Celebrating our love of Chocolate

Chocolate and coffee lovers rejoice.

A festival dedicated to you is coming to the Garden Isle.

“Who doesn’t love coffee and chocolate?” said Tiffany Carolan, organizer of the Kauai Chocolate and Coffee Festival, which will host its inaugural year in Historic Hanapepe Town today and Saturday.

The street festival is a commemoration of all things chocolate and coffee and will feature samplings, workshops, live music, food and a variety of chocolate and coffee products from around the state.

“It’s a coming together to celebrate all the hard-working farmers and the cacao and coffee industry,” said Carolan. “We want to celebrate them. And just anyone who has a genuine interest.”

Kauai Chocolate and Coffee Festival aims to offer an event that entertains and brings attention to the local flavors.

Tiny Isle of Kauai is an exhibitor that produces raw chocolate as well as mac butter.

“To make chocolate, the beans inside the cacao pod are fermented, then dried, then roasted, then ground with sweetener and extra cocoa, or cacao, butter, then tempered to make a chocolate bar,” said Tiny Isle Kauai Owner Katie Ranke. “For raw chocolate, you skip the roasting stage. For our raw chocolate specifically, we also do not do the tempering phase. Instead we make soft chocolate.”

Workshops begin 10 a.m. today with “Coffee on the Brain” presented by Kauai Coffee. Each workshop lasts about one hour and will focus on different aspects of chocolate or coffee experiences. Workshops continue Saturday.

One of the best things about tonight’s experience, Carolan said, is that it will be tied in with Hanapape Art night.

A 40-by-80-foot tent will hold 25 vendors for the festival. To gain exclusive access to 19 of the 25 exhibitors, Carolan recommends that visitors purchase a festival passport. Each person who purchases a passport will receive a reusable tote bag stocked with full of chocolate and coffee goodies, she said.

Storybook Theater will be set up where keiki can hang out during festival hours.

Live music kicks off on the main stage at 5 tonight by Joyful Noise Taiko Drumming directed by Aki Conquest followed by KUGA. The night ends with a presentation by Kauai Coffee’s Orchard Managers at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Joyful Noise Taiko starts the day.

Afterward, presenters will address attendees with information about the history of cacao and offer a question and answer session for those interested in Global Thermonuclear Cacao.

“There will be lots of food,” Carolan said. “There’s tons of sweets too.”

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