In a recent study, coffee consumption was linked to positive feelings such as pleasure, kindness, affection, satisfaction, calmness and happiness, according to author Cynthia Sass of www.health.com.
So come and get some rocket fuel and feel good at the same time from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at University of Hawaii Maui College's campus in Kahului. The educational caffeine fix is free and open to the public. It's also a party in honor of the 200th anniversary of coffee cultivation in the state of Hawaii.
"It will be a fun and educational day for anyone interested in coffee," says David Gridley, owner of Maui Oma Coffee Roasting Co. "Backyard gardeners, plantation supervisors, commercial farmers and coffee enthusiasts will all learn what goes into a carefully crafted cup."
Winners in the Statewide Cupping Competition are Raphael Escobar and Ann Ashley of Keokea Farm (seated), Tom Leuteneker of Pueo Coffee Co. (left, standing) and Casey Shim of Shim Coffee & Protea Farm — all from Upcountry.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
“There will be Maui farmers with coffee to sell,” says David Gridley, owner of Maui Oma Coffee Roasting Co. “For the most part, you don’t see these coffees on store shelves.
The Maui News/ CARLA TRACY photo
The event will transpire in the college's Pa'ina Building that houses Maui Culinary Academy. Chef students will tempt you with coffee-spiced bison burgers with caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato, spicy-tomato jam and sweet-potato fries, along with turkey-burger sliders for kids and grilled veggie pizzas.
For dessert lovers, there will be rich tiramisu parfaits and affogatto Italian espressos that will be served with scoops of vanilla gelato.
"There will be roasting and brewing demonstrations, live music, a Maui Coffee Recipe Contest and door prizes," says Gridley. "Emmerich Grosch of Captain Cook Trading on the Big Island will do coffee pulping and hulling demos and you may get lucky with one of the door prizes."
Sip some top brews and listen to a number of Na Hoku Hanohano winners, including Kevin and Sheldon Brown and their ohana, and Benny Uyetake and the Kalama School ukulele keiki. The Maui Jazz & Blues Band will be there with Grammy nominated Mark Johnstone and drummer Paul Marchetti.
"It going to be like a little festival, a carnival," Gridley says. "The slack-key masters and the jazz guys are going to be great."
In addition, Slow Food Maui will partner with the Maui Coffee Association to present its first Maui Coffee Recipe Contest. Judging will take place from noon to 2:30 p.m. and you may enter both savory and sweet dishes. Winners will be announced at 3 p.m.
"We invite the community to participate, says Charlene Ka'uhane of Slow Food Maui. "To enter, go online to our website at www.slowfoodmaui.org."
The useage of Maui-or Hawaii-grown coffee as the main ingredient and taste will each carry 10 points; originality and presentation, five points each.
"A lot of people only know about Kona coffee, but the idea for this is to promote the coffee of Maui County, which did extremely well in the recent statewide Coffee Cupping Competition held on Kauai," says Gridley.
First planted on Oahu by Don Francisco de Paula Marin in 1813, coffee has been an important part of island culture since day one.
It is currently cultivated on all the major islands; about 6,300 acres are in production statewide. There are about 40 farms in Maui County that produce coffee.
Three of Maui's own farms rose like cream to the top in that statewide Coffee Cupping Competition held on Kauai Beach Resort in late July.
In the Maui Division, Keokea Farms won first place, Shim Coffee & Protea Farm got second place, and Pueo Coffee Co. took third place. In the Statewide overall division, Keokea Farms came in second, Shim Coffee & Protea Farm got third, and Pueo Coffee Co. got sixth place.
"Out of 99 entries, these three Maui farms placed in the top six in the state. Since Hawaii is the only state that grows coffee, it's actually in the top of the whole United States," says Gridley.
The coffees were cupped and scored from a pool of premium Hawaiian coffees from the eight statewide districts, which are Hamakua, Hawaii, Ka'u, Kauai, Kona, Maui, Molokai and Oahu.
Coffee cupping is a combination of art and science, in which coffees are evaluated and scored based on subtle characteristics including flavor, aroma, mouth feel, acidity, sweetness and aftertaste.
The scores of the entries are continually going up, according to Gridley, who also serves as the HCA cupping competition chair.
"Nearly 80 percent of the 99 entries achieved a cupping score of 80.0 or greater," he says. "At our first cupping five years ago, we had 55 to 60 percent of entries scoring 80.0 or more."
Elevation and cloud cover really make the world of difference. The farms of the Maui winners all range in elevation from 2,000 to 3,300 feet above sea level on the slopes of Haleakala.
"Constant improvement and moving forward were reoccurring themes of our fifth annual competition," says Hawaii Coffee Association's President Greg Stille.
"Growers are continually improving farming and processing practices that contribute to the production of high-quality coffee."
Come, sip and buy these award-winning coffees. If you can't make it, Keokea Farms coffee is available at Whole Foods and Spago; Shim's at Maui's Winery, Kula Marketplace, Down to Earth, Kula Country Store and Ah Fook's; and Pueo is in Wailuku at the corner of Central and Vineyard Street.
For further general information on the event, visit www.mauicoffeeassociation.com.