If you are in the neighborhood of Waialua and are in need of some non-alcoholic refreshments, then you should consider walking down to the Island X Hawaii. Island X Hawaii is a family-owned and operated shop that serves locally sourced coffee, chocolate, shaved ice, and more.
The Island X Hawaii store can be found within the historic Old Sugar Mill and visitors can request a free tour of that mill. This historic mill once produced an incredible 8% of all the sugar in Hawaii. Today, the industrial area that once processed sugar is home to a variety of businesses on Oahu’s north shore, including Island X Hawaii and the partnering coffee roaster, Waialua Coffee & Chocolate Mill, from which the group sources their beans.
In fact, in addition to seeing more of the old sugar mill, visitors to Island X Hawaii can also request a free tour to check out the coffee mill and trees. The staff here are incredibly welcoming and gracious, eager to show guests the cacao and coffee trees that grow just behind the business and produce those key ingredients for so much made and sold at the shop. This is a must-do activity for anyone wanting to watch and learn more about how the milling process works.
Walking into Island X Hawaii can feel a little overwhelming. This is a mid-sized shop that is laid out similar to a natural food store. The aisles can feel small and each is overflowing with food products and souvenirs, including hats, shirts, mugs, and other non-food items.
In terms of food products, you will find all types of seasonings, chocolate, cookies, teas, trail mixes and nuts, and more. This is undoubtedly the place to go when you have a sweet or salty craving or want to bring home some cool souvenirs made or grown by Hawaiians.
In addition to all of these dry goods, the Island X Hawaii serves up two cool refreshments:
Along the back wall, you will see a row of large coffee tins. Each one generally is labeled and holds coffee made from recently processed beans via the Waialua Coffee & Chocolate Mill. Visitors to Island X Hawaii are invited to sample the various coffees at their leisure and if any strike your fancy, you can buy the beans on-site.
On the other side of the shop, there is a counter kiosk set-up at with a large sign saying, Old Sugar Mill Shave Ice. This is the thing you want on extra hot days, or whenever you are traveling with children! You will find a ton of different flavor options for your shaved ice and all of those options are made using fresh, healthy ingredients. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere on the island making ice from better. All of their shaved ice syrup is made from scratch using only real fruit and combined with pure cane sugar. They do not use any type of artificial sweeteners or any other additives.
After you have finished paying for your shaved ice and other goods, or as you enjoy that sample of freshly processed and brewed coffee, head out front and relax at one of the shop’s tables. This nice outdoor lounging area includes tables and chairs sat out in the sun as well as those underneath private pavilions. The latter is perfect for those days when a quick rain comes through the town.
Because none of the shaved ice served at Island X Hawaii uses artificial sweeteners or additives, getting the right touch of sweetness isn’t uniform. In other words, it may taste odd if you aren’t used to this style of freshly made shaved ice. They will ask you how sweet you want your shaved ice, but don’t be afraid to go back if it’s too sweet or not sweet enough. The staff here is incredibly welcoming and will endeavor to ensure you have the best taste experience.