Joy Cacao Coffee Plantation

Introduction of the Spot

Thankful to god for opening another window, the Farm grows cacao beans that are ranked top 20 in the world.

Joy Cacao Coffee Plantation is hidden in Guangfu Village, Gaoshu, Pingtung, where there is a stone lion sculpture religion rarely seen in Taiwan. The three stone lions respectively guard the village. If you cannot find where the Farm is, just ask the locals where “Big Lion” is and walk about 10 meters toward the rural trail. You will see trees as high as an adult on the left, and that is where Joy Cacao Coffee Plantation is.

After retiring from the navy, the owner of the Plantation, Chang Kai-Huang, planned to buy a piece of land and become farmers with his wife Chen Mei-Fang. Coincidentally, when Chen Mei-Fang mentioned this to her teacher in coffee class, she was introduced to a piece of land grown with betel nuts several days later. The couple purchased the land without a second thought. Because their daughter loves eating chocolate, Chen Mei-Fang suggested growing cacao. At that time, Chang Kai-Huang even did not know that the raw material of chocolate was cacao and was given the short response, “Go Google it!” However, it did not occur to them that he would grow world-champion chocolate. The quality of their cacao beans is ranked top 20 in the world.

From laymen to experts, the couple learned how to grow cacao from scratch.

It takes at least two years for others to harvest cacao, but the rookie couple surprisingly had a bumper harvest after only more than one year. Grateful for their luck, they did not expect that nobody would want cacao beans and did not know how to process them. They had no choice but to learn from scratch. They joined in the industry empowerment project by Pingtung County Government to learn how to grow, dry, and ferment cacao beans and make chocolate. They even took a class in Malaysia at their own expense. They were even busier than before they retired. A benefactor really liked their beans, and they won bronze medal in the Asia-Pacific Area in 2017 World Chocolate Competition with black chocolate made of the beans the couple grew.

In 2018, the couple decided to take part in the competition by themselves. This time, the results were even greater. They won two gold medals and one silver. Last year, they won the world’s top 20 in the World Cacao Bean Tournament. In the chocolate competition this year, they entered the seasoning group for the first time and won the silver medal with wasabi-flavored chocolate. It is really amazing. Now, when talking with visitors, Chang Kai-Huang knows the history of cacao thoroughly by heart. The chocolate made by Chen Mei-Fang seems to dance on the tip of the tongue and leave a great aftertaste. Visitors would learn a lot by taking a trip again at the Plantation after listening to the couple tell their story in detail from the beginning.