will explain how the timing of the harvest impacts the flavor profile of the coffee, highlighting the importance of experience and expertise in this delicate process.

Processing: Transforming Cherries into Beans

4. Pulping and Fermentation

After harvesting, the coffee cherries undergo a meticulous process to extract the beans. You’ll see our pulping machines in action, removing the outer fruit to reveal the coffee beans inside. This is followed by fermentation, a crucial step that enhances the beans’ flavor. Our guides will walk you through the different methods of fermentation and how each technique influences the final taste of the coffee.

5. Drying and Milling

Once fermented, the beans are carefully dried under the warm Maui sun. You’ll observe the traditional drying methods, such as sun-drying on raised beds, which allow for even drying and optimal flavor development. After drying, the beans are milled to remove the parchment layer, leaving behind the green coffee beans ready for roasting.

The Science of Roasting

6. The Roasting Room

Step into our roasting room, where the true magic happens. Here, you’ll meet our master roaster, who will demonstrate the art and science of coffee roasting. You’ll learn about the different roast levels, from light to dark, and how each level brings out unique characteristics in the beans. The aroma of freshly roasted coffee fills the air, giving you a tantalizing preview of the flavors to come.

Tasting: The Final Delight

7. The Cupping Experience

No coffee tour is complete without a tasting session. Our guides will lead you through a professional cupping experience, where you’ll sample a variety of our finest coffees. You’ll learn how to identify the subtle notes and flavors that distinguish Maui coffee, from fruity and floral to nutty and chocolatey undertones. This sensory exploration will deepen your appreciation for the complexity and depth of our coffee.

8. Pairing with Maui Chocolate

To elevate your tasting experience, we also offer a selection of locally crafted Maui chocolates. You’ll discover how the rich flavors of our coffee complement the smooth, creamy textures of our chocolate, creating a harmonious symphony of taste. This pairing highlights the unique terroir of Maui, where both coffee and chocolate thrive in the island’s fertile soil and ideal climate.

Take a Piece of Paradise Home

Before you leave, be sure to visit our gift shop, where you can purchase freshly roasted coffee beans and handcrafted chocolates to take a piece of Maui home with you. Our knowledgeable staff will help you select the perfect beans and provide brewing tips to ensure you can recreate the island experience in your own home.

A Sustainable Future

At Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours, we are committed to sustainability and giving back to our community. Our tour not only showcases the beauty and flavor of Maui coffee but also emphasizes the importance of sustainable practices and supporting local farmers. By choosing our tour, you are contributing to the preservation of Maui’s natural resources and the livelihoods of our farming community.

Book Your Tour Today

Join us at Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours for an unforgettable journey through the world of Maui coffee. Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or simply looking for a unique and enriching experience, our tour offers a taste of paradise that will linger long after your visit. Book your tour today and discover why Maui coffee is truly a treasure of the island.

For more information and to book your tour, view our homepage.

Indulge in the essence of Maui and let us guide you through a coffee lover’s dream. From the lush plantations to the final sip of expertly brewed coffee, every moment of our tour is designed to captivate and inspire. Experience the magic of Maui coffee—one bean, one cup, and one unforgettable tour at a time.


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April 11, 2024 Ann TuomelaCoffee0

A Deep Dive into the Coffee Borer (Plight) at Kupa’a Farms and Beyond

Nestled among the lush landscapes of Maui, Hawaii, the coffee and chocolate industries have long been pillars of local agriculture, offering a bounty of high-quality products that delight aficionados worldwide. At Maui Chocolate and Coffee Tours, our mission extends beyond merely showcasing Maui’s exquisite coffee and chocolate; we are stewards of an agricultural heritage that faces modern challenges head-on. One such challenge, increasingly significant in recent years, is the invasion of the Coffee Bean Borer (Hypothenemus hampei), a tiny beetle with the potential to devastate coffee crops, including those at our beloved Kupa’a Farms.

Understanding the Adversary: The Coffee Bean Borer

The Coffee Bean Borer is not just another pest; it’s the most destructive coffee pest worldwide. Originating in Central Africa, this beetle has found its way across the globe, thriving in coffee-producing regions due to its preference for the coffee cherry. Adult females bore into the cherry to lay their eggs, and once hatched, the larvae feed on the coffee bean from the inside out, significantly reducing the quality and yield of the harvest.

Impact on Maui’s Coffee: A Closer Look

Maui, with its unique microclimates and rich volcanic soil, offers an ideal environment for coffee cultivation. However, this paradise is not immune to the threats posed by the Coffee Bean Borer. At Kupa’a Farms, a beacon of sustainable and organic farming practices, the invasion of this pest has prompted both concern and action. The farm, known for its commitment to quality and environmental stewardship, has been at the forefront of battling this pest without resorting to harmful chemicals that could damage the ecosystem and the integrity of their coffee.

Coffee Plant

Strategies and Solutions: Combating the Borer at Kupa’a Farms

Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Kupa’a Farms employs an IPM approach, combining biological, cultural, mechanical, and, as a last resort, chemical methods to manage the borer population. This holistic strategy focuses on long-term prevention and minimal impact on the environment.

Biological Control: One promising avenue is the exploration of natural predators and fungi that target the Coffee Bean Borer. While this method is still in the research phase, it holds the potential for a sustainable solution to this pervasive problem.

Sanitation and Cultivation Practices: By meticulously removing and destroying infested beans and maintaining the health of the coffee plants, Kupa’a Farms reduces the borer’s ability to proliferate. These labor-intensive practices are crucial in minimizing the pest’s impact.

Educational Outreach: Recognizing the importance of community in this battle, Kupa’a Farms and Maui Chocolate and Coffee Tours engage in educational efforts to spread awareness about the Coffee Bean Borer. By informing local farmers and the public about effective management techniques, the hope is to create a unified front against this common enemy.

Beyond Kupa’a Farms: A Global Challenge

The struggle against the Coffee Bean Borer on Maui reflects a broader challenge faced by coffee producers worldwide. Climate change, with its unpredictable weather patterns, provides an additional layer of complexity, potentially exacerbating the spread and survival of pests like the Coffee Bean Borer. As such, the fight against this pest is not just local but global, requiring collaboration, innovation, and a commitment to sustainable practices.

Looking Ahead: Resilience and Innovation

At Maui Chocolate and Coffee Tours, we stand with Kupa’a Farms and the wider coffee-producing community of Maui in the face of this challenge. Through resilience, innovation, and a deep commitment to the environment, we are confident in our ability to overcome the adversity posed by the Coffee Bean Borer. Our tours not only celebrate the sensory delights of Maui’s coffee and chocolate but also underscore the importance of sustainable agriculture in preserving these treasures for future generations.

Join Us in Support

We invite you to join us on a tour to learn more about the beauty and challenges of coffee and chocolate production on Maui. Your support helps foster sustainable practices that ensure the longevity and quality of our beloved coffee. Together, we can contribute to a future where the coffee culture on Maui thrives, resilient in the face of challenges like the Coffee Bean Borer.

For tour information and bookings, please visit our website or contact us directly. Together, let’s sip through the story of Maui’s coffee, one cup at a time.*

Maui Chocolate and Coffee Tours is dedicated to providing immersive, educational experiences that highlight the rich agricultural heritage of Maui. For more information about our tours and our efforts to combat the Coffee Bean Borer, please visit our website.


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Here on Maui, we prioritize doing what we love, therefore, you’ll never have to “work” a day in your life! As you know, we love featuring local business owners. This blog is special as we have a new farmer in town. Sam Mangoba, one of Maui’s newest aspiring farmers, featured in today’s article.

Sam Mangoba-one of Maui’s newest aspiring Farmer’s!

Mr. Mangoba comes from a long line of farmers in the Philippines. His grandfather supervised a very large farm called “hacienda”, where they practiced diversified farming of several agricultural products, such as, rice, mango, pineapple, etc. Sam is a doctor of Eastern and Western medicine; however, today he is self educating himself on how to create healthy soil through regenerative permaculture and organic farming techniques. Sam taught us about the art of lasagna farming, compost lasagna, and an ancient farming technique“Hugelkultur”, which is basically what the other two composting names are. With farming lasagna, the nitrogen comes from the green waste, ie: kitchen scraps, and the carbon from the wood chips and paper products. Thank you to Maui Times News for donating their recycled and old news papers to the farm! 

Maui's newest aspiring farmer

What do you call a professional “composter”?! An “organic alchemist”. Thank you Gerry Ross from Kupa’a Farms!  He is definitely the one writing the book on this, and has been an organic alchemist for decades on his farm while teaching other farmers too!

Maui's newest aspiring farmer

Maui's newest aspiring farmer

Earth Element Farm

Sam’s farm is private property and not open to the public. The Earth Element in Chinese philosophical thought is the energetic state between maximum movement (fire element) and non-movement (water element). Think of the Earth Element as the happy medium between the two extremes. It’s function is to transform and transport. This is such a profound ancient understanding of what the Earth / soil does. Modern scientific and agricultural thought are slowly beginning to accept and acknowledge it more and more.

You can see it well illustrated in how a compost pile works: 

Take the most humble ingredients (manure, detritus, “garbage”) and when you combine it with the other elements (water, fire, heat/sun, wood, and metal), you create a medium that will:
  1. Transform all things in it, including promoting and creating life.
  2. It will transport things in it on many levels (fungal, bacterial, animal, plant and mineral levels).
  3. It becomes the ultimate growing medium for all biological life, including humans.
Even the deepest oceans rest on earth.
“This concept is very profound. I feel if humans truly understood what the earth element actually does, it would really help people respect the earth more. Therefore, this would probably change how agriculture is practiced.”
From the very beginning, we have been able to watch Sam’s farm come to life. See photos that are featuring when he began to now.

Actions & contributions already taken toward Earth Element Farm

Jayce donated 6 gallon paint buckets from his painting company. This means less hard plastic in Maui’s landfill! Those buckets provide many functions for this little slice of heaven! Sam picks up the green waste from a small beach side eatery in Kihei, Beach Street Cafe. Mahalo you guys!

After picking up three to four days of green waste, he puts in the first layer of the compost.

Maui's newest aspiring farmer

Maui's newest aspiring farmer

Maui's newest aspiring farmer

Then the buckets are used again in watering certain parts of the farm. After this, he goes back for more green waste and they are actually rotated and left empty at the cafe for them to fill again!

The Beach Street Cafe also donated 3 gallon plastic food containers that were also spared being added to Maui’s bulging landfill. Sam uses these to make a water-filled bucket barricade around papaya or other seedlings threatened by the pigs that constantly disturb his farm and other farms on the island. The water grows an algae that is then dispersed around thirsty plants that have grass and wood chip mulch to also retain moisture. 

 

Sam’s Overall Goal

Sam’s goal is to help heal the earth with small synergistic actions taken by individuals to create a healthier planet. Sam hopes to inspire and educate others, as a self taught farmer, on what he is learning and practicing in regenerative and permaculture farming. With synergistic actions and education, this could be a great thing which starts in everyone’s own backyard, lanai or any small space. Let’s begin by trying to heal Mother Maui, next a neighboring Hawaiian island, an American territory like American Samoa, the Philippines (where Sam would like to teach his homeland people), then the rest of the world. One small space and synergistic action at a time. Baby steps!

Maui's newest aspiring farmer

We hope you enjoyed reading about Sam Mangoba, one of Maui’s newest aspiring farmers! Check out our instagram at @mauichocolatecoffee for more information and photos!

Maui's newest aspiring farmer


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April 8, 2022 Ann TuomelaCoffee0

Coffee roasting is an art, and a science. The roasting process is crucial, because it turns green coffee beans into coffee that you can drink! The green coffee beans have delicious flavor and aroma, that can be found simply by roasting them! Say you were to use the green coffee beans without roasting. They would have almost zero flavor! So now you know how important the roasting process is. During this article we are going to teach you about the art of coffee roasting and how it works. Then when you book a tour with Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours, you will already have some knowledge about coffee!

The art of coffee roasting

Roasting Coffee

Roasting involves more than you may think. It can take many years of practice and training to become an expert coffee roaster. Sourcing your green beans is the first step with coffee roasting! Luckily we have beautiful and organic coffee trees at the same location as our tours, Kupa’a Organic Farms. We have 8 different varieties of coffee, each with a distinct flavor.

Coffee roasting machines heat the green beans in-between 370 and 540 degrees Fahrenheit. They are heated anywhere from only a few minutes to 30 minutes. The temperature and amount of time will determine the level of roasting (light, medium, or dark). Which is your favorite type of roast? Many people assume that dark roasted coffee has a higher caffeine content. But… this is actually not true! Light roasted coffee is the highest in caffeine. The roasting techniques develop the different flavors and caffeine levels.

The art of coffee roasting

Light Roast

Light roast coffee beans have the color of light brown and have a more acidic and light flavor. If you would like to make light roasted coffee beans, you will want to heat the bean until the first crack and 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The beans will not look shiny or oily-this only happens the longer the beans are roasted. The soil, crops surrounding the coffee plants, and weather conditions all play a part in the origin flavors.

Medium roasted coffee beans

Medium roasted coffee beans are slightly darker in appearance in comparison to the light roasted ones. These beans will give off a sweeter flavor with less acidity, and more balanced. The caffeine will be a little bit less than the light roast, but higher than the dark roast.

Dark roasted coffee beans

Dark roasted beans will appear to be oily or shiny and have a less acidic taste. These beans are heated to about 460 degrees Fahrenheit and cooked until near the end of the second crack. Dark roasted coffee can tend to taste a little bit bitter or smoky from the roasting process. This may change the taste of the origin flavor. Dark roast is the best type of coffee to use for espresso.

Cooling after roasting

When the roaster tells you that it’s time a mechanical sweep and forced air efficiently stop the roasting process! When the desired roast and color is achieved, they are quickly released into a box or pan which is called the “cooling tray”. The beans must be cooled off right away, so that they don’t over cook. You want to be incredibly careful with your coffee roasting. A slight change in temperature or inconsistency, and the whole batch can be ruined! There are three things to keep an eye out for when roasting. Colouration, the first crack, and the second crack.

The art of coffee roasting

 

Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours

Here at MCCT, we take pride in our coffee roasting! We offer chocolate and coffee tours that consist of walking through the organic coffee orchards, the picking and processing techniques, tasting, and more! The three main species of coffee are Arabica, Robusto, and Liberica. Liberica is the least known, with only 2% of the worlds coffee consumption. The type grown at our coffee farm at Kupa’a Organic Farms is Arabica. There are 8 varieties of Arabica which we grow: Red and Yellow catuai, Red, Yellow and Orange Bourbon, Typica, San Ramon, Mundo Novo, and Guadalupe. We will walk you through the history of this second generation farm. There are 6 acres, currently organically farmed with plenty of room to grow!

Gerry Ross and Janet Simpson planted 450 coffee trees in 1997, and then permanently relocated to Maui in 2003. The tour starts at the coffee and cacao gardens and orchards, and your guide will compare and discuss the amazing similarities found in the growing and production of both fruits. Your tour will include the full chocolate tasting, demonstration, and is topped off with an exquisite sample of Kupa’a Organic coffee!

We grow coffee under a canopy of that includes native trees that help to create a forest like ecology similar to coffee in its native Ethiopia. The terroir of our coffees reflect the varietals we grow as well as the ecology and cultural practices that we use. The tour includes tasting and the full gamut of picking and processing techniques that has helped us maintain “specialty coffee” status for the last 11 years.

Maui Tropical Plantation

Maui Tropical Plantation is an agricultural plantation that offers visitors tours of the farm featuring Hawaii’s famous fruits and plants. During your tour you will smell the beautiful native flowers, see the fruits and plants, and hear amazing stories. It’s a fun and educational experience! The Maui Tropical Plantation in conjunction with Oma Coffeei roaster is in the process of developing a demonstration on coffee roasting. They plan on opening this demonstration to the public soon. No date was available at blog press time. Check back with us for an update!

The art of coffee roasting

The art of coffee roasting

The art of coffee roasting

Now that you know more about the art of coffee roasting, you are ready for your tour at Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours! We are excited to see you. Don’t forget to book in advance, so that you are guaranteed to experience this! Follow us on Instagram for more info, photos, and farm fun!


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There are so many things to be grateful for, and one of them is this beautiful island that we call home!  We absolutely love waking up to the magnificent sun rising above the crater, birds chirping, the smell of tropical flowers, and the turquoise blue sea that meets the sand. Maui has an abundance of opportunity for those who seek it. Here at Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours, we wanted to express our gratitude for living on Maui.

Mana’o Radio

We wanted to give a shout out to Mana’o Radio for all of their awesome DJ’s. They provide the island with a wonderful variety of music that you won’t find anywhere else! Jeremy Jarvis gave us the inspiration to write about all of our gratitude when we were listening to his show during the second week of October. Thank you Jeremy for the inspiration!

Maui Bees 

Maui Bees is a family owned operation located in Kula Maui. They produce wonderful and delicious Maui honey. Mark and Leah Damon have run Maui bees for over 10 years. Not only do they share a passion for bees, but they also care deeply about organically grown food. In addition to the honey, they also have a farm stand where they sell their fresh produce and organically fed pastured eggs. They farm uses biodynamic sprays and preparations and builds its own organic compost. Mark and Leah have always made sure that their honey is pure, unfiltered, and raw. Although it may be costly and time consuming, they put in all of their energy and efforts to do things right.
Bees play a huge role in agriculture. They pollinate the crops, increase yields, and make great honey! Did you know that over a third of the food that we eat relies on pollination by bees?!
Maui Bees now has a kitchen, where Chef Larry puts out a new menu every week depending on the produce in the garden. The dishes are fresh and local, from farm to table.
Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours

Maui Gold

Maui Gold is a pineapple company. These pineapples are grown exclusively by Haliimaile Pineapple Company. The Haliimaile Pineapple company was started by former Maui Pineapple company employees, who were dedicated to keeping the tradition of pineapple on Maui. They have been cultivating the Maui Gold Pineapples for over 20 years. What is so special about Maui Gold Pineapples? They are twice as sweet and less acidic than other varieties. Did you know that it takes a full 18 months to grow one Maui Gold Pineapple?! There is a 2-3 day window where the fruit is perfectly ripe, and needs to be picked. Once a pineapple is picked, it won’t ripen any further.
We want to show our gratitude to this company for keeping the 100 year pineapple tradition alive in Hawaii. This also helps our island sustain itself through rough times, rather than solely relying on the tourism industry for the economy.
Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours

Hawaiian Lifestyle Studio

Hawaiian Lifestyle Studio is an independent creative agency run by wife and husband, Tess and Mateo! They spent quite some years traveling around the world and doing surf photography. They came to Maui just in time for the pandemic! This is where Tess grew up as a kid. Although they both have degrees in the medical field, they decided to follow their passions and that’s when Hawaiian Lifestyle Studio was born. They specialize in commercial photography, videography and content creation right here in Maui, Hawaii! We use them as our photographers and videographers for Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours. Hawaiian Lifestyle Studio also offers social media management and blog writing (which is also something they help us with)! We highly recommend their services and are super grateful to be working with them!
Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours
We want to extend a huge mahalo to all of these local businesses for doing great things for our island, and also supporting other local businesses! This is what helps Maui keep going round.
It’s now the month of giving and thanks! Share some reasons for your gratitude for living on Maui in the comments below.

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Do you own a business, or thinking of opening one in the future? Here at Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours, we prioritize the motto of enjoying what you do, so you never “work” a day in your life. If you work hard enough at it, you too can live this way! We decided to feature Hawaii business owner’s doing what they love.

Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours

Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours is located in Upcountry Maui, on the beautiful Kupa’a Farms. Barry Allison is a friend of Ann Tuomela General Manager of MCCT.  Barry and Ann are long time friends of over 25 years, and got theirs starts by following along the similar paths of corporate America, until their entrepreneurial spirits were found or reignited. They both followed similar journeys, yet separate paths. Ann’s tenacity and resilience put her back in the “saddle”. Closing one door and opening another by reinventing her life through continuing to love what she does so it seems like she never works another day in her life.

Enjoy an exclusive, fun and educational chocolate and coffee tour, from the farm all the way to the table! Ann will teach you everything you need to know, beginning with the plants on the farm, and ending with the chocolate or coffee that you are consuming. Make sure to book in advance, so your spot is secure during your vacation to Maui! Follow us on Instagram, and read our blogs for more information.

Local businesses of Maui

Local businesses of Maui

Kihei Caffe

Barry Allison moved from Chicago to Maui after working at Nick’s on Oahu back in the 80’s. Opening Roy Yamaguchi’s first Roy’s on Maui brought Barry to Maui as a part of Roy’s opening team. Barry recently opened his 2nd Kihei Caffe in Lahaina. The Kihei location still has customers lining up around the corner to get the famous Kihei Caffe breakfast grinds! Barry’s farm is his sanctuary, which he loves to work with all of his animals, goats, sheep, chickens, and cow’s. He never “works” Upcountry, because he loves what he does and it shows. Very similar to what Kupa’a Farms has going on!

Local businesses of Maui

Local businesses of Maui

Kupa’a Farms

Gerry Ross is the one of the owners along with his wife Janet and her twin sister, Judy at Kupa’a Farms. Kupa’a Farms is a 6 acre family farm that was started by Gerry’s lovely wife’s parents back in the 70’s. They are located at a 1900 foot elevation on the slopes of Haleakala, Maui. They grow a wide variety of organic fruits, vegetables, and award winning coffee! Not only this, but they grow everything using sustainable and regenerative agricultural methods. They also practice the farm to table and table to farm method. Check out our blog to read all about it! Gerry is incredibly passionate about his job, so it really seems as though he’s playing instead of working! Kupa’a Farms has wonderful educational and volunteer opportunities. Check out their website or Instagram to learn more!

Local businesses of Maui

Local businesses of Maui

How to Balance Your Business Life and Personal Life

One of the main questions people ask is: “how do you run your business while keeping your personal life separate?” The truth is, that once you own a successful business, you never truly stop working. Since you don’t clock in and out from a regular shift, you can lose control of your “hours”. It is incredibly wonderful to be fully invested in your business. It is even more exciting to watch it grow! However, if you don’t take the time to enjoy your personal life and take care of yourself and loved ones, then it defeats the purpose of owning your own business and making your schedule.

Here are a couple of tips to balance your business and personal life : 

  • Set regular business hours and days.
  • Know when it’s time to set the phone down, and be with your family or friends
  • Wait until you have had your morning routine before picking up the phone or computer
  • Don’t lose sight of your passion, and why you began this in the first place
  • Embrace failure, and learn from your mistakes
  • Don’t try to do it all alone. Never be afraid to ask for help or outsource employees for the things you simply cannot do.
  • Keep work and life separate.
  • Take time off. It’s important to rejuvenate and come back looking through fresh eyes!

These words of advice can apply to anyone, running any kind of business! It is extremely important to keep the balance.

We hope that you enjoyed reading about Hawaii business owner’s doing what they love. Feel free to comment any questions below! We hope to see you on a tour soon! A hui hou!


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September 3, 2021 Ann TuomelaChocolateCoffee0

Traveling to Maui, Hawaii is an exciting adventure. Most people only get a small amount of time off from work each year. The most popular times to visit are during the holidays and school breaks. Some have the luxury of choosing to come anytime. Being spontaneous can mean cheaper tickets, and more flexibility with your trip! However, when traveling to Hawaii, pre-planning makes for a wonderful travel experience for you, your family, and for businesses on this island that are ready to share their aloha. Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours may seem like an activity that you would do “spur of the moment”, but booking private tours in advance is a must! This insures the best experience ever! Spontaneity in traveling to Maui can be fun, but everything books up very quickly. Unless you are going to just relax on the beach your entire trip, we definitely recommend planning some things in advance.

Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours

Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours is a locally owned business located at Kupa’a Farms, in Maui, Hawaii. If you have always wanted to try Hawaiian, handmade chocolate, then this is definitely an activity you will want to book! A fun, educational experience will have you learning and physically participating in the chocolate and coffee making process. We will take you on a beautiful tour of the farm, so that you can observe the process from start to finish.

MCCT

General Manager of Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours

General Manager of Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours, Ann Tuomela had her eyes set on a vacation this summer. She was planning a trip to America Samoa! Ann was looking forward to sharing her experience abroad with us. However, due to the constant opening and closing of borders, things escalated quickly again with Covid, causing her to abruptly cancel her trip. Instead of letting this get her down, she decided to take a look at other travel options. San Diego and Vancouver B.C. are both beautiful places, where she has family and friends, so she decided to go there! You will notice some beautiful photos we have showcased from Ann’s trip.

Ann even ended up extending her stay in Vancouver, Canada! “Uncle Fester” decided to bloom! (See photo). The blossom is only open for 24 hours!

MCCT

The titan arum looks like a giant flower, but its structure tells a different story. It can take 2 weeks for a bud to reach full size (a whopping 6-8 FEET!) before opening. The titan arum’s flower is actually a flowering spike called an inflorescence. The spike, or spadix, supports the much tinier true flowers, both male and female, in rings at its base.

MCCT

If a titan arum is lucky enough to be pollinated, it produces a beautiful cylinder of olive-shaped red-orange berries atop the stalk left after flowering, called a peduncle.

Check out this beautiful botanical garden!

MCCT

MCCT

Aloha Bars Maui 

We wanted to feature a wonderful Maui business this month, Aloha Bars. They are a full service cocktail catering company. They create delicious handcrafted cocktails and tropical beverages for guests of all ages to enjoy. Whether it be for a wedding, or private event, if you are looking for great mobile bartenders, Aloha Bars is the best in the business! 

Owner and founder, Kirsty Sinclair, immediately fell in love with the spectacular beauty and Aloha Spirit that embraces the island of Maui. Her extensive background as a bartender and a corporate hospitality trainer for a large restaurant chain in Florida helped her to attain bartending positions at several premier restaurants on Maui including Wolfgang Puck’s Spago at the Four Seasons Resort, Chef Yamaguchi’s Roy’s (formerly in Kihei) and Capische?, located at Hotel Wailea. Kirsty also worked at a gourmet cheese & wine boutique on the island… Guava, Gouda & Caviar (formerly Who Cut the Cheese?) for several years. These experiences helped broaden her knowledge of pairing fine wines with gourmet cheese and Pacific-rim cuisine as well as allowing her to think outside the box in creating cutting edge, island-inspired cocktails.

Kirsty has a strong passion for entertaining and making delicious drinks. She has become a bit of a local celebrity on Maui. Constantly being asked to offer her services at weddings, it was this moment that Aloha Bars Maui was born! Since then, she has been focused on filling a very important niche within the Maui wedding & event industry. Clients who want a high quality, professional mobile bar service that gives their guests a real “taste of Maui”, while staying within your budget.

DMITRI AND SANDRA

Supporting local businesses

Kirsty has established meaningful relationships with local organic farmers and unique product vendors from various islands. This way, she can buy directly from them. This is how she supports local businesses and avoids costly store mark ups. The result is a surprisingly affordable, yet extraordinary drink & cocktail menu that uses the freshest ingredients available in stylish & innovative ways!

We highly recommend Aloha Bars, and cannot say enough wonderful things about them. Follow them on instagram and check out their website for all things cocktails and Maui!

TARA LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

We hope you enjoyed reading about the spontaneity in traveling to Maui. Whether you choose to be spontaneous or plan your trip out.. come book a tour with Maui Chocolate Tours! You will be elated that you did!


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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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