It takes about one week to go from raw bean to the final step in chocolate making, the step called conching. (Conching is a heating and stirring step used to adjust and develop the flavor of chocolate. A conche should be filled with an optimal amount of chocolate to develop the best flavor. Because our machines are small, we can only process a limited amount of chocolate in a single day. So several smaller batches are made over several days, then combined in the conche at the end and conched together.
Typically, we make four small batches–one batch per day. The chocolate is then conched and unloaded. All told, the process adds up to approximately one week. (This amount of time may be longer when we use some proprietary processes.)
After the chocolate is made, it still isn’t ready. The flavor of the chocolate has not yet fully developed.. Chocolate’s flavor continues to develop much like wine does, and we typically let the chocolate “rest” for three weeks (or more) prior to molding. After the chocolate has rested, it is tempered and molded. This process typically takes only about a day. After the chocolate is tempered and molded, it needs to rest again–this time for another three weeks or more. Each chocolate has a different resting period before and after molding, and it takes a bit of skill (and faith) to know the best time to send it out the door.
Creating fine-quality chocolate takes time. It’s better to make it slowly than to rush the process. Rushing is almost guaranteed to affect negatively the flavor of the finished chocolate. On the other hand, to make the chocolate carefully and gently, one must perform each step with exactness.
The result is chocolate like no other.
More Amano Articles You May Also Enjoy: