While traveling all over the country from track to track, we always made it a fun family mission to find the best local coffee roasters and the coolest shops in town. When my career in racing seemed to be coming to an end, Ashton (my wife) and I started to dream about what we might do next. We made a list and then prayed through what God would have us do. It started to become apparent that coffee was something He had given me a passion for and would be a great way to plant our roots and have impact in our hometown.
I owned a home espresso machine and had been brewing all of the methods I knew of for a couple of years, but I had no clue how to source green coffee, sample, roast, extract properly, and then top it off with beautiful latte art. This was going to be a big learning curve but we were up for the challenge.
Off to Learn
Australia is quickly becoming the leader in specialty coffee culture so when a close friend told me about a roaster on the Sunshine Coast that would train me, we had no choice but to load up our family for the 15 hour flight to Brisbane. I spent the next 10 days with Sean of Kai Coffee learning how to run an efficient cafe, roast consistently and properly, and also how to brew great tasting coffee. While there, we also saw cafes on every single corner with amazing espresso machines and baristas pouring perfectly textured milk. I had read about places like this and now seeing it in person had me so pumped to get back home and put into action everything I had learned.
My one pound Mill City sample roaster and my Decent Espresso Machine showed up in our driveway a month after returning home from Australia. For the next six months I ordered small lots of coffee and roasted/brewed like crazy. Once we felt like I was able to put out coffee that other people would be pumped about, I bought a 6lb San Franciscan Roaster and started looking for a space to put our shop.
Mahalo Coffee Roasters
This business came to life through God's leading, our love for coffee, coastal towns, community and our home in Knoxville, TN.
Kauai, Hawaii is one of our favorite places to visit so we thought we would bring a piece of it home with us. Mahalo is Hawaiian word for "Thank you" or being grateful. We are thankful for every blessing from The Lord and for the people who have helped support this dream.