KOTO report
Experienced Manoa Chocolate Hawaii Factory Tour

Nov 2, 2016 | KOTO, KOTO report | 0 comments


For this time KOTO report, I experienced their factory tour in Kailua. In the tour, they go over from farm: how to grow cacao tree, to making. About one hour tour includes chocolate tasting, which you can try all of flavors they make. This is one of the most interesting factory tour in Hawaii. Furthermore, they may give you 20% tour discount at the shop! This is really recommended spot when you visit Kailua.

About Manoa Chocolate Hawaii : Hand-Made Craft Chocolate

Manoa Chocolate Hawaii is a bean-to-bar chocolate factory sourcing good quality cacao from Hawaii and across the globe.
It is calld bean-to-bar chocolate when chocolate maker do whole process: from roasting the cacao beans to molding and packaging the chocolate in their own factory, and also these are called craft chocolate. Manoa Chocolate Hawaii is exactly this kind of shop. They do sourcing beans, roasting, tempering and molding with their very experienced and skilled technique.

Tour Starts! How are cacaos made?

At the beginning of the tour, we are leaded to the section that panels show chocolate making process. We listen to the story about farm side, how to grow cacao.
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Hawaii is the only state growing chocolate in the US. Over 20 years ago cacao trees were experimentally brought in Hawaii to see if the climate is tropical enough to grow cacao. Since it has been making Chocolate only 10 years here, they source cacao from Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Madagascar and Liberia. They actually go there to check the quality and decide to buy.
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They showed actual cacao fruit. This is still smaller size and they say it will grow about football size. Fruits is very tasty they say. But fruits are important to make the flavor of cacao bean when they ferment together, they usually don’t eat.

Let’s go inside of the factory

After we get lecture about farm side, we move to inside of factory. Presenter switched to chocolate maker Dylan, who control their quality of chocolate.

At first, we analyzed the beans from different countries. We smell the beans and look at colors. Papua New Guinean, Tanzania, Trinidad and Hawaii. Even though I am an inexpert, I could tell the difference of flavors between each bean. But common thing that I could tell is the color is very healthy brown and the surface is glazed. He showed us bad beans and those looked more white and pruney. We could even eat the nib if the beans are good one before roast. A little bit fruity flavor. It’s kind of natty. It is interesting notes happening in different times.

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After this, the beans are raosted and going to the process called winnowing. Winnowing means crack and de-shell.

Don’t be surprised. This machine was made by him! They added a back massager to control how fast the beans come down. He watched Youbube videos and figured out how other bars in the other industory in order to assemble their own machine

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And then they split shell and nibs.
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Here are beautiful cacao nibs. 100% chocolate.

Next process is crushing it up. What cacao nib are made of is half cacao powder and half cacao butter. They grind and mix in the machine until it become liquid. We looked the chocolate inside during the spinning, and it was very smooth like chocolate fondue fountain. Looked very delicious. Depending on the flavor, they add sugar or milk powder after. They say It takes at least three days.

At the end, they do tempering and put in the mold. After about 20 minutes and then we have chocolate bars. Tempering is the process that re-establishes the cocoa butter crystals. What they do is have the temparature becomes down and the cacao butter starts the line up in the very tight formation. Warm up a little bit then rocks in the place. Sounds pretty scientific, huh? You would kind of know if you have an experience that you re-mold chocolate after you melt chocolate bars. Wasn’t it more powdery or chokey? This is my memory of making chocolate on Valentine’s day.(In Japan, girls give chocolate to boys on Valentine’s day.)

Tasting Time!

At the end of the tour, we have chocolate tasting time. We can try all of flavors! They serve tea brewed with the cacao shell too. This tea is sold at shop too.
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Common thing in their chocolate is moderated-sugar and the cacao flavor is very rich. It also has slight sweetness so taste very good. They have various flavor, one is only cacao and sugar, another one is milk or honey are added. The most popular flavor is Hawaiian Coffee 60% Milk Chocolate, which is called breakfast bar. This is a masterpiece. This signature bar is sprinkled with a layer of roasted cacao nibs and coffee beans. Its crunchy and the balance of bitter and sweet taste wonderful. Each flavor doesn’t use too much sugar so you would be happier that you don’t have to feel guilty to eat chocolate.

Hawaiian Sea Salt taste slightly salt so its sweetness is more stand out. If you are not good at bitter taste, I recommend their Milk Chocolate.

Our online shop also have these three flavors so hope you will try! This time I choose something new. These three chocolates.

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The Ghost Pepper chocolate is available only when they have in stock. Ghost Pepper is said the spiciest pepper in the world. With the chocolate, it tastes very good with slight tangy taste. This is the good point to go to shop that you can buy these rare products

These are a crew that gave me a excellent tour. Everybody was very friendly and I had a great time.

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The tour starts from PM3:00, so I recommend to go there as a wrap up of after you visit Kailua beach or town.

Tour Detail

Manoa Chocolate Hawaii
315 Uluniu St Suite 203, Kailua, HI 96734
(808) 262-6789

English Tour:Mon、Wed、Fri、Sat 3:00 pm
Japanese Tour:May be available on Tuesdays at 3:00 PM.

The formal tour is 45-minutes – 1 hour and is geared for an adult audience. This tour is not appropriate for children under 12.


After making a payment on their website,
Call (808) 262-6789 to pick your tour date and time.
(24 hours advanced notice required)

Manoa Chocolate Hawaii