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“Very interesting place, difficult to find”
Review of Island X Hawaii

Island X Hawaii
Ranked #3 of 12 Tours in Waialua
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Attraction details
Owner description: At Island X Hawaii / Old Sugar Mill Waialua, we have the best Natural Shave Ice made from locally grown fruit, coffee and chocolate. We offer free mini Waialua Coffee and Chocolate Mill tours and provide free Waialua Coffee and Hawaii grown cocoa samples. Our shop is located in the old Waialua Sugar Mill on the North Shore of Oahu. Island X Hawaii provides a close up look at the coffee and chocolate operation.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

Having seen a short description of the old sugar mill now a coffee mill in a list of things to do on Oahu, we decided to give it a try on a day we were visiting the Dole Plantation which is 'nearby'. While the sign directing us to Wailalua was misleading and after driving through a neighborhood that we knew was probably not where we were going, we finally located the coffee mill. It was a very interesting place, we learned some things about coffee we did not know. Brought home some very good Wailalua Coffee, even though it was a little on the expensive side, it is very good! If you are interested in coffee it is a very good place to visit.

1  Thank Suebrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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40 - 44 of 57 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2012

In an effort to help people with directions and not become lost, like I did, is the following description:

The Island X store, a warehouse type building, in BACK of the round-shaped, domed building, ACROSS the parking lot, is where the shaved ice stand is located, NOT at the soap factory.

Likewise, the coffee and chocolate tour is also at Island X, NOT at the Hawaiian Bath and Body shop. As a landmark, look for a large, metallic, rusted, crab-shaped sugar cane harvesting equipment, called the claw and the front entrance to Island X is nearby.

The shaved ice stand serves natural fruit flavored snow cones and I would have loved buy one, but I became lost at the soap factory and the stand closed. So, be forewarned, come to Island X before 5:00 p.m., or no snow cones for you.

We came to take the free, short, five- to- ten minute, chocolate and coffee tour. The tour starts inside the Island X store with free mini samples of coffee and unprocessed, unsweetened, sour coco bean nibs, which are crumbly and tastes like baker’s chocolate. We are told how the hot climate and volcanic soil are ideal to grow these crops.

Our guide leads us outside to view the plant nursery with potted coffee and cacao trees. The cacao pods are left on the trees until they turn yellow or deep red in color to indicate ripeness. We are shown an open cacao pod containing seeds and given a sample of the white, fruity tasting pulp to eat. However, no food is made from the pulp, which is thrown away. The seeds are then left to ferment in a covered barrel for seven days. We are lead around the corner to metal racks, where the beans are left to dry in the sun until they turn dark brown, in eight to fourteen days.

Next, the coco bean crops are shipped to a manufacturing plant in San Francisco, California, where milk solids and sugar are added. The nibs are roasted, separated from the seed, milled and ground into paste creating chocolate liquor and pressed to make coco powder and coco butter. The chocolate bars are packaged for the Dole Food company and the Big Island does the semi-sweet coating for nuts.

We bought double squares of semi sweet chocolate for $5.75 and milk chocolate for $4.95. Each double square is three- inches- by- one- and- a- half- inch and a half-inch thick. Both the semi sweet and creamy milk chocolate bars were fantastic and similar to See’s candy in taste.

The 70 percent cacao dark chocolate was very bitter and seemed to have less sugar to coco ratio. The Waialua Estate extra dark chocolate is the most expensive bar, at $8.00 for two ounces. The extra dark chocolate also comes in a two square bar for $6.50.

The Waialua chocolate is rarest in the world due to the small crop. I wanted to buy more semi sweet and milk chocolate bars on line, but only the extreme tasting extra dark chocolate is available. However, personal orders can be taken by employees during business hours.

The North Shore coffee crop is much larger than the chocolate crop and the coffee beans are processed two different ways. One way is natural drying process done by leaving the beans to become black and over ripe on the tree and dried on the ground, resulting in more flavorful coffee. The other way called water washed is accomplished by picking ripe red beans, rinsing and soaking them in water and then dried on racks. The unripe beans will float to the top and be thrown out resulting in a cleaner, better quality coffee.

Everyone is offered free small samples of both natural drying and water washed processed coffee, available in dark or medium brews to try.

The Island X store contains a wide variety of merchandise for sale such as souvenirs, clothing, furniture, food and many more local products.

Make sure to get directions from MapQuest or Yahoo because not all GPS systems have the Old Sugar Mill or its’ business addresses listed.

We will return, when in the area, to buy more chocolate bars and try the snow cones.

11  Thank catnewman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 days ago
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Thank つらら
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2017 via mobile
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Thank chanmura611
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2017 via mobile
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Thank Plumeria611
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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