Last Friday (the 17th), our group got the opportunity to tour The Original Hawaiian Chocolate factory in Kona, as well as a Greenwell Farms coffee plantation. The chocolate ‘factory’ was really more a of a medium-sized shed, complete with a few mixing machines and some plastic molds to pour the chocolate in. The family who owned the factory moved here from North Carolina, and the tour was actually led by the husband himself. They showed us their entire process, from picking the pods off the trees to drying the beans, and then to mixing them up and pouring the liquid into the molds. We even got free samples! Our group was most impressed by how the family grew, hand-picked, sun-dried and processed only their own cocoa beans, ensuring their product’s purity and quality, not to mention delicious flavor. After the chocolate factory, we went to the coffee plantation, which was equally as interesting. The tour-guide showed us through a coffee field, and later we watched as a worker climbed up onto a roof to mix all of the beans around with a shovel (the drying process). Little did we know, coffee beans actually grow inside cherries! We weren’t allowed to go inside any of the processing facilities because of health regulations, but we did get free sample-cups of coffee at the end of the tour. Both the chocolate factory and the coffee plantation were really cool and interesting, and we’re very glad that we had the chance to tour them.