What do you get when you combine a fun, surprise-filled adventure with delectable refreshments? A tasting tour!
All over Kaua‘i, thriving local businesses are happy to open their doors—and, in some cases, their picturesque fields—to visitors, and several of the best tours and tasting opportunities are on the South Shore. There’s the vast, fascinating Kaua‘i Coffee plantation in Kalaheo, a short drive from Poipu, and Monkeypod Jam in Lawai (which features a tasting room and a casual bistro) is even closer. If you’re a fan of the distinctive flavor and aroma of rum, Koloa Rum’s bi-hourly tastings will seem like a preview of heaven. Yet another popular South Shore option: sign up for one of Tasting Kaua‘i’s exciting, curatorial guided tours. Just bring a camera, and an appetite!
JAMS, JELLIES & PRESERVES
Monkeypod Jam: Jam-Tasting Room & Bistro
Hours: 7am to 4pm, Monday through Saturday
Address: 2-3687 Kaumualii Highway, Lawai
Jam-Tasting Room: Complimentary samples of yummy preserves; menu varies by season.
Bistro: Exquisite menu for breakfast, brunch, or lunch, plus house-made cookies and bars.
About: Monkeypod Jam works with more than 25 Kaua‘i farmers to create 55 seasonal preserves, with a commitment to local produce, green practices, and high standards.
What We Love: Tahitian Lime Curd, Brie en Croûte, and the tasty Ferment & Jam Boards.
Kaua‘i Coffee Company
Address: 870 Halewili Road, Kalaheo, HI 96741
Phone: (808) 335-0813
Visitor Center and Store Hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm (See website for holiday hours.)
Complimentary Guided Walking Tour: Every day at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm.
Farm Tour (in an open-air truck): Monday through Friday, 9:00–11:00am (two full hours).
Fee: $60 for adults; $40 for children ages 8 to18. Children under 8 not permitted.
“Coffee on the Brain” Tour: Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays 8:30–9:30am; $20 per person.
About: With more than 4 million coffee plants, sustainably grown on 3,100 acres, Kauai Coffee Company is the largest coffee grower not only in Hawai‘i, but in the US as well.
What We Love: Vanilla Macadamia Nut Coffee, Medium Roast . . . in a macchiato.
Kōloa Rum Co. ™
Address: 3-2087 Kaumualii Highway, Lihue, HI 96766
Website: koloarum.com for the Koloa Rum tasting room, or kauaisafaris.com for the Rum Safari
Hours: From 10:00am (closing times vary; see website for details)
Tasting Sessions (free, but space is limited): Every half hour from 10:30am
Rum Safari: Take a truly immersive tropical experience with Kauai Safaris on their exclusive Rum Safari. The adventure includes a tour of Kilohana’s lush plantation, a lesson on the history of rum in Hawai‘i, and a progressive tasting of Koloa Rum along the way.
About: Established in 2009, Kōloa Rum Company crafts its products from pure Hawaiian cane sugar, rainwater from Mount Waiʻaleʻale, and other locally sourced ingredients. During the past 10 years, nearly a million people have enjoyed the tasting sessions.
What We Love: Rum fudge sauce . . . and coconut rum for making holiday rum balls.
GUIDED TOURS (South Shore)
When: Wednesdays from 12:45pm to 4:45pm (4 hours)
Fee: $110 per person (all ages welcome; book online or by phone)
About: Each tour is intimate and unique, since the six stops are based on seasonality, fresh ingredients, and which destinations the operators deem particularly appealing on the day in question. North Shore, East Side, and Farm Market tours also available.
What We Love: Meeting farmers and artisans—and sampling superb South Shore food!