Monday, December 17, 2018


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Manoa Chocolate An Affordable Luxury

Manoa Chocolate.  An Affordable Luxury

A wide range of options available

Manoa Chocolate is a craft chocolate company out of Hawaii that has been generating a lot of buzz and interest around Shenzhen. You may have seen these guys at various food/drink festivals, the product is proving to be very popular here and people coming back for more.  The company was set up in 2010 in Hawaii and started trading in China in December 2016.  Fetsum and Andrew are leading the China team and the knowledge and passion these guys have for the product are incredible.  I learned so so much about the chocolate process from bean to bar.  If only all F&B businesses had this kind of passion!

A sustainable business

Manoa Chocolate company is built on a core belief of sustainability.  Working closely with cacao farmers all over the world to increase both the quality and the monetary value of their beans is something this company does a lot of. They don’t think farmers should be selling their product short.  The outer packaging is made from 100% recycled material, and the inner packaging is made from cellulose.  That’s not something they needed to do, its something they chose to do.  The Manoa company is also planting its own trees in Hawaii now, further enhancing its environmental beliefs while aiming to further improve its products in conjunction with these core values, not against them. The chocolate will try to move away from ‘bean to bar’ and become ‘tree to bar’ in the future. There is no waste in this process either, everything is used from the beans to the nibs to the butter.

Single OriginCraft Chocolate

Hawaii

Now when you think of Hawaii, chocolate may not be the 1st thing you think of or even the last thing you think of.  Surfing, beaches, and sunsets jump to mind, but Hawaii is much more than that. And after tasting the products, my opinion of Hawaii has completely changed.  This really is high quality, craft, artisanal chocolate. And it rocks!  In fact, Hawaii is promoted and used in most of its products, including the ghost peppers, Kohana rum, and sea salt.  The product is proving to be popular all over the world with sales in North America, Europe, and Asia.  Japan goes crazy for this product!!

Won’t find a better craft chocolate than this in China

Single Origin

All of Manoa chocolate bars are single origin cocoa beans.  Single-origin is grown within a single known geographic origin. Sometimes, this is a single farm or a specific collection of beans from a single country. The name of the cacao is then usually the place it was grown to whatever degree available.  I had the pleasure of sampling various different products.  Here’s the lowdown.

Bean to bar chocolate

The single origin dark chocolate, it is 70% cacao and 30%  sugar, but it is not bitter at all.  In fact, it has a rich depth of flavour that is rare to find in most dark chocolate, I would say it is, in fact, the best dark chocolate I’ve ever tasted.   There were single origins from Hawaii, Equador and Tanzania amongst others for this product

The rum chocolate was simply wow.  As a rum fan, I fell in love with this so I’m sure it will be the same for any rum lover.  It uses Hawaiian made Kohana rum  in its product, the nibs are soaked in the rum before being added to the final product.  It was a great taste and the rum powers through but it doesn’t overpower the cocoa.  This was a hit.

The sea salt bar was a nice multi taste experience, it had my tongue dancing.  The salt brings out the natural sweetness and it gives it extra layers of depth and flavours rarely found in other chocolate.

Ghost pepper bar had a unique flavour, there wasn’t really anything going on and then right at the end, boom, a great kick in your mouth. There are plans to introduce a Sichuan pepper bar in the future too for the Chinese market, so all you split fans keep your eyes peeled.

There was also a goats milk bar which was a 1st experience for me, I thought it was rich and creamy and had a great taste.

Each bar comes with a wine and beer pairing suggestion too, perfect to give your palate a workout

Chocolate and wine suggestion

Best and Worst

My favourite bar is the breakfast bar. Containing 60% dark chocolate and a subtle but noticeable coffee taste, this is a heavenly combination for any chocolate and coffee fan.  The crunch gives it a great texture in your mouth, and the familiar sound of a bar being snapped.  Designed for a breakfast snack, it can be consumed at any time of the day. This is the fan favourite, and my own personal one too.

Sorry to say there was one bar which I didn’t like, the lavender bar. To me, it was too floral and reminded me eating soap (sorry guys).  But don’t let my own opinion of this detract you from trying it yourself, you may well like it.  And in fact, ALL of the other products far exceed what is expected from a chocolate bar.  And that is why these guys, are producing and selling the best craft chocolate in China.  With love and attention to detail, passion, and knowledge about cacao, Manoa Chocolate really ought to be the chocolate for you.

Breakfast Bar. My personal favourite

Follow the official wechat account for more information and details of how to order.

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joe macpherson
the authorjoe macpherson
These are my honest and unbiased opinions. Love all things food and drink. Been in SZ 3 years and want to help others who love food but cant decide where to eat.