CHOCOLATE TOUR
From blossom to bar

Our chocolate tour was so beautiful! It was great to get to see all of the lush cacao plants at the organic farm in Kula.

Learn MoreBook Chocolate Tour



Chocolate & Coffee Tour
An Adventure

When I heard about those tours I thought, “Wow, a tour that combines two of my absolute favorite things: coffee and chocolate”.

Learn MoreBook Chocolate & Coffee Tour



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Madre Chocolate Hawaii purchases raw, fermented beans directly from farmers and cooperatives, and then they roast and process in small batches to craft their chocolate bars. The best part about making chocolate in Hawai’i is that they can work closely with cacao farmers to dial down the fermentation and drying process. This makes delicious chocolate. Many cacao farmers in the Latin America and Africa have never tasted the chocolate made with their beans. Once they receive the beans from the farm, a couple weeks later they go back to the farm and taste the chocolate and comparing notes. This allows the farmers an opportunity to improve and make their beans shine. Keep reading to learn more about the wonderful Madre Chocolate Hawaii!

Sustainable Chocolate

We love that Madre Chocolate does direct trade. They get to know each farm and farmer that they buy cacao from. They see every farm, the conditions of the people, and the ecology. This way they know that every single cacao farm they work with is treating their land, animals, plants and people well. Madre Chocolate is truly providing its customers with sustainable chocolate. All of their packaging is completely biodegradable/ compostable or recyclable! Great work guys!
Madre Chocolate Hawai'i

Dr Nat Bletter PhD & Founder

Dr. Nat Bletter is the Owner and Founder of Madre Chocolate. He has 15 years of experience in botany, documenting exotic fruits and vegetables, gathering food in the wild, and herbal and traditional medicine. Dr Bletter has explored Asia, South America, Central America, and Africa.
He has a Ph.D. in Ethnobotany from the City University of New York and New York Botanical Garden, where he researched medicinal plants of Peru, Mali, and the Guatemalan Mayans, ethnobotany, taste-modifying plants, and stimulant plants such as cacao. This inspired him to start a traditional-ingredient, high-antioxidant, artisinal chocolate company, Madre Chocolate.

Dr. Bletter also taught at the University of Hawai’i Manoa researching plants and migration in Thailand and Laos. Nat is the “flavormeister”! He recently offered a cacao/chocolate bootcamp, which is not offered on a regular basis. Ann Tuomela from Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours was interested in this, but he mentored her via phone and email. “He is a very nice guy, and for being such a “brainiac”, he keeps educational value in laymen’s speak”!

Nat has been a mentor for many chocolate makers in Hawai’i and globally, through his “cacao bootcamp”. He even mentored Ethan Swift from Island Shark Chocolates, and the folks at Hana Gold Chocolate! 

Madre Chocolate Hawaii

There are so many incredible chocolate products that you can view and shop on their website.
The Triple Cacao is an award winning bar and one of our favorites! The beans are from Guatemala, and the chocolate is made on Oahu. This bar combines cacao in 3 of its forms: tangy cacao fruit pulp and rich roasted nibs in a flavorful Guatemalan dark chocolate. You can taste how chocolate has evolved from a fruit to the superfood we love!
A Unique Chocolate Bar:

Nat’s latest bar was the Jaguar Chocolate Bar, and it immediately sold out! Jaguar Cacao (also known as Patashte, Balamte, Macambo, or Cacao Blanco) is the lesser known sister plant of the cacao that is used to make chocolate. It’s equally delicious and holds equal reverence in Central America as that of cacao. the seeds are used in drinks like Tejate in Oaxaca, for it’s mild almond taste, similar to milk chocolate. This bar is one of the extremely rare cases “white cacao” can be tasted outside of Central America!

Madre Chocolate offers Chocolate Classes. Click here to check out their schedule and see what it’s all about!

Island Shark Chocolate

Island Shark Chocolate is a vegan, small-batch craft chocolate company based in Hilo, Hawai’i. Nat Bletter mentored Ethan Swift of Island Shark when he first arrived on the Big Island. Another brainiac guy! Check out his instagram for updates and all things chocolate! There are many fun things to watch and learn from.

Hana Gold

Hana Gold is a plantation that was founded in 1978. They produce 100% Maui grown chocolate using the most environmentally friendly methods. We don’t know the chocolate maker from Hana Gold personally, but Ann has been to their farm and did their tour! They were also mentored by Nat from Madre Chocolate. Click here to shop their tasty chocolate bars.
We hope you enjoyed discovering Dr. Nat Bletter and Madre Chocolate Hawaii. Feel free to drop a comment below if you have any questions, and give us a follow on Instagram for all things chocolate and Maui!
Madre Chocolate Hawai'i

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I have been traveling in Europe for the summer, and have spent the majority of my trip in Spain. Spanish chocolate is insanely delicious, and has a long and captivating history. As I write blogs for Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours, we thought it was necessary that I tell you about my European summer experience. Keep reading to learn about traveling to Spain and the history of chocolate!

The History of Chocolate in Spain

The Spanish Explorers first brought chocolate to Europe over 500 years ago! The Spanish were the first ones who mixed the bitter cocoa with sugar, thus modifying a bitter Mayan drink into the delicious and sweet hot chocolate drink as we know today. Over time, Spanish chocolate has changed, but their love for it has never diminished.

Hernan Cortez was the first person who brought chocolate to Europe. Cortez was warmly invited into the Aztec dinners, where they would give him their favorite drink, the spicy warm (but bitter) chocolate. Cortez began to realize the great importance that the Aztecs placed on chocolate. During this time they even used cocoa beans as money! He decided to load up on it and send it back to Spain. Once the chocolate landed in Spain, the Cistercian monks grasped the knowledge of how to turn cocoa beans into the yummy Aztec chocolate drink. The monks were in charge of prepping the imported cocoa beans into hot chocolate for the Spanish nobility. They kept their chocolate knowledge a secret, and managed to prevent the rest of Europe from finding out for almost 100 years!

How chocolate evolved

Now, as the years passed, the Spanish recipe for chocolate was molding to more and more European tastes. The Aztecs had blended fiery hot peppers into their chocolate, but the Spaniards decided to go for a sweeter option, with sugar cane from the Canary Islands to create the sweetened chocolate that would eventually be a worldwide hit!

In the 17th century, the Spanish Empire and the country’s hold on chocolate began to fall. The chocolate secret was loose! First to France, then Italy, and suddenly the sweet hot chocolate beverage spread quickly amongst the elite and bourgeois. Well, how did chocolate go from European royalty to every person in the world? It took another 200 years! All the way up to the 1800s, chocolate was only served as a drink. This drink was incredibly labor-intensive, and very expensive to produce. In the 1820s, a Dutch chemist invented a way to make powdered chocolate! Fast forward a few decades later, and a British company produced the FIRST ever chocolate bar! And this is how chocolate was able to be made in mass quantities.

Eating Chocolate in Spain

I landed in Madrid, Spain, and spent a few days here before going to my final destination in Tarifa, Spain. One thing I can tell you for sure is that Spaniards love their chocolate. Every morning, from Madrid all the way to Tarifa, you can find a local cafe where the most popular option on the breakfast menu is “churros”.

Where I come from, I am familiar with “Mexican churros”, where they are rolled in cinnamon and sugar, and then served. But in Spain, they serve churros plain, with a huge cup of hot, melted chocolate to dip them in! You can get a giant order of 10 churros (that would be nearly impossible for one person to finish on their own) for only $2! The chocolate to dip them in is the best part. One cafe I found, offered many different types of chocolate. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, hazelnut, white chocolate, and the list goes on! These churros are a must-have when you are visiting Spain!

Chocolate Tasting

My next experience with chocolate was when I went hiking on the Caminito del Rey. The Caminito del Rey is an aerial trail that was built in the walls of the Gaitanes gorge. It’s a path terraced onto the gorge with a length of 1.8 miles in long sections, and the path is less than 3 feet wide. The path is hanging on the vertical gorge walls, and you walk on this path that’s over 300 feet above the river. If you are afraid of heights, this hike could definitely make you dizzy (but it’s so worth the thrill and spectacular views)!

Traveling to Spain and Chocolate

Traveling to Spain and Chocolate

As soon as we finished the hike, hungry and exhausted in the middle of a hot summer day, we were waiting to catch the shuttle back to our car when we found a chocolate stand that was selling artisanal chocolate made in Spain. Of course, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to taste some Spanish chocolate and support a local company! The woman working there was very kind, and explained to us that many of her chocolates are sweetened with honey, rather than sugar. That is, locally farmed and organic honey!

Traveling to Spain and Chocolate

Her chocolate was very pure, and only had a few ingredients in each one. She offered many different flavors including : red fruits, nuts, sugar free, lemon, dark chocolate, banana chocolate, cinnamon, white chocolate with strawberries, lemon and ginger, and pistachio. My two favorite ones that I tried were the chocolates with nuts and the pistachio! Delicious chocolate. I wish I could find the brand and give them credit here, but they are very small and unfortunately I can’t seem to locate a website or social media!

We brought some chocolate bars home after this adventure to enjoy with my husbands family. They loved the chocolate too!

Traveling to Spain and Chocolate

You can find chocolate everywhere in Spain! Whether it be hot chocolate, chocolate croissants at the bakery a.k.a. Napolitana De Chocolate, churros with chocolate, and more! If you are a chocolate lover like we are, you must indulge when you travel to Europe. Everything here is so delicious, and has so much history behind it. Traveling to Spain and the History of Chocolate is one that goes hand in hand together.

I hope you enjoyed “traveling” to Spain with me and learning more on the history of chocolate. Give us a follow on Instagram to learn more about our chocolate farm on Maui, and the chocolate and coffee tours that we offer! Tell us about your Spanish chocolate experiences in the comments below. Ciao!


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Here on Maui, we prioritize doing what we love, therefore, you’ll never have to “work” a day in your life! As you know, we love featuring local business owners. This blog is special as we have a new farmer in town. Sam Mangoba, one of Maui’s newest aspiring farmers, featured in today’s article.

Sam Mangoba-one of Maui’s newest aspiring Farmer’s!

Mr. Mangoba comes from a long line of farmers in the Philippines. His grandfather supervised a very large farm called “hacienda”, where they practiced diversified farming of several agricultural products, such as, rice, mango, pineapple, etc. Sam is a doctor of Eastern and Western medicine; however, today he is self educating himself on how to create healthy soil through regenerative permaculture and organic farming techniques. Sam taught us about the art of lasagna farming, compost lasagna, and an ancient farming technique“Hugelkultur”, which is basically what the other two composting names are. With farming lasagna, the nitrogen comes from the green waste, ie: kitchen scraps, and the carbon from the wood chips and paper products. Thank you to Maui Times News for donating their recycled and old news papers to the farm! 

Maui's newest aspiring farmer

What do you call a professional “composter”?! An “organic alchemist”. Thank you Gerry Ross from Kupa’a Farms!  He is definitely the one writing the book on this, and has been an organic alchemist for decades on his farm while teaching other farmers too!

Maui's newest aspiring farmer

Maui's newest aspiring farmer

Earth Element Farm

Sam’s farm is private property and not open to the public. The Earth Element in Chinese philosophical thought is the energetic state between maximum movement (fire element) and non-movement (water element). Think of the Earth Element as the happy medium between the two extremes. It’s function is to transform and transport. This is such a profound ancient understanding of what the Earth / soil does. Modern scientific and agricultural thought are slowly beginning to accept and acknowledge it more and more.

You can see it well illustrated in how a compost pile works: 

Take the most humble ingredients (manure, detritus, “garbage”) and when you combine it with the other elements (water, fire, heat/sun, wood, and metal), you create a medium that will:
  1. Transform all things in it, including promoting and creating life.
  2. It will transport things in it on many levels (fungal, bacterial, animal, plant and mineral levels).
  3. It becomes the ultimate growing medium for all biological life, including humans.
Even the deepest oceans rest on earth.
“This concept is very profound. I feel if humans truly understood what the earth element actually does, it would really help people respect the earth more. Therefore, this would probably change how agriculture is practiced.”
From the very beginning, we have been able to watch Sam’s farm come to life. See photos that are featuring when he began to now.

Actions & contributions already taken toward Earth Element Farm

Jayce donated 6 gallon paint buckets from his painting company. This means less hard plastic in Maui’s landfill! Those buckets provide many functions for this little slice of heaven! Sam picks up the green waste from a small beach side eatery in Kihei, Beach Street Cafe. Mahalo you guys!

After picking up three to four days of green waste, he puts in the first layer of the compost.

Maui's newest aspiring farmer

Maui's newest aspiring farmer

Maui's newest aspiring farmer

Then the buckets are used again in watering certain parts of the farm. After this, he goes back for more green waste and they are actually rotated and left empty at the cafe for them to fill again!

The Beach Street Cafe also donated 3 gallon plastic food containers that were also spared being added to Maui’s bulging landfill. Sam uses these to make a water-filled bucket barricade around papaya or other seedlings threatened by the pigs that constantly disturb his farm and other farms on the island. The water grows an algae that is then dispersed around thirsty plants that have grass and wood chip mulch to also retain moisture. 

 

Sam’s Overall Goal

Sam’s goal is to help heal the earth with small synergistic actions taken by individuals to create a healthier planet. Sam hopes to inspire and educate others, as a self taught farmer, on what he is learning and practicing in regenerative and permaculture farming. With synergistic actions and education, this could be a great thing which starts in everyone’s own backyard, lanai or any small space. Let’s begin by trying to heal Mother Maui, next a neighboring Hawaiian island, an American territory like American Samoa, the Philippines (where Sam would like to teach his homeland people), then the rest of the world. One small space and synergistic action at a time. Baby steps!

Maui's newest aspiring farmer

We hope you enjoyed reading about Sam Mangoba, one of Maui’s newest aspiring farmers! Check out our instagram at @mauichocolatecoffee for more information and photos!

Maui's newest aspiring farmer


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Coffee roasting is an art, and a science. The roasting process is crucial, because it turns green coffee beans into coffee that you can drink! The green coffee beans have delicious flavor and aroma, that can be found simply by roasting them! Say you were to use the green coffee beans without roasting. They would have almost zero flavor! So now you know how important the roasting process is. During this article we are going to teach you about the art of coffee roasting and how it works. Then when you book a tour with Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours, you will already have some knowledge about coffee!

The art of coffee roasting

Roasting Coffee

Roasting involves more than you may think. It can take many years of practice and training to become an expert coffee roaster. Sourcing your green beans is the first step with coffee roasting! Luckily we have beautiful and organic coffee trees at the same location as our tours, Kupa’a Organic Farms. We have 8 different varieties of coffee, each with a distinct flavor.

Coffee roasting machines heat the green beans in-between 370 and 540 degrees Fahrenheit. They are heated anywhere from only a few minutes to 30 minutes. The temperature and amount of time will determine the level of roasting (light, medium, or dark). Which is your favorite type of roast? Many people assume that dark roasted coffee has a higher caffeine content. But… this is actually not true! Light roasted coffee is the highest in caffeine. The roasting techniques develop the different flavors and caffeine levels.

The art of coffee roasting

Light Roast

Light roast coffee beans have the color of light brown and have a more acidic and light flavor. If you would like to make light roasted coffee beans, you will want to heat the bean until the first crack and 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The beans will not look shiny or oily-this only happens the longer the beans are roasted. The soil, crops surrounding the coffee plants, and weather conditions all play a part in the origin flavors.

Medium roasted coffee beans

Medium roasted coffee beans are slightly darker in appearance in comparison to the light roasted ones. These beans will give off a sweeter flavor with less acidity, and more balanced. The caffeine will be a little bit less than the light roast, but higher than the dark roast.

Dark roasted coffee beans

Dark roasted beans will appear to be oily or shiny and have a less acidic taste. These beans are heated to about 460 degrees Fahrenheit and cooked until near the end of the second crack. Dark roasted coffee can tend to taste a little bit bitter or smoky from the roasting process. This may change the taste of the origin flavor. Dark roast is the best type of coffee to use for espresso.

Cooling after roasting

When the roaster tells you that it’s time a mechanical sweep and forced air efficiently stop the roasting process! When the desired roast and color is achieved, they are quickly released into a box or pan which is called the “cooling tray”. The beans must be cooled off right away, so that they don’t over cook. You want to be incredibly careful with your coffee roasting. A slight change in temperature or inconsistency, and the whole batch can be ruined! There are three things to keep an eye out for when roasting. Colouration, the first crack, and the second crack.

The art of coffee roasting

 

Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours

Here at MCCT, we take pride in our coffee roasting! We offer chocolate and coffee tours that consist of walking through the organic coffee orchards, the picking and processing techniques, tasting, and more! The three main species of coffee are Arabica, Robusto, and Liberica. Liberica is the least known, with only 2% of the worlds coffee consumption. The type grown at our coffee farm at Kupa’a Organic Farms is Arabica. There are 8 varieties of Arabica which we grow: Red and Yellow catuai, Red, Yellow and Orange Bourbon, Typica, San Ramon, Mundo Novo, and Guadalupe. We will walk you through the history of this second generation farm. There are 6 acres, currently organically farmed with plenty of room to grow!

Gerry Ross and Janet Simpson planted 450 coffee trees in 1997, and then permanently relocated to Maui in 2003. The tour starts at the coffee and cacao gardens and orchards, and your guide will compare and discuss the amazing similarities found in the growing and production of both fruits. Your tour will include the full chocolate tasting, demonstration, and is topped off with an exquisite sample of Kupa’a Organic coffee!

We grow coffee under a canopy of that includes native trees that help to create a forest like ecology similar to coffee in its native Ethiopia. The terroir of our coffees reflect the varietals we grow as well as the ecology and cultural practices that we use. The tour includes tasting and the full gamut of picking and processing techniques that has helped us maintain “specialty coffee” status for the last 11 years.

Maui Tropical Plantation

Maui Tropical Plantation is an agricultural plantation that offers visitors tours of the farm featuring Hawaii’s famous fruits and plants. During your tour you will smell the beautiful native flowers, see the fruits and plants, and hear amazing stories. It’s a fun and educational experience! The Maui Tropical Plantation in conjunction with Oma Coffeei roaster is in the process of developing a demonstration on coffee roasting. They plan on opening this demonstration to the public soon. No date was available at blog press time. Check back with us for an update!

The art of coffee roasting

The art of coffee roasting

The art of coffee roasting

Now that you know more about the art of coffee roasting, you are ready for your tour at Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours! We are excited to see you. Don’t forget to book in advance, so that you are guaranteed to experience this! Follow us on Instagram for more info, photos, and farm fun!


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February 7, 2022 Tess PitzerChocolate0

Although chocolate is known as a key sweet ingredient essential for rich and delicious desserts, you shouldn’t limit it to this! When chocolate is incorporated in small quantities, it provides silkiness and complexity to an abundance of savory preparations. We have put together a few of our favorite Savory Recipes that incorporate Chocolate! Valentines Day is right around the corner. We thought that these recipes might help bring some fun ideas to the table. Surprise your significant other with something tasty and new, or make a date night out of cooking together!

Maui Food and Wine

Maui Food and Wine was created to help you create a perfect meal for your special event. They source only the finest Maui ingredients, and provide wholesome, handcrafted, and innovative dining experiences. Owner and Founder of Maui Food and Wine, Katarina, has been living and working in the food and beverage industry on Maui for years. She has built a trustworthy network of professionals here to serve and work with you on putting together a memorable dining experience. Below we have listed the services offered at Maui Food and Wine.

Private Chef & Catering

If you are looking for someone to provide the food for your next event, you have found the right place! They will help you plan the perfect meal whether it’s for a family dinner, wedding, birthday party, cocktail reception, etc.

Sommelier

Maui Food and Wine works with the top Wine distributors on Maui. They have access to the perfect pairings and their team is certified through the Court of Masters Sommeliers.

Themed Dinner Parties & Menus

Their clients have a few favorites to choose from the menu! They can also help you create your own special themed dinner menu. How cool is that?!

Maui Food and Wine also offers additional services such as special menus for diets including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free, prepared foods for delivery, farmers market to table delivery service, and filling your fridge with local products!

Here is one of our favorite recipes from Katarina at Maui Food and Wine!

Chocolate Rubbed Pork Chop

This is a savory dish where the essence of cacao really shines through!

Ingredients

Rub
1 tsp Cacao Powder
1 tsp Cacao Nibs
1/4 tsp White Pepper
1 tsp Salt Chards, Maldon if you have it
1 tsp Light Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Rosemary

Fruits & Veggies
1/4 Cup fresh Whole Cranberries
3 baby apples
1 fresh Julienne Jalapeño Pepper
1/2 small onion

Liquids 
3 oz local beer of choice
1 tsp local honey
1 tbsp cold butter

Pork
1 Large Pork Chop (8-10 oz) or 2 small chops

Savory Chocolate Recipes

Directions
  1. Create a dry rub for the pork and rub it generously, covering all sides. (They went with a boneless pork chop)

Savory Chocolate Recipes

2, Let the pork chop sit while heating the skillet. Now’s a good time to chop the veggies!

3. On medium / high heat, place the rubbed chop onto the dry skillet.

4. Sear each side of the chop

5. Add oil and vegetables. Move the veggies around while the chop cooks and deglaze with about 3 ounces of beer.

Savory Chocolate Recipes

6. After the beer has reduced for a few minutes, reduce the heat to low and put a lid on it. Let it sit for a few minutes. (Until pork is cooked how you like it)

7. Set the work on a plate

8. Add a slice of butter and little spoon of honey to the pan. Toss until the sauce is brought together, then pour over the chops.

Savory Chocolate Recipes

Thank you Katarina for showing us that wonderful recipe! 

Here are a few more fun recipes to incorporate chocolate into a savory dish!

Roasted Baby Carrots with Balsamic-Bitter Chocolate Syrup

Ingredients

For the carrots 
3 lbs baby carrots
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp Salt
5-6 sprigs of fresh Thyme

For the syrup
1/2 cup aged Balsamic Vinegar (5 or 10 year aged)
Pinch of Salt
1/2 ounce 85% dark chocolate of your choice, chopped
1/2 tsp honey

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place carrots on top of a sheet pan and drizzle them with Olive Oil. Spread them into a single layer. Sprinkle the salt evenly on the carrots. Add the Thyme sprigs on top. Roast the carrots until they are tender and brown in spots. Shake the pan and turn over a couple of times. This will take about 35 minutes in total.
  3. As the carrots are cooking, take this time to make the syrup. Put vinegar in a very small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat. You will do this until it’s reduced to a 1/4 cup. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the chocolate. Let the chocolate melt for 30 seconds. Take a small spatula and gently stir the syrup. Once the chocolate has melted and the syrup is smooth, add the honey and salt. Mix well. Cover the pan in order to keep the sauce warm until the meal is ready to be served.
  4. Once the carrots are ready, discard the thyme and place the carrots nicely on a serving dish. Now, drizzle them with a generous amount of the syrup. Enjoy!

Cacao Nib Pesto

Adding Cacao Nibs to traditional pesto sauce provides your menu with a smoky dimension. You may use this pesto with pasta, salad, or as a spread. One of our favorite ways to use pesto is spread on toasty bread topped with grated Italian Cheese which makes a tasty and unique appetizer!

Here’s what you’ll need

1 1/4 ounces fresh Basil leaves (remove the stems)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
1/4 cup Cacao Nibs
3 tbsp Toasted Pine Nuts (divided)
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Pink Peppercorns
1/4 tsp Salt

Directions
  1. Place Basil leaves in a food processor or high powered blender. Add 2 tbsp Olive Oil, Cacao Nibs, 2 tbsp Pine Nuts, Lemon Juice, Peppercorns, and Sea Salt. Turn on your food processor or blender and pulse until well blended with some texture. Add more oil if needed, and blend into a creamy paste. Mix the remaining pine nuts into the paste.
  2. Use pesto immediately. If you would like to store it, refrigerate in a glass container topped with Olive Oil in order to avoid browning.

Bon Apetit!

We hope you enjoy these savory recipes that incorporate Chocolate. If you are looking for something fun to do on or around Valentines Day with your significant other or loved ones, we highly recommend booking a Maui Chocolate Coffee Tour. What better way to celebrate this holiday then to see exactly where chocolate comes from and how it’s turned into something we eat?!


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Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours offers more than providing in-person Chocolate and Coffee tours at Kupa’a Farms. We do private in-home chocolate tastings! This is an incredibly fun and unique experience to include in an event or party. Your friends and family will be talking about it for years to come! Below we will talk about private in-home chocolate tastings and recipes.

What is chocolate tasting?

Chocolate tasting is when chocolate-loving friends gather and sample different types of chocolate, and discuss what they taste like. Check out our article to learn more about the art of chocolate tasting. When you book with Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours to do a private tasting, we will provide our very own homemade chocolate. Owner and Tour Guide of MCCT Ann Tuomela will also be there to educate and explain all things chocolate. Chocolate tasting is a fun activity and something that everyone can do! Contact us today to schedule your private tasting.

 

Chocolate Course By Ann

Here is an easy peasy chocolate course by Ann that she made for her family for Thanksgiving.
Cut your chocolate bars into 3-4 gram pieces which allows you to get alot of mileage from one chocolate bar.
Goodnow Farms, Peru 70% made in MA
Dick Taylor, Brazil 75% made in Eureka, California
Marou, Vietnam 78% made in Saigon, Vietnam
Akesson’s, Madagascar Estate, Crillo 75%, made in England
Madre, Nine Fine Mynah’s, Oahu 70%, made in Kailua, HI
Offering a flight of single origin chocolates allows guests to wrap their minds around how chocolate flavor profiles can be so widely and wildly different with only 2 or 3 ingredients. They experience how the “chocolate talks to them”!
You can change it up by having an accoutrement plate which can include your favorite double or triple creme cheese, blue cheese, fresh or dried fruits, nuts, and even a slice or two of your favorite charcuterie. We recently paired chocolate with bresaola, which is a wine and peppered cured beef sliced very thinly. Delicious!

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse is an ideal dessert. It’s romantic, impressive, and makes you feel special. This recipe by Jana Eats is velvety and utterly decadent. The creamy and rich Avocado Chocolate Mousse is a healthy, dairy free, gluten free vegan dessert! Go check out her website for more amazing recipes!

  • 2 cups avocado (the richer, the better- Haas is a great varietal)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons organic coconut butter (optional)
  • 1-2 teaspoons non-alcohol vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (aged balsamic is best)
  • 1/2 teaspoon shoyu
  • 1 cup pure cocoa powder
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves

Sprinkle Scharffenberger’s cacao nibs (optional)

How to make

  1. In a food processor: Blend avocado, maple syrup, coconut butter,
    vanilla extract, balsamic, and shoyu until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add cocoa powder and blend until smooth. Sifting the cocoa powder before adding is a good idea so prevent lumps. A simple metal strainer works well.
  3. Allow to chill one hour or more in the fridge for flavors to marry.

Ready to serve

Serve in a parfait, wine, or martini glass garnished with berries, mint
and caco nibs. Bon Apetit!

Flourless Chocolate Truffle Cakes

Here is another Recipe from Jana Eats. Enjoy!

Serves 6 – Silicon muffin cups

Ingredients:

  • 5oz dark good quality chocolate, chopped
  • 2.5oz butter
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

2T caster (superfine) sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F
  2. Spray cups with non-stick spray
  3. Place chocolate & butter in a saucepan and stir over low
    heat until melted and smooth.
  4. Place eggs, vanilla and sugar in a bowl and with an electric
    mixer beat until thick and pale. (5-7 minutes)
  5. Stir through chocolate mixture until well combined and then
    pour into cups.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cakes
    are just set.
  6. Serve warm with gelato and berries OR
    Cool & refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Serve cold
    with warm chocolate sauce, gelato and berries.

French Chocolate Mendiants

Chocolate Mendiants are a delicious yet elegant dessert. These treats make for the perfect holiday gift.
If you are not familiar with Chocolate Mendiants, they are chocolate disks that contain nuts and dried fruits. There are many different options for personalizing mendiants to make it more unique and fun!
Culinary Ambition has a wonderful recipe for French Chocolate Mendiants. Go on over and check it out to get some inspiration and learn how to make them perfectly!
These recipes will make the perfect touch to any family gathering, party or event! We hope you enjoyed reading about our Private In-Home Chocolate Tastings & Recipes. Feel welcome to leave us any questions in the comments below!

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There are so many things to be grateful for, and one of them is this beautiful island that we call home!  We absolutely love waking up to the magnificent sun rising above the crater, birds chirping, the smell of tropical flowers, and the turquoise blue sea that meets the sand. Maui has an abundance of opportunity for those who seek it. Here at Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours, we wanted to express our gratitude for living on Maui.

Mana’o Radio

We wanted to give a shout out to Mana’o Radio for all of their awesome DJ’s. They provide the island with a wonderful variety of music that you won’t find anywhere else! Jeremy Jarvis gave us the inspiration to write about all of our gratitude when we were listening to his show during the second week of October. Thank you Jeremy for the inspiration!

Maui Bees 

Maui Bees is a family owned operation located in Kula Maui. They produce wonderful and delicious Maui honey. Mark and Leah Damon have run Maui bees for over 10 years. Not only do they share a passion for bees, but they also care deeply about organically grown food. In addition to the honey, they also have a farm stand where they sell their fresh produce and organically fed pastured eggs. They farm uses biodynamic sprays and preparations and builds its own organic compost. Mark and Leah have always made sure that their honey is pure, unfiltered, and raw. Although it may be costly and time consuming, they put in all of their energy and efforts to do things right.
Bees play a huge role in agriculture. They pollinate the crops, increase yields, and make great honey! Did you know that over a third of the food that we eat relies on pollination by bees?!
Maui Bees now has a kitchen, where Chef Larry puts out a new menu every week depending on the produce in the garden. The dishes are fresh and local, from farm to table.
Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours

Maui Gold

Maui Gold is a pineapple company. These pineapples are grown exclusively by Haliimaile Pineapple Company. The Haliimaile Pineapple company was started by former Maui Pineapple company employees, who were dedicated to keeping the tradition of pineapple on Maui. They have been cultivating the Maui Gold Pineapples for over 20 years. What is so special about Maui Gold Pineapples? They are twice as sweet and less acidic than other varieties. Did you know that it takes a full 18 months to grow one Maui Gold Pineapple?! There is a 2-3 day window where the fruit is perfectly ripe, and needs to be picked. Once a pineapple is picked, it won’t ripen any further.
We want to show our gratitude to this company for keeping the 100 year pineapple tradition alive in Hawaii. This also helps our island sustain itself through rough times, rather than solely relying on the tourism industry for the economy.
Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours

Hawaiian Lifestyle Studio

Hawaiian Lifestyle Studio is an independent creative agency run by wife and husband, Tess and Mateo! They spent quite some years traveling around the world and doing surf photography. They came to Maui just in time for the pandemic! This is where Tess grew up as a kid. Although they both have degrees in the medical field, they decided to follow their passions and that’s when Hawaiian Lifestyle Studio was born. They specialize in commercial photography, videography and content creation right here in Maui, Hawaii! We use them as our photographers and videographers for Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours. Hawaiian Lifestyle Studio also offers social media management and blog writing (which is also something they help us with)! We highly recommend their services and are super grateful to be working with them!
Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours
We want to extend a huge mahalo to all of these local businesses for doing great things for our island, and also supporting other local businesses! This is what helps Maui keep going round.
It’s now the month of giving and thanks! Share some reasons for your gratitude for living on Maui in the comments below.

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Do you own a business, or thinking of opening one in the future? Here at Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours, we prioritize the motto of enjoying what you do, so you never “work” a day in your life. If you work hard enough at it, you too can live this way! We decided to feature Hawaii business owner’s doing what they love.

Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours

Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours is located in Upcountry Maui, on the beautiful Kupa’a Farms. Barry Allison is a friend of Ann Tuomela General Manager of MCCT.  Barry and Ann are long time friends of over 25 years, and got theirs starts by following along the similar paths of corporate America, until their entrepreneurial spirits were found or reignited. They both followed similar journeys, yet separate paths. Ann’s tenacity and resilience put her back in the “saddle”. Closing one door and opening another by reinventing her life through continuing to love what she does so it seems like she never works another day in her life.

Enjoy an exclusive, fun and educational chocolate and coffee tour, from the farm all the way to the table! Ann will teach you everything you need to know, beginning with the plants on the farm, and ending with the chocolate or coffee that you are consuming. Make sure to book in advance, so your spot is secure during your vacation to Maui! Follow us on Instagram, and read our blogs for more information.

Local businesses of Maui

Local businesses of Maui

Kihei Caffe

Barry Allison moved from Chicago to Maui after working at Nick’s on Oahu back in the 80’s. Opening Roy Yamaguchi’s first Roy’s on Maui brought Barry to Maui as a part of Roy’s opening team. Barry recently opened his 2nd Kihei Caffe in Lahaina. The Kihei location still has customers lining up around the corner to get the famous Kihei Caffe breakfast grinds! Barry’s farm is his sanctuary, which he loves to work with all of his animals, goats, sheep, chickens, and cow’s. He never “works” Upcountry, because he loves what he does and it shows. Very similar to what Kupa’a Farms has going on!

Local businesses of Maui

Local businesses of Maui

Kupa’a Farms

Gerry Ross is the one of the owners along with his wife Janet and her twin sister, Judy at Kupa’a Farms. Kupa’a Farms is a 6 acre family farm that was started by Gerry’s lovely wife’s parents back in the 70’s. They are located at a 1900 foot elevation on the slopes of Haleakala, Maui. They grow a wide variety of organic fruits, vegetables, and award winning coffee! Not only this, but they grow everything using sustainable and regenerative agricultural methods. They also practice the farm to table and table to farm method. Check out our blog to read all about it! Gerry is incredibly passionate about his job, so it really seems as though he’s playing instead of working! Kupa’a Farms has wonderful educational and volunteer opportunities. Check out their website or Instagram to learn more!

Local businesses of Maui

Local businesses of Maui

How to Balance Your Business Life and Personal Life

One of the main questions people ask is: “how do you run your business while keeping your personal life separate?” The truth is, that once you own a successful business, you never truly stop working. Since you don’t clock in and out from a regular shift, you can lose control of your “hours”. It is incredibly wonderful to be fully invested in your business. It is even more exciting to watch it grow! However, if you don’t take the time to enjoy your personal life and take care of yourself and loved ones, then it defeats the purpose of owning your own business and making your schedule.

Here are a couple of tips to balance your business and personal life : 

  • Set regular business hours and days.
  • Know when it’s time to set the phone down, and be with your family or friends
  • Wait until you have had your morning routine before picking up the phone or computer
  • Don’t lose sight of your passion, and why you began this in the first place
  • Embrace failure, and learn from your mistakes
  • Don’t try to do it all alone. Never be afraid to ask for help or outsource employees for the things you simply cannot do.
  • Keep work and life separate.
  • Take time off. It’s important to rejuvenate and come back looking through fresh eyes!

These words of advice can apply to anyone, running any kind of business! It is extremely important to keep the balance.

We hope that you enjoyed reading about Hawaii business owner’s doing what they love. Feel free to comment any questions below! We hope to see you on a tour soon! A hui hou!


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Traveling to Maui, Hawaii is an exciting adventure. Most people only get a small amount of time off from work each year. The most popular times to visit are during the holidays and school breaks. Some have the luxury of choosing to come anytime. Being spontaneous can mean cheaper tickets, and more flexibility with your trip! However, when traveling to Hawaii, pre-planning makes for a wonderful travel experience for you, your family, and for businesses on this island that are ready to share their aloha. Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours may seem like an activity that you would do “spur of the moment”, but booking private tours in advance is a must! This insures the best experience ever! Spontaneity in traveling to Maui can be fun, but everything books up very quickly. Unless you are going to just relax on the beach your entire trip, we definitely recommend planning some things in advance.

Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours

Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours is a locally owned business located at Kupa’a Farms, in Maui, Hawaii. If you have always wanted to try Hawaiian, handmade chocolate, then this is definitely an activity you will want to book! A fun, educational experience will have you learning and physically participating in the chocolate and coffee making process. We will take you on a beautiful tour of the farm, so that you can observe the process from start to finish.

MCCT

General Manager of Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours

General Manager of Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours, Ann Tuomela had her eyes set on a vacation this summer. She was planning a trip to America Samoa! Ann was looking forward to sharing her experience abroad with us. However, due to the constant opening and closing of borders, things escalated quickly again with Covid, causing her to abruptly cancel her trip. Instead of letting this get her down, she decided to take a look at other travel options. San Diego and Vancouver B.C. are both beautiful places, where she has family and friends, so she decided to go there! You will notice some beautiful photos we have showcased from Ann’s trip.

Ann even ended up extending her stay in Vancouver, Canada! “Uncle Fester” decided to bloom! (See photo). The blossom is only open for 24 hours!

MCCT

The titan arum looks like a giant flower, but its structure tells a different story. It can take 2 weeks for a bud to reach full size (a whopping 6-8 FEET!) before opening. The titan arum’s flower is actually a flowering spike called an inflorescence. The spike, or spadix, supports the much tinier true flowers, both male and female, in rings at its base.

MCCT

If a titan arum is lucky enough to be pollinated, it produces a beautiful cylinder of olive-shaped red-orange berries atop the stalk left after flowering, called a peduncle.

Check out this beautiful botanical garden!

MCCT

MCCT

Aloha Bars Maui 

We wanted to feature a wonderful Maui business this month, Aloha Bars. They are a full service cocktail catering company. They create delicious handcrafted cocktails and tropical beverages for guests of all ages to enjoy. Whether it be for a wedding, or private event, if you are looking for great mobile bartenders, Aloha Bars is the best in the business! 

Owner and founder, Kirsty Sinclair, immediately fell in love with the spectacular beauty and Aloha Spirit that embraces the island of Maui. Her extensive background as a bartender and a corporate hospitality trainer for a large restaurant chain in Florida helped her to attain bartending positions at several premier restaurants on Maui including Wolfgang Puck’s Spago at the Four Seasons Resort, Chef Yamaguchi’s Roy’s (formerly in Kihei) and Capische?, located at Hotel Wailea. Kirsty also worked at a gourmet cheese & wine boutique on the island… Guava, Gouda & Caviar (formerly Who Cut the Cheese?) for several years. These experiences helped broaden her knowledge of pairing fine wines with gourmet cheese and Pacific-rim cuisine as well as allowing her to think outside the box in creating cutting edge, island-inspired cocktails.

Kirsty has a strong passion for entertaining and making delicious drinks. She has become a bit of a local celebrity on Maui. Constantly being asked to offer her services at weddings, it was this moment that Aloha Bars Maui was born! Since then, she has been focused on filling a very important niche within the Maui wedding & event industry. Clients who want a high quality, professional mobile bar service that gives their guests a real “taste of Maui”, while staying within your budget.

DMITRI AND SANDRA

Supporting local businesses

Kirsty has established meaningful relationships with local organic farmers and unique product vendors from various islands. This way, she can buy directly from them. This is how she supports local businesses and avoids costly store mark ups. The result is a surprisingly affordable, yet extraordinary drink & cocktail menu that uses the freshest ingredients available in stylish & innovative ways!

We highly recommend Aloha Bars, and cannot say enough wonderful things about them. Follow them on instagram and check out their website for all things cocktails and Maui!

TARA LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

We hope you enjoyed reading about the spontaneity in traveling to Maui. Whether you choose to be spontaneous or plan your trip out.. come book a tour with Maui Chocolate Tours! You will be elated that you did!


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Last month, we talked about the differences between Chocolate Makers and Chocolatiers. This month we will talk about Chocolate Sommeliers. What exactly is a chocolate sommelier? Well, a good Chocolate Taster, is someone who can be defined as a chocolate sommelier. They are able to recognize a wide range of aromas and flavors when tasting a dark chocolate. The cacao releases aromas which the mind connects to flavors and aromas that are already known. Tasting chocolate is an art and ritual. Made for an experience which involves all of the senses. It is important to taste and not only eat the chocolate. While on Maui, come visit Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours to have an authentic tasting experience! Keep reading on to discover more about the art of chocolate tasting.

How to taste chocolate

Like wine experts, professional chocolate makers and connoisseurs use a simple but systematic procedure to unlock all the nuances in a bite of chocolate. With a few tips and tricks, you can learn to taste chocolate like a pro! Slowing down, savoring, and focusing your attention on taste and texture is exactly how to do it. Therefore, you will discover all the benefits of tasting chocolate.

There is no “right, or wrong” way to taste chocolate. In our opinion, the best chocolate is the one you like the most. No two people perceive aroma or taste flavors exactly the same way. Each persons texture can differ from one palate to another. Your individual chocolate palate evolves and sharpens over time with experience. When tasting, look for, notice, and describe what pleases you in the chocolates you taste as well as what you find less appealing about a specific chocolate.

Tasting the chocolate

Use your eyes: The chocolate should be compact with uniform color and its surface homogenous, bright and flawless.

Smell: Concentrate on its aroma to discover the intensity and richness of aromatic notes.

Taste: Let the chocolate melt in the mouth slowly, without breaking or chewing it with your teeth. Take the time to appreciate its flavor and all the aromas you are able to recognize. In this way, just one small piece will be enough to give you a lasting and pleasant sensation.

Chocolate Tasting

How to preserve chocolate

Preservation of the chocolate is extremely important. Keep the chocolate away from direct light and sources of heat. Chocolates have a long shelf life, so you can shop early and they will still be good for the holidays. Months after the holidays have passed, you can still dig into those boxed chocolates!

Here’s some tips for chocolate preservation :

  • The ideal temperature is between 16° and 18°centigrade with a relative humidity of less than 50%
  • For best results, store boxed chocolates at a moderate room temperature
  • Wrap tightly to keep the odors away
  • Do not keep chocolate in the fridge or in a cupboard unless it is well sealed, otherwise it may become contaminated
  • If the climate in your home is routinely above 70° Fahrenheit and humid, or if you can’t polish off an entire box of chocolates within a few months…your next best option is to refrigerate or freeze your boxed chocolates.
  • How long do boxed chocolates last in the fridge or freezer? As a general rule, refrigerating chocolate can extend its shelf life by at least 25%, while freezing can prolong it by 50% or more. Place the original box in a heavy-duty plastic freezer bag, seal it tightly and then refrigerate for up to one year or freeze for up to 18 months for best quality. Thaw frozen chocolates in the refrigerator.
  • How long does a box of chocolates last at room temperature? Stored under those moderate temperatures, most types of boxed chocolates will retain their quality for at least 6 to 9 months, even after they been opened.

Chocolate Tasting

Experience Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours

Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours is a local business offering tours at Kupa’a Farms, in Upcountry Maui. With our private tours, you will get an exclusive and educational experience. Laughing while tasting chocolate and coffee for the entire duration of the tour is how we do it! The tours include everything from the beginning of the chocolate on the cacao tree, all the way to being made into chocolate! The private group size is limited to 8 people. Smaller groups keep the experience more intimate since there is a hands-on chocolate making demonstration as part of the adventure. We explore the many flavors of chocolates that are single origin sourced from around the world coming from different latitudes. The tasting will include at least 2 chocolates from Hawaii. After your tour, you will fully understand how rare chocolates from Hawaii are, and especially from Maui.

Chocolate Tasting

We hope that you enjoy your sensational time tasting chocolate! Embrace the art of chocolate tasting, and delve into your favorite flavors. Don’t forget to book a tour with us at Maui Chocolate Coffee Tours to try our delicious Maui made chocolate!


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