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Garden Island Chocolate

Kilauea, HI, USA
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About Garden Island Chocolate
The chocolate tour and tasting is a three-hour guided educational adventure where you will learn all about the cacao tree and see how chocolate is made from the cacao fruit (cacao pods). Learn about permaculture, sustainable farming and exotic fruits. Durring the tour we sit down to an EXTENSIVE chocolate tasting to sample Hawaiian grown and made chocolates. Chocolate tours and tasting are on Mondays and Thursdays. They start at 9:30 AM. The tour and tasting is open rain or shine. The cost is $75 a person, kids (12 to 4) $29 and kids 3 and under are free. We are located on the North Shore of Kauai in Kilauea. The chocolate shop, where you can purchase local chocolate, local honey and other fun gift items is open 9-5 except sundays. The chocolate shop and factory also offers delicious cold chocolate drinks, coffee, and chocolate covered bananas.
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Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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Eli H wrote a review Mar 2020
Nashville, Tennessee6 contributions
My husband, daughter and I took the chocolate tour 2 weeks ago, and thought that it was very informative. However, 3 hours is a bit long for many with short attention spans. The hostess provided us with generous amounts of chocolate to sample, but unfortunately, they passed around a bowel with the samples for each of us to take out; this would perhaps have been ok if we were assured that the person before us had clean hands. Halfway through the sampling session, we noticed the man sitting next to us was licking his fingers after removing each piece of Chocolate from the bowel - after which he passed the bowel to us........our personal sampling ended immediately due to the extreme gross factor, especially since the Covid-19 virus was just starting to make big news!! I informed the hostess and she seemed to agree that this behaviour was inappropriate but her advice to the class was only to "try to be sanitary when sampling the chocolate". This did not stop the clueless finger licker, he continued to take samples from the bowel, eat then lick his fingers and go back for more samples from the bowl. I would not be able to recommend this tour until the owner figures out how to provide samples in a safer fashion , like using individual toothpicks or if the hostess used tongs to pass out the individual chocolate pieces to each class member.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Response from koak2017, Owner at Garden Island Chocolate
Responded Mar 18, 2020
thank you for your comments, yes we are implementing new health and safety standards, everyone is now using rubber gloves to taste the samples and everyone is strongly encouraged to wash their hands before and after tasting the fruits or chocolates. We appreciate your feedback and we are concerned about everyones safe and enjoyable experience.
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Kristina E wrote a review Mar 2020
Denver, Colorado1 contribution
This tour was great! You start off by trying various fruits and nuts which is most likely there to help adjust your palate. Then you get a chance to bust open some Cacao Pods and try the seeds (they pass out gloves if you are overly worried about germs). Then there is an informational tour through a food forest as they call it, if you are expecting a traditional farm tour of rows of cacao trees, you will be disappointed. Instead you get to learn about the permaculture and the way all of the trees \and plants interact. On the plus side you get to learn about more trees and plants outside of just the cacao tree. It's very informational! After this tour, you get to learn more about the processing of cacao into chocolate, and yes you eat a good amount of chocolate. Sure, everyone is passing a bowl around and pulls the chocolate out of the bowl without gloves on which to some is very unsanitary, but it's really not as bad as a lot of reviews are stating. There is a small break and you try a Mayan Chocolate Drink and the guide explains the history of the drink and the recipe. It's just a little taster that you sample, not a full on tall drink that you could get at Starbucks. It's worth it though (especially with how much chocolate you are sampling). Then there is another small tour of other plants including the vanilla bean plant. There is one more round of chocolate tasting and you end by sharing where you are from and what brought you to the tour! Overall the staff is very polite and very well educated on chocolate. Feel free to ask as many questions as you want! Our group included about 20 people and the experience was great. The chocolate bars are worth the $13 price tag, as they are locally sourced and made (you pay for what you get!). It's a cool tour for foodies, people who are interested in how chocolate is processed or for someone who jsut wants to eat chocolate.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Tom H wrote a review Mar 2020
Lihue, Hawaii17 contributions9 helpful votes
Great tour. Worth the cost. You are given as much chocolate as you can eat. We have never seen the chocolate cacao trees and all the other fruits and spices. Easy drive to get to. Tours are MWF at 9:30, reservations required. Easy walking unless you ate as much chocolate as I did. $90 per person, again a 3+ hour tour. Banana Joes really stepped up.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Harvey S wrote a review Mar 2020
4 contributions
A great experience for anyone who wants more than a taste of chocolate. Although the chocolate tasting was impressive, our personable guide Laila walked us around the small farm to see and learn about cacao on the tree and a host of other plants (vanilla, allspice, coconut, and more), showed us how chocolate is made, got us to crack open cacao pods and taste raw cacao beans. She conducted an extensive tasting of their handmade chocolates, made for serious chocolate hounds—most of them 85 percent cacao—with some flavored with exotic notes like pistachio nuts, matcha, and Chinese five spice. My favorite was the roasted peanut, like a peanut M&M with a college education. Not cheap, but a worthy way to spend a beautiful morning on Kauai's north shore.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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TudorExplorer wrote a review Feb 2020
Rockyford, Ab66 contributions35 helpful votes
This tour takes you behind the scenes in cacao production. We were able to walk about the farm where the cacao trees grew among other trees and plants that provide flavor to the finished product. We got hands on in harvesting the beans from the pods, learning the history, how to make the cacao drink that the earliest discoverers of cacao enjoyed. Very delicious, more than i expected it would be. AND we got to sample many different flavors and types of chocolate. Elaine, our guide is well versed all aspects of the plants and process. Glad i went.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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