Friday, October 24, 2008

Professor Crankenstein..

..was the name of our original hand crank winnowing wasn't much bigger than a Mr. Coffee. However, we've graduated to bigger and better devices to do our chocolate bidding. I guess it's comparable to suffering through the old hand crank ice cream churns and having a nice, new sorbet machine. The cocoa bean winnower that you've probably already seen in the short video we've had for a while has been received, put together and tested in our production space here at our east side shop. It's loud as hell but it can crank through several pounds of beans in no time flat allowing us to shell beans in a flash! We owe a great deal of thanks to John Vessa and his wife Kim who single-handedly (well, almost) built this monstrosity, shipped it to us, and flew up here to train us and rebuild it in our shop. We are definitely indebted to these two confectionery veterans (his wife created Airheads!)

So now that we have our roaster, winnower and temperer we're in need of only a few more pieces to complete the puzzle. Testing begins soon!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cuckoo for cocoa pods..

..or at least what's inside of them! We've received our first shipment of cocoa beans which consists of approx. 2400 lbs of Panamanian and Ecuadorian beans. We've been roasting, refining and tempering beans from literally around the globe (Domincan Republic, Ghana, Ivory Coast, ect, ect) trying to find the cocoa beans that really encapsulate the flavor we want to come out of the gate with. And that's not to say we won't come back to beans we've passed on in the beginning to create future bars..we just have a certain vision for our numero uno. It's really interesting how beans from different regions can vary so greatly..Dominican beans have raisin-y notes, Ivory Coast has heavy chocolate notes but not much in substance on the end. I think with our choices we might have it just right.

So, in the very near future we're certain to be dropping beans down the hopper and spreading the rich aroma of roasting cocoa beans to East Nashville..or at least our little portion of it.