June 25, 2012
Like many people, I’ve long thought of cocoa and coffee as being fairly similar; both are The co-presence of many aroma and flavor attributes, with multiple layers. A general impression of a coffee, similar to judgments such as "balanced" or "structured" flavor-wise, both are grown in the tropics (one at low elevation, the other high) and both are seeds that need roasting before consumption. But I didn’t know much about A general flavor or aroma term reminiscent of chocolate. But what type? Usually described with more specifics.: Chocolate is a broad, general flavor or aroma term reminiscent of chocolate. But what type? There are so production until I met Robbie Stout of Ritual Chocolate in Denver, CO who gave me a tour of his facility and explained a bit about the cocoa roasting process and making chocolate.
Of course there is a large scale approach to chocolate production which is the polar opposite of truly high grade chocolate. As with large scale The application of heat to green coffee seeds (beans) to create palatable material for brewing a great cup!: Coffee roasting is a chemical process induced by heat, by which aromatics, acids, and other flavor components, this production has more to do with volume and speed. Low quality cocoa is roasted fast and a lot of A reaction involving sugars that occurs during coffee roasting. A caramelized sugar is less sweet, but has greater complexity of flavor and aroma. Caramelization is slower than Maillard reactions, and requires higher temperatures. These reactions and browning takes place. These heavy roasts cover up the inferior flavor from the lower quality cocoa.
Better chocolate production starts with higher quality cocoa, and the roasting develops flavors imparted through terroir, varietal, and The removal of the cherry and parchment from the coffee seed.: Coffee is either wet-processed (also called washed or wet-milled) or dry-processed (also called wild, natural or natural dry, and we abbreviate it DP sometimes).. Roasts can range from 45 minutes to several hours without any sugar browning, or at least very little. The particulars of roasting can be proprietary and closely guarded, and are very much determined by the cocoa itself; the A key part of the wet process of coffee fruit is overnight fermentation, to break down the fruit (mucilage) layer that tenaciously clings to the coffee seed, so it can be washed off. Fermentation must, varietal, drying, Transfer of heat through the bulk movement of a fluid. In the case of coffee roasting, we discuss convection in the context of heated air moving as a fluid through a roast chamber. or The transfer of heat between matter. In coffee, conduction heating is contrasted with convection heating, which occurs in a moving fluid. roasting, and so on.
Long roasts have several benefits: a longer roast creates elasticity in the cellular walls of the cocoa allowing moisture and oils to escape; Acidity is a positive flavor attribute in coffee, also referred to as brightness or liveliness. It adds a brilliance to the cup, whereas low acid coffees can seem flat. Acidity can sound unattractive. People may (which can impart off flavors) breaks down; and the protective shell, or husk, of the bean loosens. The last benefit is important as it facilitates winnowing, the process of separating the nib from the rest of the material of the cocoa seed.
With coffee, after you roast and let the beans rest, all you then have to do is grind and brew to enjoy the final product. WIth chocolate, you have to roast and winnow (which is actually fairly similar to the dry milling which takes place after coffee has been pulped and dried, but that happens before roasting). After winnowing there are many more steps before you are anywhere near what we know of as chocolate.
Next step the ground nibs are mixed with sugar. Some small shops like Ritual Chocolate restrict the ingredients to only cocoa and sugar in order to more clearly express the true flavors of the cocoa, but 99% of the chocolate produced in the world is made with the addition of cocoa butter, soy lecithin, and Vanilla notes in coffee are often related to caramelization notes, as butter and vanilla can be found in flavors and aromatics of roast reactions from reducing of sugars.. After mixing, the chocolate is then refined (i.e. ground) to a particle size of around 15-25 microns in order to give it a soft and A mouthfeel description indicating a delicate, light, elegant softness and smoothness. Usually refers to a lighter body than terms such as velvety, or creamy. texture.
The chocolate is then conched for around 3 straight days, sometimes more, sometimes less. A conche is a heated tub of sorts that slaps and churns the liquid chocolate around. The conching further breaks down the unwanted Many acids contribute to coffee flavor: acetic, malic, citric, quinic, tartaric, phosphoric, etc.: Many acids contribute to coffee flavor; malic, citric, quinic, tartaric, phosphoric, etc. See Acidity or specific acids. While acids in coffee sounds through prolonged heat exposure and agitation.
So, if you don’t want the flavors imparted by these acids in the chocolate, what flavors are you looking for? This has a lot to do with processing and terroir. Cocoa from the Chuao region in Venezuela is some of the most renowned for its delicate Nutty is a broad flavor term, reminiscent of nuts ... but what kind exactly?: Nutty is a broad flavor term, reminiscent of nuts. It is tied intrinsically to roast taste and the degree of roast, flavor. Some cocoas from Ecuador has everything it takes to grow great coffee. Positioned between Colombia and Peru, the interior mountain ranges have plenty of altitude, weather patterns, and ideal soil for quality coffee production.: Coffee has a long have Floral notes in coffee exemplify the connection between taste and smell. Describing the taste of a specific flower is near impossible...we always default to “it tastes like it smells” which, admittedly, isn’t the most helpful. and Bergamot Orange is the size of an orange, with a yellow color similar to a lemon, and has a pleasant fragrance. The juice tastes less sour than lemon, but more bitter than grapefruit.: Bergamot orange notes like those found in washed coffees from Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee: it is in the forests of the Kaffa region that coffee arabica grew wild. Coffee is "Bun" or "Buna" in Ethiopia, so Coffee Bean is quite possibly a poor. Costa Rican cocoa can be Earthy is a flavor term with some ambivalence, used positively in some cases, negatively in others.: Sumatra coffees can have a positive earthy flavor, sometimes described as "wet earth" or "humus" or "forest" flavors. But and In some coffee taster’s lexicon, “fruity” means the coffee is tainted with fruit, and “fruited” means a coffee is graced by positive fruit notes. We don't exactly see the difference in terms of these two with tannins, while Peruvian cocoa has a Suggests a harmony and proportion of qualities, and implies mildness since no one quality dominates.: Balance is both an obvious and slippery taste term. It implies a harmony and proportion of qualities, and perhaps a of fruity and nutty flavors, or Generally a taste defect from age; old green coffee, perhaps yellowing in color. This is due to the drying out of the coffee over time, and as the moisture leaves the seed it takes organic notes.
Producing chocolate can be quite the challenge. There are less than 30 small chocolatiers like Ritual Chocolate in the US, and finding raw cocoa to work with can be difficult. There are only a few importers moving high quality cocoa into the US and a lot of the trade becomes farm direct. According to Robbie, the importers themselves generally only have 5-10 varieties of cocoa available at any time, significantly less that what can be had from Green coffee refers to the processed seed of the coffee tree fruit. Coffee is a flowering shrub that produces fruit. The seeds of the fruit are processed, roasted, ground and prepared as an infusion.: Coffee vendors. Freshness is not as big a factor in raw cocoa. Unlike coffee, cocoa producers generally try to get the moisture content down to 6-7% before bagging and shipping, where as a SHG washed coffee for instance needs to be under 12% moisture content to ship and you wouldn’t want it under 10%.
Chocolate production could provide some interesting challenges to home roasters. Learning how to read a cocoa as it roasts in order to know how well you’ve developed flavors and reduced acids can be a lot trickier than doing the same with coffee; but as with coffee, getting to know your materials and processing is a part of the adventure.
Thanks to Robbie Stout for the pictues and for all of his help with this article. The Ritual Chocolate website has a good deal of info on chocolate production.
– Chris Schooley