Review: Moloka'i Hawaiian Coffee, Trader Joe's

Background: Moloka'i is an island in the Hawaiian archipelago, where King Kamehameha had coffee trees brought in to grow his own "royal" supply of beans. Today these coffee plantations are a source of economic development, tourism, and pride for the islands.

Flavor: Brewed in a press pot, the beans produced a lightly acidic coffee with woodsy flavors and an almond aroma.

Source: This Trader Joe's exclusive of 100% coffee arabica beans lists the product as being grown, roasted, and packed on the island, where "growers control every step of the production process from irrigation and harvest to roasting and packaging."

Rating: The label descibes a dark roast, but the coffee wasn't as full-bodied as I had hoped. For the second pot I used a few more scoops of grounds than normal and it produced a darker brew, but the flavors still weren't coming out (This is supposed to be coffee fit for a king, after all.) Overall, I'm usually a fan of Trader Joe's coffees, for both the price and the variety, but this one doesn't make the cut. Their Bay Blend would be a more reliable choice if looking for a richly flavorful coffee.


what are you drinking/eating right now?

During a recent chocolate craving episode, I visited a corporate-chain coffeeshop for a hot cocoa. What really struck me was the number of non-coffee-related items on the menu boards. The majority were drinks that contained a small percentage of coffee or tea mixed with artificial flavor syrup/flavor powder/pre-made mix, candy bits, copious amounts of milk, and then iced and/or blended and/or topped with more artificial flavor dribbles and whipped cream. This led me to wonder what the most popular purchases are that are happening at our store, so I set up this nifty poll to the right. Of course as standard business practice we do reguarly assess what and how much we are selling and then adjust the menu accordingly, but this is informal and for fun. 


NEW art exhibit is up

Photographer Jacques-Jean Tiziou put the finishing touches on hanging his exhibit in the coffeehouse, and we're excited to have his dynamic images grace our walls for the next eight weeks.

For those of you that favor sitting by the far wall next to the windows, look for the large darkened glass box. Carefully flick the switch on the box sitting on the floor underneath to illuminate some eighty miniature photos inside. According to JJ, that box contains "the most expensive lightbulb I've ever bought in my life" so we ask that you please take caution and not crowd that area with too many electrical cords, bags, papers, or people of any size. We would feel really bad if the box fell and hurt someone or the things inside of it broke.