The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory was the first stop on her tour in Kona. The owners are originally from North Carolina where he was the caretaker of a golf course. What a leap of faith to move to Hawaii and start a chocolate factory!
Driving in past the first few trees
The cacao pods can be different colors even before ripening
I had a ring side seat for the cutting demo
The beans are covered in a milky white substance, adhering to a spiny growth within the pod
Some people like to chew on this part. This one was old and dry but shown in the demo
Pulling off the beans
Two different types of beans split open and displayed on the knife
Geckos like chocolate too! See him near the bottom, right of center?
Tempering the chocolate. It smelled heavenly!
Next stop was Kona Joes where coffee is grown on trellises just as grapes are grown in wineries. It may be impossible to believe if you don't love coffee, but the aroma here was even more delicious than at the chocolate factory!
Labor intensive work, training the plants onto the trellis
Green, unripe beans
When they are red like cherries, they are ready to be picked by hand
The inside resemble a peanut
Mmmmm, the smell was delicious in here!
We sampled a few blends. Did you know that darker roasts have less caffeine than medium roasts? I still prefer medium though, and boy, this coffee was good!
This is hubby and me standing just off from the patio in the above photo. Nice scenery while you work, eh?