Sitting in the west portion of a Home Depot parking lot in Kahului, Hawaii, is a small coffee shop no bigger than an RV that serves some of the Maui island’s absolute best coffee. Since it was formed in 2007, the Akamai Coffee Company has been providing the surrounding area with freshly roasted and locally grown coffee.
The word “akamai,” means smart and intelligent in the Hawaiian language, which is essentially how the Akamai Coffee Co, coupled with passion and a genuine love for coffee, continues to serve and prepare fantastic coffee. From planting the coffee to brewing the perfect cup of coffee, Akamai uses the best techniques to ensure a consistent and flavorful product every time.
While the location may be small, the coffee sure does pack some flavor. All of their coffee is grown in the fantastic coffee growing environment island of Maui, and is roasted just before use, to guarantee freshness. Not only does Akamai roast 100% of their own coffee, they grow all of the coffee they use on the same island.
Akamai offers a few different varieties of coffee beans for sale, mainly medium to dark roasts, that all have a complex and desirable flavor, containing notes of caramel, vanilla, and chocolate. They also offer a decaf version of their Maui Mokka, which is processed using the superior Swiss Water method, meaning no chemicals are used to remove the caffeine. The plentiful selection of different types of coffee is available at their physical location in Kahului also available now in their new Maui coffee shop in Kihei – as well as online on their website.
Seeing how Akamai does all the roasting themselves, they are able to offer wholesale beans and other services, such as one on one instruction on how to get the most out of your coffee. On their website, there are several guides on how to brew using some of the most popular devices, such as the French press, AeroPress, and Chemex.
Despite coffee from Maui having not been well established until a decade or so ago, Akamai has really put Maui on the map as a coffee growing region. In this region, coffee varietals, which are the result of different species of coffee plants breeding, are very popular. The Maui Mokka varietal that Akamai grows won the Best Coffee in the State of Hawaii at the Hawaii Coffee Associating cupping competition in 2014, showing that with a little dedication and passion, anything is possible.
Looking for things to do in Hawaii? Here are My top 10 things to do in Maui.
1. Haleakala – Haleakala Crater was definitely one of the most incredible places that I have ever hiked into. The views are amazing nothing like I’ve every seen before. The drive up gives you great views of the West Maui Mountains all along the roadway. Some people make the trip early in the morning to watch the sunrise. If you do this make sure to dress for freezing temperatures, it’s definitely not shorts weather at that time of day. If you like warm weather sunsets up in Haleakala are spectacular – I would recommend that to anyone who likes colors. Make sure to bring lots of water if you plan on hiking very far down into the crater, the walk back up is not very hard but definitely a good workout. Bring a camera, friends and family for the best views over Maui. It is well worth the long, winding drive to the summit of Maui’s dormant volcano and US National Park. Beautiful scenery, up and down and all around.
2. Snorkeling & Sailing – There is nothing quite like Trilogy’s day trip to Lana’i. They have fresh-baked cinnamon rolls & coffee as soon as you set sail. The crossing, while lounging on the catamaran deck, is so exciting, refreshing, and fun! It is perfect for the Kids. On the way over, if it’s whale season, the views can be astonishing. We’ve seen them breach very close by and also glide right beneath the boat. Nearly every trip, the Lana’i dolphins seem to come out to greet the boat & escort us to the harbor. Once on Lana’i, you can go to the beach (walk or take the van – short trip), where they’ll offer snorkeling & other fun gear…along with water jugs and “chips & salsa” for snacking. The beach, Manele, is one of the 10 best in the world. Trilogy is the only boating tour company allowed to dock & bring folks in for the day. This day is pack with snorkeling, food and fun. I will be going out with Trilogy once whale season starts.
3. Wai’anapanapa State Park – Tucked below Wai’anapanapa State Park, just a few miles from Hana, it is without a doubt, one of the coolest parks I’ve seen on Maui. The park does not have an entrance fee and is well marked with signage along the road to Hana at mile marker 32. The park sits well back from the road and is not visible from the main highway. Pack your picnic lunch and beach bag for a day of relaxation and discovery. The picnic grounds are family friendly and are and grassy and shady with quite a few picnic tables. Restrooms and showers are on-site as well as an area designated for camping.
So much to see- so much to do with a walking trail along the ocean to the blowholes and trails leading off to freshwater caves. The surf at the beach here is moderate +, with some days wilder than others so be cautious! In prior years, there have been signs posted with warnings of jellyfish, but today the signs were gone and the beach was busy. The park is normally well maintained, but my guess is that an abundance of recent rains has made it hard to keep the picnic area clean from tree debris. I would not recommend picnicking without a table.
4. Hawaiian Paddle Sports – If you are interested in avoiding the big groups and having an intimate snorkel experience that is family friendly, go with Hawaiian Paddle Sports. We paddled to an isolated beach that is only really accessible by boat and body surfed and explored, and then paddled to a great snorkel spot where we were practically the only ones there. Tim (Instructor) took photos of us snorkeling and described all the sea life we were seeing. Tim was a good instructor with us, spotting turtles and sea rays for us.
5. Road to Hana – This is an Amazing drive that I can’t wait to do again.#1 Rule on the drive to and from Hana. Pull over when faster vehicles are wanting to pass, Just a piece of good advice. You really need more than one day if you’re going to stop and do hikes and beaches. You could do this trip multiple days/times and it would be different each time. We actually backtracked about 7 miles because we wanted to try all the local banana bread locals were selling near the road – best decision ever.
6. Maui Ocean Center – The Maui Ocean Center is a must do activity when visiting Maui! The naturalists are extremely informative and friendly. The animals are collected and cared for responsibly and represent species found around Hawaii. I bought our passes online, in advance, and got week passes for the price of a one-day admission. We took part in the Flippers and Fins Tour, where you get to see behind the scenes and feed the turtles and sharks – this was a great experience and would highly recommend it!
7. Zipline Parks in Maui – Kapalua Zipline was exciting and a fun thrill. Our guides Spud and Josh were awesome and hilarious. We did the 4-line zip tour which lasted a little over 2 hours. The views were incredible and the lines were long and fast.
8. Proflyght Paragliding – This definitely was an adrenaline rush and was one of the most exciting things I have done in a long time. The rush waiting to run off the side of a hill, followed by instant stillness and serenity. We were floating through clouds and saw rainbows in the clouds. The view was breathtaking and I felt so calm and protected with my pilot Paul. Book this tour if you’re an adrenaline junky like me.
9. Big beach – This Beach is accessed by going south on the main road in Wailea. There is no loop, just one road in and out. If you enjoy exploring the island, this is a great drive. The beach is indeed big and rough as described by others. We walked along the beach but left the waves to the locals. Great opportunity to enjoy a local spot far removed from the big resorts. Don’t go back yet. Visit the beach then drive on to the end of the road which goes through an old lava field. It was fascinating, remote and isolated. There is a spot to turn around after a few miles driving through the lava field. I love big beach it’s my favorite beach on Maui.
10. Surf Lessons With Maui Wave Riders – This is a great surf school for Kihei location. Parking was pretty easy to find and there were plenty of good places to eat nearby when we were done. They give a quick lesson at the shop and then it’s a quick walk across the street to a decent surf spot. The spot is pretty rocky, but the waves are good for beginners. My son is 11 and he was up on his first wave. Everyone was nice and they had a photographer that took some great pictures as well. Highly recommended.
That wraps up My Top 10 Reviews of Things to do in Maui! Thanks for reading.
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