Maui Chocolate Tour in Lahaina is a great way to give back to Maui and experience great farm tours on the island.
Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate is a gourmet, organic chocolate company that produces artisan chocolate bars, single-serve bars, and goodies in the heart of Lahaina on Maui’s southwest shore.
They are a full-service shop and a perfect stop for any chocolate lover. From creating the optimal environment to grow their beans to fermenting, roasting, and finally creating the bars. What makes them so unique is their cacao farm tour.
How to grow cacao in Lahaina Hawaii!
On this half of the island, Lahaina can have desert-like qualities. Hiding far up in the West Maui Mountains, they’ve created their own oasis.
Instead of just planting cocoa trees, they’ve planted a mix of different trees, all designed to give the optimal soil nutrients and shade to help in production. They have 15 fields and approximately 6-7000 cacao trees set across 20 acres.
Roasting and grinding beans, from the bean to the bar.
Cocoa beans are the raw material used to make chocolate and cocoa. The beans grow on large trees and are harvested by hand when they are ripe. They are then sorted, fermented, dried, roasted, and ground into cocoa powder.
After the cocoa is processed, it’s off to the chocolate factory to be transformed into bars. There are many varieties and each one has a complex flavor profile.
How Maui Chocolate differs from any other type of chocolate.
The award-winning chocolate is amazing because it is so different from any other in the world. Maui Chocolate has a rich flavor and complex taste that doesn’t need to be mixed with milk or cream. It was given the International Cocoa of Excellence Award the highest honor.
The entire production from farm to factory is self-sustaining. Uses 100% solar-powered by 300 kW of solar panels, supported by 1050 kWh of Tesla batteries, and a 200 kW standby generator, making it the 2nd largest off-grid commercial facility in Maui.
Maui Chocolate donates 100 percent of its net profits to local charities and non-profits community organizations. This includes places like the Maui Food Bank.
What do you need to know about the Maui Chocolate tour?
The tour starts off at their store in Lahaina. From there, they take you by bus to the cacao farm. This was one of the easiest locations to get to, plus there is free parking. 90% of the tours take place at the farm. You’ll learn all about their process and maybe even sample a fresh cocoa bean.
After touring the farm, you’ll go high into their bungalow platform overlooking the operation to sample their amazing chocolates. You’ll receive 9 squares of their delectable chocolate.
Your host will describe each chocolate, starting with the darkest variety, and reviewing the subtle notes in each one. They have dark, milk, fruit, and coffee blends.
At first glance, 9 small squares may not seem like much. But these are nothing like Hershey’s miniatures. These are rich pieces! Towards the end, I was questioning if I could even finish it all.
You’ll end back at the Maui Ku’ia Estate factory, where you can purchase the delicious chocolate you just sampled. Depending on how busy they are, take a peek and see what they are creating in the factory. The staff will tell you all about the chocolate-making process inside.
Where to find the best tickets?
The farm tour cost varies based on the season. At the time of our tour, it was $85 per person. Considering how unique this adventure is, you should definitely consider this. They also donate all the profits to local charities on the island.
If you are a chocolate connoisseur and want to know more about how it’s produced, you need to take a tour. My kids learned so much about their favorite treat. I highly recommend it.
Maui Chocolate tours will sell out. Make sure to reserve one with Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate before you leave!
If you have a limited budget, you can schedule just a chocolate tasting. They hold the chocolate tastings inside the factory. Similar to the Tour, they’ll go over the entire process but virtually. You’ll get all the same chocolate to sample.
Looking for just a tasting. Click here for the best price. Remember all profits go back to the community of Maui.
Tips for your Maui Chocolate Tour Adventure:
Don’t eat a big meal beforehand! Instead, get a snack after if you are still hungry.
Book your tour earlier in the week. If there is a weather cancellation, you have time to change it. They did a great job trying to accommodate us after our’s was canceled.
If you experience motion sickness, sit in the van’s front. It’s a bumpy ride. After all that chocolate, it can be an awful mix.
Schedule your tour earlier in the day. Most production happens before noon.
Maui Chocolate has free parking for its visitors behind the shop.
If you are not planning on returning back to the hotel after the tour, ask for some dry ice. It will keep your chocolate from melting.
Where to buy Maui Chocolates?
You can get it online or in their store in Lahaina. Because they do not sell their bean to any other chocolate makers, you’ll only get this chocolate directly from them.