Friday, January 27, 2012

Kona coffee and chocolate

Mmmmm, touring a chocolate and coffee factory in the same day....does it get any better than this?

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?
 Drying beans
 Tempering the chocolate. It smelled heavenly!
You'll have to click on the company name above to see some of their actual product. We were each given three samples which I would have photographed but with chocolate all over my hands (hey, it was a warm day!) I couldn't operate the camera.

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?
We were each given a coffee mug to bring home. I wrapped them in articles of clothing but one broke in my suitcase anyway. That one was Bill's, of course.


Chatty Crone said...

THAT WAS SO COOL! I'm jealous (in a good way). Love, sandie

Thisisme. said...

What a lovely outing you had there. I can almost smell the chocolate from here!! Pity about the coffee mug but, as you say, that one was Bill's anyway!! Hee Hee!

SkippyMom said...

Of course! heehee

What fabulous tours. I can only imagine the smells. I don't think I would've been able to pull my daughters out of the coffee factory. :)

Blondie's Journal said...

Very interesting, Knitty!! I love taking tours!