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Hawaii? - by Thundergod

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  • Hawaii? - by Thundergod

    Im back!

    Well a week ago but its taken this long to re-caffeinate and have my brain working somewhat.

    Ive recently spent 9 nights in Hawaii (or was that 10 with that International Dateline Thingy).

    Landed in Honolulu after a 10hr flight and immediately headed for the departure gates.
    No it wasnt that bad, I was transferring to Maui and everythings on the same site (unlike Sydney).

    It takes more admin than flying time to get to Maui.
    They say its a 30min flight but it only seems like 15.

    After meeting a nice local to transfer me to the Hyatt (he had a sign with my name on just like on TV - how cool is that?), I experienced my first "tip".
    It didnt hurt as much as I thought and now that Im no longer a tipping virgin it got easier each time I did it.

    Coffee?

    Well my impression is that its all geared to milk the tourist dollar.

    Kona is almost everywhere.
    If theres a shelf space therell be a bag of Kona on it.
    How freash is it despite being less than an hour from the plantation?
    No FN idea.

    Ive titled my picture "Coffee, Coffee, everywhere but not a drop to drink".

    Id weaned myself down on my coffee intake before travelling and having been to Fiji last year worked out I was tough enough to drink whatever they serve at breakfast; probably percolated.

    As it was, the breakfast coffee at the Hyatt in Maui was drinkable (with sugar).

    Similar at the Marriott in Waikiki.

    As for commercial brews: The Island Village cafe I spotted almost as soon as I entered the Ala Moana shopping mall from the trolley stop.

    Investigations showed they had an LM and Mazzer and I watched the girl grind on demand to make a cappuccino for a Japanese tourist.
    Things were looking good until the froth passed safe height restrictions for a small block of flats back home.

    However, I reasoned that being a small roaster and in a huge shopping mall (the biggest in town) I might be game and buy some beans to bring home.
    I bought a 113g bag of some Kona blend.
    After getting home I realised Id forgotten to tape the valve. I was worried I might have hastened the aging of the beans.
    They did start to look oily a day or two later.
    But the taste was OK and Im guessing they werent the freshest to start with but cest la vie.

    Youll see from the collage the Honolulu Coffee Co.
    That was a small cart on the 3rd level IIRC.
    Nuovo Simonelli 2 group and Mazzer, coffee ground on demand, steam wand wiped immediately after use.
    Coffee OK.
    If youre there and want to find it, its at the top of the escalators on the same level as the Levis store.

    I found out a few minutes later that they have an actual store another 1/2 level up some small escalators heading to the Footlocker store.
    I didnt go in.

    Shock and horror! 

    I drank at Starbucks.
    (If this is goodbye its been nice knowing you all.)

    It was stinking hot at Waikiki and there was a SB very nearby to both my hotel and the beach (the WiFi works well).
    I noticed a sign promoting a new beverage; some sort of iced coffee (lots of ice). It said you could also add milk.
    I asked the server what the difference was between a frappuccino and the new iced coffee with milk and he said the new thing was their strongest for caffeine levels.
    This appealed and it was about a $1 cheaper too,  :-/  so I ordered a 16oz and waited.

    Found a seat and caught up on my twitter, facebook and emails.
    I think this drink was the best coffee I had while away.
    Was it the temperature of the beverage relevant to that outside.
    Maybe, Ill never know.

    I did try one more coffee at the Seattles Best Coffee; God help Seattle then.

    The smallest cup was a 12oz and this was a single shot drink.
    All I could taste in my flat white was milk and my partners long black was described as watery.
    My addled brain didnt think to ask for an extra shot, all it could think was that there was no way i could drink the 16oz size for the standard 2nd shot.

    By the way S M L appears to 12oz 16oz 20oz.
    You dont need to go to SB for your Venti.

    Thats it.

    If I go again Ill probably organise a trip to the big island.
    Firstly to see the lave flowing and as a sidelight to get to the Kona plantation for an attempt at a fresh Kona to see if it lives up to all the hype.



  • #2
    Re: Hawaii? - by Thundergod

    Originally posted by 774B564D474651444C47230 link=1316131622/0#0 date=1316131622
    Ive recently spent 9 nights in Hawaii (or was that 10 with that International Dateline Thingy).
    Swings and roundabouts TG. Welcome back, officially.

    I was going to suggest visiting Kona but figured that you would already be aware of that.

    Despite the famous Kona brand, most dont to Hawaii for the coffee and your standards are higher than most there.

    I thought you would have packed the Aeropress and some of your own home-roasted?

    How was Customs there? (Not talking about the hands-on aspect ) Will they allow you to take roasted beans in with you?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Hawaii? - by Thundergod

      Originally posted by 2D273225252A3E384B0 link=1316131622/1#1 date=1316143191
      I thought you would have packed the Aeropress and some of your own home-roasted?

      How was Customs there? (Not talking about the hands-on aspect  ) Will they allow you to take roasted beans in with you?
      Decided against it - thought Id tough it out.
      Besides which, hot water was an issue.
      I might have been able to use the "coffee machine" in my room for water but God knows how clean theyd be.

      Customs wasnt an issue as I didnt take any; and didnt think to ask.
      I know coming back from Fiji last year our guys said they were OK to bring in provided they were commercially packed (remember to add "Roasted and Packed in Australia" to your home roasted labels  ).

      On another note Customs opened one of my sutcases on the way back and despite having gone to the trouble and expense of buying TSA approved padlocks,  Im now missing one.
      To be generous, maybe it was faulty and their override key didnt work and they had to use the bolt cutters.  :-/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Hawaii? - by Thundergod

        I havent been to maui but have been to kona, and two of the plantations there. They push ground coffee, flavored, and all manner of confectionary involving coffee and macadamia nuts. They are totally catering to tourists and are over priced.

        The big island locals dont seem to get the whole espresso culture thing..drip is their style, and even though i dont usually drink it, kona coffee from a drip is really good, even black, and especially with loads of pancakes (if youre ever in Hilo, go to Kens House of Pancakes - an awesome all-American diner). The stuff Ive tried is very smooth, mild and a bit nutty, but fades away a bit in milk drinks and lacks crema.

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        • #5
          Reviving this thread for the pure reason i'm off to Hawaii on saturday for a couple of weeks.I Would like to know from anyone out there where i might be able to get a good cup of coffee..... I was there in 2009, but my love for coffee wasn't what it is now. Staying on Oahu, looking to go over to where Kona is, yet still in consideration.

          Any thoughts or recommendations would be greatly appreciated

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          • #6
            After having been here for a week I have tried all besides Starbucks(only because its one of two places I do go to the other one being McDonald's). Having tried all of above and some more I have to say I was most happy with island vintage coffee. The cappuccino I had was rather nice.
            I must say however settles best, didn't seem to have a best coffee as I struggled to find anything nice the two times I went there.

            To simply conclude, if you are going to Hawaii give island vintage coffee ago.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Chris. You wouldn't have had any reason to read the "Coffee in Seattle" thread before going to Hawaii, but this post might explain why you didn't find "Seattle's Best" to your liking: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/notau/2918...tml#post425541

              Cheers

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              • #8
                I just had a read through it.... I always feel bad commenting on my tastes as I don't wish to put a negative thought into someone's head prior to trying it. I have always found the people may like coffee a certain way including from somewhere like seatless best. But it seems to a larger degree that I'm not the only one with thoughts on this place..

                Cheers,

                Chris

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                • #9
                  Had a similar Hawaii experience. Was very difficult to find anything that was palatable. As it was, at the Coffee Bean, each coffee was double shot small with half the milk. We did find a nice little place that sold $3 scrambled eggs in some small shopping centre. I think it was called the Java cafe. Just looked it up, it was the Mocha Java Cafe in Ward Centre.

                  However, once again, their sizing left a lot to be desired.

                  SB at the airport was quite possibly the worst coffee I have experienced in my life. The look of horror on my partners face was gloriously captured at that moment. She would probably shoot me for posting the photo...oh well.
                  Click image for larger version

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                  • #10
                    Funny that about SB, when we turned up to the airport to go home, we got there really earlier to catch a plane. It was yet to open, however i couldnt believe how many people were waiting out side. Really wanting a coffee i still refused to line up and get one from there.

                    The picture is a good one

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