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Maui to Milan. Traveling Far For The Best Quality

by Jenny Greene December 08, 2018

Maui to Milan. Traveling Far For The Best Quality-Maui Kuʻia Estate Chocolate

Welcome back to the Maui Ku‘ia Estate Chocolate blog! This week we are excited to share news from Milan, Italy.

In late November during Thanksgiving week, Dan O’Doherty our VP of Chocolate Operations and Nainoa Moore our Chocolate Maker embarked on a long trip from Maui, traveling halfway across the world to the city of Milan.

Three companies – Tecnochoc, Packint, and Ipac, are making the majority of our chocolate making and wrapping equipment for us in Milan.  Dan and Nainoa’s quest was to inspect the progress of all of our chocolate machinery before it was crated and started its 6-8 week journey from Italy to Maui.

During this visit they were able to check machine dimensions, review electrical connections, witness initial operations, discuss maintenance procedures, and begin to coordinate shipping and customs requirement.

Image: Tecnochoc Molding line

Dan and Nainoa were also eager see how well the machines produced chocolate using our Ku’ia logo production molds.  As you can see from the quality of our 5g pieces below, we were very pleased with the results!



Image: Maui Ku`ia Estate 5g Chocolate Pieces

Tecnochoc designed and built our two tempering machines, two melting tanks, chocolate molding line and cooling tunnel. If you have read our blog about the chocolate making process then you will be familiar with our need for this high-tech equipment. Our equipment is only the sixth molding line that Tecnochoc has manufactured and it is capable of filling 360 molds an hour. This translates to 12,600 – 5g pieces, 2,160 – 25g bars, or 1,440 – 50g bars each hour! During their training Dan and Nainoa produced 3,000 of our 5g pieces on one of Tecnochoc’s in-house molding lines.


Image: Chocolate Molds

 Image: Chocolate Pour


Image: Maui Ku`ia Estate 50g Chocolate Bars

Image: Chocolate Maker, Nainoa Moore

Once Dan and Nainoa produced the 3,000 – 5g pieces they then delivered them to Ipac, the company that sourced and refurbished our two chocolate wrapping machines. These machines were calibrated by running the 3,000 – 5g pieces through the machine, which wrapped the 5g pieces at a rate of 150 pieces per minute.


Image: IPAC 5g wrapping machine

Image: Dan O’Doherty at IPAC

Finally, Dan and Nainoa visited Packint the company that designed and built our two ball mills and two power conches.  The quality of these machines is crucial because they are responsible for milling cocoa nibs, sugar, and cocoa butter to a 16-micron size, and then conching the resulting chocolate until it has silky smooth mouth feel and finish.

Packint also has a Tecnochoc molding line, which is very similar to our own so the team was able to see how the machines worked in unison.


Image: Packint Ball Mills

Now that the machines have all been quality-approved we are eagerly awaiting their arrival on Maui. As you will have seen in our previous blogs and on social media channels, our Chocolate Factory construction is moving along well and we will update you when we begin installation of the new chocolate making and wrapping machinery in 2019. Stay tuned for updates!

By striving to source high quality machinery from multi-generational, family run companies around the world, we are demonstrating our commitment to create the highest quality chocolate possible for our Retail Customers, Ku’ia Chocolate Club Members, Chef – Professionals, and Corporate Partners. We look forward to sharing it with you all soon!


Image: Dan and Nainoa overseeing the process 

Jenny Greene
Jenny Greene


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