Maui Chocolate and Coffee Tours’ Business is back!

January 13, 2021 by Ann Tuomela1
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Maui Chocolate and Coffee Tours’ Business is back!

Maui Chocolate and Coffee Tours’ business is back, and we are wishing you all continued great health and happiness every day that happens upon us this upcoming year. We are thrilled to say we are still here for you and ready to rock chocolate and coffee with aloha!

With that being said, let’s see what visitors can look forward to here on Maui and the state of Hawaii regarding the activities, particularly farm tours. Farm tours are increasing in popularity due to the nature of being outside, and people are increasingly interested in sustainable farming for better health and being kinder to our planet.

Several tour operators are required to limit capacity, extra sanitizing procedures, and spacial management. Again, we are quite fortunate in that the nature of our tours required only some modifications. The biggest adjustment for Maui Chocolate and Coffee Tours was pivoting to private tours only. Inventory for tours is limited, but the overall experience for the visitor is greatly enhanced! We couldn’t agree more with the “less is MORE” statement. Our tour guides enjoy the private factor as well. We can provide one on one attention in every aspect of the tour. Reviews have been great even though they were already great…hehe!!!

Luaus and Snorkel Excursions

Probably the most affected are the large group gathering activities such as luaus and boat excursions. Luaus are intended for big gatherings, and in the Hawaiian tradition, the more people the better the luau. Shoots! When you put a 150 to 200 lb pig in the imu (under ground cooking oven – pit) you better have a lot of people! All that kalua pork to go with the pounds of poi and lomi salmon you need a good sized group! Our favorite luau is the Feast at Lele. They have always had table service, so they had to pivot some, primarily in their capacity. In our opinion, they are the best!

Snorkel excursions are typically more fun with less people; however, depending on your comfort level in the ocean, bigger boats may be a better fit for those less comfortable snorkeling in the ocean. Bigger boats are more stable and it is much easier getting in and out of the water on a dual hulled catamaran, such as the Kai Kanani. We love this boat and her crew! The Kai Kanani departs from the beach before Makena’s Big Beach.

 

Chocolate and Coffee Tours on other islands

Maui grows the least amount of coffee and cacao compared to all the other Hawaiian islands. This is kind of ironic since Maui has the largest chocolate factory, Ku’ia chocolate estate, in the state found on the west side in Lahaina. We didn’t explore tons of cacao farms on the Big Island, but we did “sniff” out a favorite for us, Puna Gold Estate Chocolate Farm.

Stephen and his wife, Liz, were so friendly and full of aloha, that we include their chocolate in our 7 global chocolate tasting, which 3 of those are Hawaiian chocolates. Their chocolate is pretty darn yummy too! It has warm tropical fruit nuances with a hint of cinnamon. Remember, the chocolates that we include in our tastings are not flavored with any thing…it is the “chocolate talking to you”! Stephen was also kind enough to share his cacao fermentation secret with us here  up on the “north pole” of the cacao growing region (the 20/20 latitude belt). You have to come on a tour…theirs or ours to find out what the secret is!

Here is a list of a few of the cacao farms on the Big Island:

Hilo Shark Chocolate Company

Puna Chocolate Company (grown on the Big Island, but chocolate is made in Illinois!)

Mauna Kea Cacao (actually grown on the Hamakua Coast, produced by Madre on Oahu)

Cacao growers and chocolate makers on Oahu:

21 Degrees on the windward side of the island, Kahalu’u. Family owned…veteran as well!

Lonohana Estate Chocolate  on the North Shore…family owned

Madre Chocolate Hawaii.…chocolate maker Kaneohe, Oahu

Manoa Chocolate …chocolate maker and grower in Kailua on Oahu. Wow! Have these folks had extremely phenomenal growth!!! Check out their CraftChocolateTV where they actually show you the steps to start a chocolate factory. Lots of innovative chocolate virtual tastings popped up on YouTube and IG.

Cacao grower and chocolate maker on Kauai:

Lydgate Farms…5th generation cacao growers and farmers on Kauai!

In closing…

This blog may seem a tad familiar if you refer to our blog, Chocolate Makers in Hawaii, back in July, 2019

In a short amount of time, there have been quite a few chocolate makers coming onto the scene in Hawaii….their cacao trees are starting to fruit. Many of these chocolate makers only sell their chocolate on their farm. Some farms offer their goods on their websites, so this makes it challenging to find true Hawaiian chocolate in stores.  Back in the 1990’s cacao growers had to ship their fermented and dried beans to the mainland for chocolate production, just like HC&S sugar had to ship the sugar to California to finish their processing.

Most cacao growing regions don’t have chocolate factories because of lack of infrastructure and unstable government regimes. Hawaii has propelled itself way far away from those scenarios in that we now have a few more chocolate factories. Keep your eyes open for Hawaiian chocolate, and be sure to read the label, so you don’t purchase a Venezulan (which isn’t a bad thing!) chocolate that is made in Hawaii! Come join us for a chocolate adventure, and you’ll never look at a chocolate bar the same way!

Cheers and a hui hou!


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