Cocoa Fermentation — All About It: Part 1

Cocoa Fermentation — Bringing Magic to the Cocoa After the farmers have harvested the cocoa pods from the tree, some of the most crucial work begins to make fine, high-grade chocolate. The beans must be carefully fermented to bring out the very best flavors. It is unfortunate that the process of proper fermentation is under-appreciated […]

Harvesting Cocoa: All About It — Part 2

Harvesting Cocoa — It is all About the Details Harvesting cocoa is all about paying attention to details. After cocoa is harvested, the pods are often split open by cracking them open carefully with a machete. The pods are not simply split but instead are cracked and then opened by hand. A skilled worker can […]

Harvesting Cocoa: Part 1

Harvesting Cocoa: The First Big Step Towards Quality After a long season of working in the hot sun, farmers throughout the world anticipate the harvest. The harvesting of cocoa signifies the end to a hard season’s work, and farmers are able to literally see the fruits of their labors. The cocoa farmer is no different—he […]

Theobroma Cacao — the Tree of Life: Propagation

Cocoa Flowers Incredibly delicate, in addition to having a complex structure, the cacao flower is one of the most beautiful flowers in the world. It does take a keen eye, however, to appreciate them, because they are very small—only about one-half inch across. Unlike most flowers, they grow directly from the trunk of the tree […]

Theobroma Cacao — the Tree of Life: Climate

One of the world’s most magical and incredible trees is the cocoa tree. The botanical name is theobroma cacao, which, roughly translated, means “food of the gods” or more literally. “God food.” There are actually several trees that are members of the theobroma species, such as theobroma bicolor. Only one is used for making chocolate—theobroma […]

  • 23 Oct, 2013
  • Comments Off

An 1884 Chocolate Factory Tour

Fry's Chocolate, 1884

Chocolate Factory Tour of Fry’s Chocolate When we found this chocolate factory tour from 1884, we realized we had to share it with our customers. Published in 1884, it is a tour of Fry’s Chocolate, one of the major chocolate factories in the United Kingdom. Fry’s Chocolate is no longer in business, but it was […]

The History of Amano’s Winnowing Machine

Each piece of machinery at Amano has its own story. One of our most treasured machines is our winnowing machine. It is beautiful and nearly 100 years old, and each and every person who visits our factory is amazed at its beauty. But before I tell the story of our winnowing machine and how we […]

Chocolate for the Farmers in Ecuador

One of the greatest privilege I have is to be able to take finished chocolate back to the farmers who helped grow the cocoa that we use. In most cocoa growing countries, it is rare for the farmers to eat chocolate made with their own beans. The hot temperatures in the tropics where cocoa is […]

Speaking to the Ecuadorian Congress—against CCN-51

How I spoke about the Dangers of CCN-51 in Ecuador and Elsewhere Fine-quality cocoa has many challenges. It costs more, it is hard to get, and the supply is limited. However, since the 1960s, fine-quality cocoa has been under a slow and relentless barrage. Even within the fine-chocolate community, there is nary a word about […]