Our Chocolate Farm Tour
A Family Friendly Activity
Hawaii is the only state where the chocolate tree grows, and the best place to experience a live chocolate tree orchard is the Lydgate family’s eight-acre Steelgrass Farm. You’re invited to enjoy Chocolate From Branch to Bar, an educational guided tour of everything there is to know about chocolate, including growing cacao trees, harvesting and curing cacao beans, all the way to the finished product everyone loves. Our tour is family-friendly: kids 12 and under attend free with an accompanying adult, and with so much to see, smell, learn about and taste, the Farm’s wide-open spaces make this a wonderful event for even small children. In addition to all the tropical fruit and chocolate we taste, the tour is a visual feast as well, so be sure to bring your camera.
Botanical Tour and Tropical Fruit Tasting
The first part of our three-hour guided tour is especially fun for fruit and flower lovers, as we stroll through our gardens, stopping frequently to taste the tropical fruits that are in season. Depending on the month, these may include Tahitian lime, Hawaiian sugar cane, lilikoi, rambutan, longan, lychee, soursop, sapodilla, eggfruit, ka’u orange, watermelon radish, mountain apple and others. You’ll also taste our Farm’s award-winning Palm Blossom Honey, and see vanilla beans growing on the vine, plus dozens of exotic tropical plants such as our rare red sealing-wax palms and black bamboo. All along, your guides will share with you our family’s vision for creating sustainable diversified agriculture on Kauai.
After the main fruit tasting we reach the chocolate orchard, and here you get to taste one more fresh fruit: in season, we will cut open a ripe chocolate pod and pass it around for everyone to sample. We then move through sugarcane and pineapple plantings into our chocolate tasting tent, where you sit comfortably in the shade while we go over the many steps involved in processing raw cacao. As you may know, dark chocolate is actually health food, and your guides will explain its antioxidant and other health benefits, as well as outline how you can make chocolate from scratch in your home kitchen.
Best of all, you’ll enjoy an eleven-course dark chocolate tasting, sampling rare and delicious chocolates from Hawaii and all over the world. The Hawaii chocolates we taste include our own Steelgrass Farm single-estate bar, plus the best from the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Company on the Big Island, and Waialua Estate on Oahu. From Ecuador we taste Kallari; Valrhona from Madagascar and Trinidad, Guittard and Santander from Colombia, Felchlin and Taza from the Dominican Republic, and the finest single-origin bars from Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco. You’ll also learn chocolate’s history, from its discovery by the first Meso-Americans, to its revered status as a divine plant in the Olmec, Mayan and Aztec cultures, to its introduction to Europe in the 1600’s, and finally how an American inventor, Milton Snavely Hershey, made the nickel Hershey bar (1905) and the Hershey’s kiss (1907) into enduring American institutions.
Our three-hour Chocolate from Branch to Bar educational farm tour and tasting runs from 9AM to noon, and is offered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
- Tour cost is $75 per person, and kids age 12 and under attend for free.
- Advance reservations are required: please call (808) 821-1857 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your space.
- Steelgrass Farm is located on Kauai’s East Side, in the foothills above the town of Kapaa.
Once your reservation is confirmed, we will fax or email you written driving directions to the Farm.
- Chocolate trees love moisture, so we operate rain or shine – in fact, our Steelgrass Chocolate Farm Tour is one of Kauai’s best rainy-day activities.