Hawaii is the only state where the chocolate tree grows, and the best place to experience a live chocolate tree orchard is the Lydgate family’s 46-acre farm. You’re invited to enjoy Chocolate From Branch to Bar, an educational guided tour of everything there is to know about chocolate, including growing cacao trees, the taste of fresh chocolate fruit, harvesting, fermentation, and sun drying of cacao beans, all the way to an extensive tasting highlighting the fascinating diversity of flavors found in Hawaiian cacao.
The first part of our three-hour guided tour is especially fun for fruit and flower lovers, as we stroll through our gardens, stopping frequently to taste the tropical fruits that are in season. Depending on the month, these may include Tahitian lime, Hawaiian sugar cane, lilikoi, rambutan, longan, lychee, soursop, sapodilla, eggfruit, ka’u orange, apple banana, mountain apple, mamey sapote, chocolate sapote, and more.
You’ll also taste our Farm’s award-winning Palm Blossom honey, and see vanilla beans growing on the vine, plus dozens of exotic tropical plants such as our rare red sealing-wax palms and black bamboo. All along, your guides share our farm’s part in creating sustainable diversified agriculture on Kauai.
After the main fruit tasting we reach the chocolate orchard, and here we cut open a ripe chocolate pod so you can taste fresh cacao fruit. We then move into our chocolate tasting tent, where you sit comfortably in the shade while we explain the post-harvest processing of cacao.
As you may know, dark chocolate is actually health food, and your guides explain its antioxidant and other health benefits, as well as outline how you can make chocolate from scratch in your home kitchen.
Best of all, you’ll enjoy an extensive dark chocolate tasting with all of the chocolate grown on our farm, compared with examples from all over the world that highlight the distinctive flavors found in craft chocolate. Similar to a wine tasting, we teach you how to taste chocolate like a connoisseur.
You’ll also learn chocolate’s history, from its discovery by the first Mesoamericans, to its revered status as a divine plant in the Olmec, Mayan and Aztec cultures, to its introduction to Europe in the 1500s, to the rise of industrial milk chocolate, to the modern bean-to-bar chocolate movement and Hawaii’s place in the new American chocolate scene.
Sorry, this tour is not suitable for children under the age of 7 years old.
5730 Olohena Rd, Kapaa, Hawaii 96746
Any reservation not cancelled 24 hours prior to the scheduled arrival time will be charged at the regular rate.