Fresh cacao beans and pulp need to be fermented for a week to create the flavor we prefer in our bars. They are then dried in the sun on decks similar to those used for coffee drying here in Kona.
We use only a variety of Theobroma cacao called Forestero to make chocolate. The pod is bright yellow when ripe. The mother tree to each of our plants is a 30 year old specimen planted on the property when the chocolatier was just a baby.
We do not use soy lecithin or other emulsifiers to make our chocolate creamy, just a nice long time in the stone grinder. Cocoa butter, sugar and vanilla are all that one needs to make chocolate bars.
Our dark and semi-sweet chocolates are vegan. No animal product ingredients. Just cacao nibs, cane sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla bean.
Cacao trees help create spaces that do not need herbicide or pesticides, even organic ones. The leafy canopy shades out weeds, and so far in Hawaii cacao trees have avoided major pests. The many dropped leaves and fruits create nice mulch beneath the trees which complements rocky soil.
Our milk chocolate has a higher cacao content, 51%, than most bars on the market. The milk we use is certified organic (cow) milk powder.
Good chocolate like ours should be crisp and solid at room temperatures below 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but will melt into a smooth, delicious puddle at higher temperatures.
Our cacao trees are planted at elevations of 900-1200 ft. Cacao can grow at higher or lower elevations, but because of our elevation many other orchard crops we love can grow alongside the cacao. Mango, pineapples, citrus, papayas and many other fruits make our farm highly diverse.