Do you know how single origin specialty chocolate is made? Here's what we learnt from the Lemuel Chocolate factory tour. Let's get started!
Cocoa beans like almond
Start with cocoa beans
It all start with cocoa beans! Like coffee beans, cocoa beans are packed in guni bag and get it ship from all around the world 🌏
But do you know that all commercial chocolate you find from supermarket or convenient store are not made with cocoa beans? 😲
Cocoa beans in guni bag from all around the world
Commercial chocolate are made with cocoa mass, a product after cocoa beans were ground to paste and cocoa butter were extracted by pressing out to sell separately. What’s left is cocoa mass.
Why use cocoa mass? Yes you guess it right, cocoa mass is dirt cheap, especially when it’s made of low grade cocoa beans that are filled with fungus & mould, roasted super dark and taste burnt like charcoal 🤮
Cocoa mass in block
As cocoa mass does not contain any fats as cocoa butter is absence, it does not give a smooth texture to chocolate. Hence, vegetable oil is added to make the chocolate texture smooth.
Which is exactly why mass market commercial chocolate by big corp is so cheap, it’s not made with the actual cocoa beans but rather a byproduct & use cheap vegetable oil like soy oil into the 'chocolate' 🤢
Not to mentioned that it’s filled with lots of sugar, additives & chemicals. Taking these regularly will cause health issue to your body.
That’s what Lemuel Chocolate wants to make a difference, by putting cocoa beans back into chocolate!
All the Lemuel Chocolate are made with only 2 ingredients, cocoa beans & organic raw cane sugar. The purest of its form with no additives & chemicals whatsoever.
Sort out all the defects & dirt
Sort Cocoa Beans to Perfection
Before anything starts, sorting is crucial to make the cleanest-tasting chocolate bar 🤏🏼
Just like coffee beans, there will be defective beans in the bag. The same goes for cocoa beans!
Eliminate defect cocoa beans for the cleanest chocolate
To ensure zero defects goes into the bar, every cocoa bean are inspected & sort by the hand of the Lemuel Chocolate team to remove defective beans like flat beans, mould etc ✋🏼
A mesh is also used to eliminate dust & shell, keep only the perfect cocoa beans for chocolate 🤩
Defect free cocoa beans after sorting
Roast cocoa beans like roasting coffee beans
Roast Cocoa Beans
After sorting all the cocoa beans to zero defects, it’s time to roast the cocoa beans 🔥
Lemuel Chocolate uses a coffee roaster Haoran to roast cocoa beans 😮 Yes, a coffee roaster is perfect for cocoa beans roasting too!
Photo credit to Lemuel Chocolate
Like roasting coffee beans, an even roast of cocoa beans is super important to ensure the heat is evenly penetrating into the beans. No over or under roast in different parts of cocoa beans.
Roasting cocoa beans further develop the flavour of cocoa beans! The lighter roast will have more pronounced flavour characteristics, whereas the dark roast will have the roasty charcoal ‘classic’ chocolate taste. Same as coffee!
Roasted cocoa beans in lighter colour
As the cocoa beans is twice as big as coffee beans, it takes twice as long to roast cocoa beans!
About 20-30 mins to complete a batch of cocoa beans roasting, whereas coffee beans roasting only takes about 10-15 minutes max.
Lemuel Chocolate roast their cocoa beans within light to medium range to best preserve the flavours and aromatics of chocolate 🤩
There you’ll get to taste the vibrant fruity floral characteristics that originate from the origin into their chocolate bar 🍇🍎🍊🍍🍑
Cocoa beans winnower
Winnow cocoa beans
After roasting the cocoa beans, the next will be winnowing to remove the husk of cocoa beans and break it!
Once the cocoa beans are roasted, the husk is separated from the beans and making it easier to winnow with a winnower. The roasted cacao beans husk is then used to brew cacao tea 🫖
Brewing the cocoa tea
The cocoa beans are broken into smaller pieces and we call that cocoa nibs! Cocoa nibs are edible as topping to salad, muesli and dessert etc.
The next will be grinding the cocoa nibs and making chocolate 😍
Cocoa husk / shell
Cocoa nibs ready to make chocolate
Grinding cocoa nibs
Finally, it’s time to make chocolate 😍
The cocoa nibs are then ground into smaller pieces with a peanut grinder first. Once done, the smaller nibs will further grind with a melanger!
Delicious heavenly chocolate
With the use of a peanut grinder, this makes the melanger grinding is completed within 1-2 days.
During grinding in melanger, raw cane sugar is added at this stage! Lemuel chocolate put minimal 30% of cane sugar to keep sweetness just nice & enhance the flavour of chocolate 😍
Adding some sugar is like adding salt into cooked food to elevate the taste of chocolate! The best part, only organic raw cane sugar is used by Lemuel Chocolate 🙌🏼
Only organic raw cane sugar is added into Lemuel Chocolate bar
Taking out the delicious chocolate
Once the grinding is complete, the chocolate is now smooth & taste heavenly 😇
The next step is to age the chocolate to further develop & stabilise the flavour of chocolate.
The chocolate is taken out from melanger & then store in plastic foil. The ageing stage takes about 1 month.
Once ageing is complete, it’s time to make chocolate bar 😍
Lots of chocolate resting on rack
Once ageing stage is done, the chocolate block is then broken into smaller pieces and placed into the tempering machine!
Chocolate tempering machine in bigger batch
Tempering is the process of heating the chocolate, cooling it down & agitating molten chocolate to make a shelf-stable chocolate bar.
It gives the chocolate bar a lovely glossy shine that looks absolutely beautiful.
Also, tempering gives a snappy ‘pak ’ sound when you break the chocolate bar.
Tempering chocolate by hand
Tempered chocolate will slow down the melting & make it melt evenly in your palate.
It gives you more time to slowly savour the delicious chocolate 😋 Also, this makes shipping the chocolate bar safe from melting!
Moulding chocolate bar
Last & final step, let’s mould & make chocolate bar 😍
The tempered chocolate will then pour into a mould to shape the chocolate bar. Then the chocolate in mould will let it set for 1-2 hours.
Voila! Chocolate bar is finally done. The chocolate bar is then hand wrap with beautiful chocolate wrap, it's definitely a lovely gift for chocolate lovers 😋
All the Lemuel Chocolate bar has a diamond shaped, it also makes it easy to break the chocolate in small pieces to slowly savour it!
As you can see, the total duration from cocoa beans to make into chocolate bar takes about 1-2 months! Not to mention the labour of love & hardwork of Lemuel Chocolate team that make sure each and every chocolate bar is beautiful & delicious!
Now that you know how delicious single origin specialty chocolate is made, let’s check out all the Lemuel Chocolate here