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Coffee culture

The Meal Appeal

October 23, 2023

Story By: Dining Out Team | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

Island Brew Coffeehouse co-owner Rafael Baez with a warm cup of Joe.

Island Brew Coffeehouse co-owner Rafael Baez with a warm cup of Joe.

There’s nothing like that first cup of coffee in the morning to get you ready for the day, and Ward Village has a plethora of shops offering up seasonal and classic beverages to get the job done.

Enjoy locally grown and roasted coffees — we’re talking blends like Kau, Kona and Maui Mokka Peaberry — from Island Brew Coffeehouse; or head down to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to try one of its fall-inspired favorites, like the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Just in time for fall, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has rolled out delicious and refreshing holiday-themed flavors that are ready to order at the Ward Village location at South Shore Market. 

The line of fall beverages is back and available now through Oct. 31. Popular selections include Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew ($6.29), Latte ($6.79, hot or iced), Ice Blended ($6.99) and Spiced Chai Tea Latte ($5.99, hot or iced); Salted Caramel Mocha Ice Blended ($6.99) and Latte ($6.29, hot or iced); and Valencia Orange Cream Cold Brew Tea ($5.99).

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf also offers freshly baked pastries, muffins and desserts, and a variety of sandwiches, salads and bowls available daily, made fresh on Oahu.
As a special Dining Out scoop for coffee lovers, it’s all treats and not tricks, as throughout October, customers can order any regular size Ice Blended or Pure Ice Blended beverage for just $3! This special offer is valid every Thursday in October from noon to 7 p.m., and as a reminder, it can’t be combined with any other offer and modifications and add-ons are not included. Ask one’s favorite barista for more details and enjoy these seasonal drinks before they’re gone!

Island Brew Coffeehouse: Bagel with Lox ($15.45)

Island Brew Coffeehouse

Have you heard of a “third place”? According to sociologists, a third place is a social hub people frequent besides their home and workplace. It could be a church, library, gym, park or coffee shop. Island Brew Coffeehouse, located in Ward Village, wants to be your third place.

“Some coffee shops focus on getting people in and out, while we still feel like we want to provide a gathering place where people can come to,” says co-owner Rafael Baez.

“Our Ward location is definitely the one we spent the most time on to create a really unique, warm and inviting place that’s not only welcoming, but you also feel like a lot of thought was put into the design,” he adds. “We wanted to create a place that set us apart from other coffee shops. A lot of them are stark, and you can kind of tell they don’t put thought into designs. We want to create a place to bring your friends to.”

Established in 2012 in Hawaii Kai, Island Brew Coffeehouse serves iced and hot beverages and freshly made food. Soon after the success of its first location, the family-owned biz opened up in Ala Moana Center in 2017 and Ward Village in 2021.

“What drew us to Ward is that it’s kind of the up-and-coming neighborhood, so we wanted to be the hub of Ward where people can get their morning started,” says Baez. “The inside/outside seating was something we always found really attractive. In Hawaii, a lot of people like that — being al fresco.”

While Island Brew Coffeehouse offers plenty of traditional drinks — think espresso, macchiatos, lattes and cappuccinos — its seasonal beverages are not to be missed. Try the Pumpkin Foam Cold Brew (call for price), which features an all-Hawaiian coffee blend from Rusty’s Hawaiian on the Big Island, or the hot Pumpkin Spice Latte ( ($6.25, 12-ounce; $6.95, 16-ounce; $7.45, 20-ounce).

“It’s always been one of our focuses to really work with local coffee growers,” says Baez.

The food menu, meanwhile, runs the gamut from flatbreads, sandwiches and bagels to waffles, acai bowls, smoothies and fresh pastries, but the Eggs Beni (call for price) — featuring sweet bread toast, garlic butter, cheese, house aioli and avocado — is a bestseller. The eatery also offers vegan fare, including the Ulu Hummus and Avocado Toast ($14.95), which comes with a choice of locally made jalapeño or beet hummus, avocado and paprika.

Baez teases coffee lovers can expect a new location soon, so stay tuned on Instagram (@islandbrewcoffeehouse) for updates.

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