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“Dangerously informative tour!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory

The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory
78-6772 Makenawai Street, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI
+1 888-447-2626
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Ranked #63 of 204 Activities in Kailua-Kona
Type: Factory Tours, Sightseeing Tours
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Attraction details
Owner description: From our factory on the slopes of Hualalai Mountain's bountiful Kona region on the Island of Hawaii comes the one and only Original Hawaiian Chocolate(R). We are the first to grow, hand-pick, sun-dry and process only Hawaiian grown cocoa beans, non-blended to assure purity and quality. The result is a delicious single-origin Hawaiian chocolate of distinctive texture and taste. The OHCF farm and factory tours are offered Wednesday mornings at 9:00am and Friday mornings at 9:00am. It is a one hour walking tour of the orchard and factory and of course, includes chocolate sampling! Bob conducts a fabulous tour ... it's full of information about every step in the chocolate making process, from growing the trees to molding each handmade delicious bar.
Palo Alto, California
Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
39 attraction reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
“Dangerously informative tour!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2014

We found that an extra tour had been arranged for a Friday at 11 am, and made our reservation. Although the tour was not cheap, it proved to be worthwhile. It was out-of-doors in the cacao grove, and smoothly narrated by the owner/operator/amateur-philosopher Mr Cooper, formerly of the Carolinas, who started out by noting that he and his wife had moved to Hawaii because, if you're going to have the stresses of modern life, you might as well have them in Hawaii.

On this profound note, Mr Cooper instructed us all about cacao and its processing, while walking through the grove. The weather was perfect, the group was perhaps 25 people, and the talk was highly informative, with questions solicited and answered. These people like their jobs. The fee included a small tasting, which included a little bit of the Criollo chocolate, made from the minority Criollo bean and tasting more earthy than the regular Forestere-bean chocolate. Afterwards, one of us bought a whole 1-pound bar of Criollo and, a month later, ordered several more directly by phone from the mainland.

In fact, after tasting the Criollo bar at home, we threw out all our Lindt and Ghirardelli chcocolate bars, which now tasted like State-fair cotton-candy by comparison. (Only the Ritter brand from Germany now seems tolerable.) Be warned: a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. The Coopers make real chocolate, and after having it, you may find (as we did) that standard American-made chocolate (from foreign beans, of course) is garbage by comparison. The Coopers only use chocolate grown in Hawaii - the only chocolate groves in the USA - and what a difference a small-crop grower makes. Really.

Our only hope now is to beg for discounts on future purchases. Like we said: a little knowledge ....

To get there, follow the instructions on their website. You'll find the place. And no, we have no relation to the Cooper family.

Visited March 2014
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71 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Canton, Ohio
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“So interesting and SO DELICIOUS!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2014

You MUST call to make reservations for this tour! Actual address and directions will be sent to you, so you can find this farm/factory. This is a family owned business, and touring it is so fascinating!! You will learn everything about growing cacao, harvesting the pods, extracting the cocoa beans, and making fine chocolate. The tour takes you into the field and factory. Samples provided, and plenty of time for shopping in the small store. On-line shopping offered as well. Tours Wed. and Fri. only by reservation. Good for adults and children, too.

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, AK
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Interesting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

I liked this tour. I learned a lot about Cacao and chocolate making. Hope his place continues to grow and flourish.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casper, Wyoming
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Amazing Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

I haven't been to a Cacao farm since Ecuador and this farm is the only cacao farm in the United States. It is a must see. We loved how this tour seemed less commercial and more like a culinary tour. It was a smaller group (by reservation only) and was all about learning how Cacao was grown, processed, and turned into delicious chocolate (not to mention the different types of beans that make the different chocolates (each one we were able sample). The OHC cocoa beans are never blended with others; making them unique from other chocolates. Actually, the tour of this beautiful farm was unique.

Visited April 2013
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Lyndon Station, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“VERY interesting!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

We'd seen the episode of Alton Brown's Good Eats where he visited Original Hawaiian Chocolate. We enjoy Good Eats because it's not only instructional, it's informative. The same is true of this place. The tour is twice weekly, make a reservation. It's worth it and it's "Good Eats"!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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