Our famous chocolate farm tour — the first of its kind on Kaua’i, widely copied, never surpassed, it is Kauai’s most enjoyable and educational activity. Your three-hour guided tour begins with a stroll through our botanical gardens, where you sample our award-winning palm-blossom honey, experience our vanilla beans, and do an extensive tropical fruit tasting. At Lydgate Farms, formerly Steelgrass Farm, learn all about Theobroma Cacao the chocolate tree and taste it’s ripe fruit, learn the secrets of turning raw cacao seeds into finished chocolate, and discover the amazing health benefits of chocolate.
Our Kauai chocolate tour finishes with an extensive chocolate tasting course where we teach you the fine art of being a chocolate connoisseur, taste all of the award-winning chocolate from our farm, and show you the amazing distinctive flavors of bean-to-bar chocolate — even more diverse than those found in wine.
We operate rain or shine, making visiting Lydgate Farms Kauai’s best rainy day activity. Space is limited and our tour is often sold out so make reservations in advance of your visit to guarantee your spot.
What makes our tour unique and special?
- Working chocolate farm and specialty crops
- Interactive farm tasting experience
- Extensive chocolate tasting, education, and comparison
- Taste ripe chocolate fruit year round
- We make 100% of our chocolate with our single-estate cocoa beans
- Recognized among the best in the world at the 2017 Cocoa of Excellence Awards
- Giftshop with beautiful farm products great for gifts
- Miel de Cacao Sorbet found nowhere else in the world!
- Taste Chocolate Tea
- Friendly knowledgable staff
- Highly rated on TripAdvisor
Attending the tour? Here’s what to know…
- Advance reservations are required.
- Lydgate Farms is located on Kauai’s East Side, in the foothills above the town of Kapaa.
- After you book online, we will email you written driving directions to the Farm.
- Chocolate trees love moisture, so we operate rain or shine – in fact, our signature Chocolate Tasting & Farm Tour is one of Kauai’s best rainy-day activities.
- The tour sells out regularly so book in advance of your visit to guarantee your spot
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 46-acre 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 post-harvest processing of cacao beans, all the way to an extensive tasting of the finished product everyone loves. Our Kauai chocolate 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, mamey sapote, chocolate sapote, and more. 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 share our farm’s vision for creating sustainable diversified agriculture on Kauai.
After the main fruit tasting we reach the chocolate orchard, and here we cut open a ripe chocolate pod and pass it around for everyone to sample. We then move into our chocolate tasting tent, where you sit comfortably in the shade while we explain the post-harvest processing of cacao. As you may know, dark chocolate is actually health food, and your guides 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 extensive dark chocolate tasting with all of the chocolate grown on our farm, compared with examples from all over the world that highlight the distinctive flavors found in craft chocolate. Similar to a wine tasting, we teach you how to taste chocolate like a connoisseur. You’ll also learn chocolate’s history, from its discovery by the first Mesoamericans, to its revered status as a divine plant in the Olmec, Mayan and Aztec cultures, to its introduction to Europe in the 1500s, to the rise of industrial milk chocolate, to the modern bean-to-bar chocolate movement and Hawaii’s place in the new American chocolate scene.