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Did you know that there is a coffee stand 
where you can enjoy chocolates made in Okinawa?
Let's find out more!

OKINAWA CACAO makes and sells chocolates on the seaside of northern Okinawa (Yanbaru). In order to convey the beauty of the nature and ocean of Okinawa, as well as the warm hearts of the islanders through chocolates, they carefully manufacture chocolates using locally sourced materials. Here, you can enjoy chocolate drinks, gelato, and other food either at their shop or to go. They are currently producing cacao beans at their own farm, in order to incorporate them into their products in the future. 

Carefully selected ingredients

According to the president of OKINAWA CACAO, Mr. Kawai, they place great importance on how to enhance the reputation of local ingredients through cacao and chocolates. They hope to produce products that can represent the region, and for that reason, chocolate bars sold at their shop are mainly made with ingredients from Yamabaru region (northern part of Okinawa), such as awamori, gettou, cinnamon, and shikuwasa. "Considering the quality and the taste, Yanbaru region seems to offer a lot of good ingredients like cinnamon (Karaki). It is very interesting to drink the cinnamon as tea, for example," says Mr. Kawai.


Photo: (right) Mr. Kawai, the president, and (left) Ms. Komai, the store manager

Products with shikuwasa, a kind of citrus which represents the northern region, can also be found at the shop. What is surprising is that, they not only use the rind, which contains a lot of nobiletin, and the juice, but also use the seeds of shikuwasa. "I am very interested in hearing what the producers of the ingredients have to say. One of them taught us that seeds have the vitality of connecting to the next generation, so it is better to also use the seeds," says Mr. Kawai. Because the seasons of fruits are very short, OKINAWA CACAO turns fruits into dried fruits so that they can be consumed even when they are not in season. When the dried fruits are combined with chocolates, the tropical flavor of Okinawa comes out strongly and it brings out the taste of chocolates even more. Shikuwasa, pineapple, banana, mango, watermelon, and other fruits are dried and then processed in order to be combined with chocolates.



Photo 1: shikuwasa

Photo 2: dried fruit chocolate



Visiting the cacao farm

Events to visit the cacao farm are organized once or twice every month. Keep an eye on the shop's Facebook or Instagram as they announce the information about the events on these platforms. The introduction during the visit is going to be mainly in Japanese, however, they can also mix some English words in between, so people who do not understand Japanese can also participate.





Photo 1 & 2: the visit to the cacao farm (photo courtesy of OKINAWA CACAO)

The goal is to create chocolates that attract world's attention

The future goal of Mr. Kawai is to make the chocolates made in Okinawa into the chocolates that attract world's attention. He is hoping to participate in the exhibition held every year in Paris, France called "Salon du Chocolat" in 2025, the year of the10th anniversary of the establishment of his company. "I'm hopeful that we will be able to introduce products made with the cacao grown in our own farm by then," he enthuses.


Photo: shikuwasa chocolate

Mr. Kawai visited Hong Kong when he was young. "I regard Hong Kong as an attractive city, which is full of energy and also advanced. I would like Hong Kong, which is a connecting point of the world, to evaluate Okinawa." says Mr. Kawai, when asked for a message to the people in Hong Kong. 



Address: 521 Aza-Hama, Kunigami-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa
Tel: +81-50-5241-8152
IG : @okinawacacao
FB : @okinawacacao

Posted on 2022/6/21

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