Why are we so passionate about ChocoLeya? What is our motivation? What is the reason we get out of bed every morning?
Simple – we love making great, honest chocolate! We aspire to create the best possible chocolate, starting with excellent origins of raw cacao beans that undergo numerous transformations to get to the final product – unique chocolates, each with their own complexity and personality.
We invite you to celebrate the rich and fascinating world of fine artisan chocolate… and enjoy life one chocolate at a time!
Good Beans Make Great Chocolate: this is why before roasting we first go through every single bean and discard the ones that are moldy, cracked or otherwise damaged. We follow a simple rule: “If you are in doubt, throw it out”. For our chocolate bars we keep only the best beans, guaranteeing that all the unique aromas are preserved to be discovered during the later stages of the chocolate-making process.
Any chocolate maker knows that roasting is the step that dramatically affects the final taste profile of the chocolate. For every specific cocoa bean, we always aim to find the ideal roasting temperature and time to reveal the best flavor complexity. Granted, it is a tricky process – a lighter roast will preserve the natural, unique taste of the bean, but will still leave some acidity and tanginess. A heavier roast however, will allow the acid notes to escape, leaving richer and more chocolaty taste. Since taste is so subjective, sometimes there is no clear winner. This is why we decided to roast specific fine cacao beans at different temperatures for you to taste. It is curious how the flavor of the same cocoa beans and same recipes changes, depending on the different roasting profiles.
But don’t take our word for it – allow the incredible taste of our chocolate to convince you!
Cracking, winnowing and Grinding
Roasting those precious beans may be an integral step of the process but also the mere beginning of a fascinating cycle.
Once roasted, the beans need to be crushed to nibs, but not before the outer husk is thoroughly removed. In a nutshell, nibs are in fact broken and shelled cocoa beans ready to be transformed into chocolate, but they can be eaten just like this since they are incredibly tasty and packed with outrageous amount of antioxidants.
Refining and Conching
We all expect our chocolate to be smooth and silky. After grinding the cocoa nibs to make what’s called “cocoa liquor” we proceed to gradually reduce the particle size of the nibs to less than 30 microns. At this stage, the cocoa butter from the nibs liquidifies and slowly creates the velvety chocolate texture we enjoy. Now that we have a great texture we need to work on the taste and aromas and this is essentially done in the concher.
Using motion, heat and air we let the volatile acid elements to escape leaving only desirable notes and aromas. We continue to conch the chocolate until we are happy with the taste evolution. The longer we leave the chocolate in the conching machine the mellower the taste becomes. This process can take anywhere between 15 hours to a week. Creating the ultimate chocolate is never easy but is oh-so rewarding!
Tempering and molding
Now we need to take care of the way the chocolate looks and behaves. We want to have shiny bars with the right melting point and a nice snapping sound when broken. We achieve this by totally melting the cocoa butter and then cooling it again in a controlled way, so the fat crystals align in a specific pattern, the so called form V or fifth form.
Now we have perfectly looking shiny chocolate that we need to present in the best possible way. Here at ChocoLeya we have designed our own molds so we can add yet another personal touch to the experience!