Forum Activity for @ChocoFiles

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
01/27/16 10:08:58AM
251 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

timwilde: Is that a $100 bar, or is that $100 donation with chocolate thrown in as a thank you?

But who or what are you donating to? There is no information about who gets the proceeds from the sales. If some of the money was going to the HCP one would think that would be mentioned.

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
01/25/15 08:43:33PM
251 posts

Gratitude


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

Peter, I totally agree with you! I'm an IT project manager, so I know first hand how frustrating implementing new computer systems can be. (They're are never quite as simple to implement as glossy brochures make it sound.) I'm sure that Clay has put in many hours that he could have spent tasting chocolate bars.

Thank you Clay! I really appreciate the rich resource that is TCL! I appreciate all of the time and work you put in to babysit it.


updated by @ChocoFiles: 01/25/15 08:45:22PM
ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
01/24/15 08:40:02PM
251 posts

Chocolate Bar Awards


Posted in: Tasting Notes

The "2014 ChocoFiles' Bar of Excellence Awards" have been posted at ChocoFiles Reviews.

Let me know what you think.

What were your favorite chocolate bars in 2014?


2014 ChocoFiles Awards.pdf - 30KB

updated by @ChocoFiles: 04/23/15 07:35:00AM
ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
01/24/15 01:12:55PM
251 posts

Changes


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

Following: on my profile there is a tab for "Followers", but is there any functionality you can set so that we can also see a list of who we are "Following"? This would be like twitter.

Currently I will use a Following list to more quickly see who I still need to add here from my old TCL list of Friends.


updated by @ChocoFiles: 01/24/15 01:13:25PM
ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
01/24/15 08:45:42AM
251 posts

What can't I ...? Missing functionality.


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

Old Messages: It looks like none of my messages transfered over. Is that correct? I had a bunch of old messages for reference. Are they accessible somehow?


updated by @ChocoFiles: 01/24/15 08:46:46AM
ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
10/29/14 10:18:10PM
251 posts

Toak Chocolate - $260 per 50 gram bar


Posted in: Uncategorized

To'ak Chocolate founder Jerry Toth was on a news segment debuting his $260 bars. http://www.wciu.com/videos/youandme/-260-chocolate-bars

As is typical, the news hosts seemed to know very little about artisan chocolate. The host on the left took a small bite, then at 6:32 she dropped her piece out of the small wood tweezer onto the ground! Hilarious! (Her original piece was ~1/16th of the bar, so it was worth ~$16. After her little bite, the piece that dropped was probably priced ~$10.)

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
10/24/14 10:14:25PM
251 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

A 50g bar for $260 (=$520/100g) has arrived. To'ak Chocolate. Their wording on the website makes it sound like this is their first batch to be sold. At this writing 56 of the 574 bars in this harvest have been sold.


updated by @ChocoFiles: 09/07/15 05:46:50PM
ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
08/22/14 10:17:20PM
251 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

I have a 0-10 Rating/Grading system. See the ChocoFiles website for details. I would be glad for my rating system to be the new standard. :-)

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
07/15/14 03:30:05PM
251 posts

Group Review #2 - The Mast Brothers (any and all)


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Mast Brothers were one of the first companies that I can think of who realized that beautiful packaging will entice people to buy chocolate. Their high quality, artistic, multi-colored wrapping papers draw many people to buy their bars. Right or wrong, an inescapable fact is that marketing has an incredible influence on buying. I have been in chocolate stores observing uninformed people make decisions. The majority of the time, when faced with a wall of many bars, uninformed people will just choose the one that looks best without knowing anything about the maker. Since the vast majority of Americans know very, very little about artisan chocolate this is how many people decide which bars to buy.

I think that Mast Brothers also influenced other companies to use high quality artistic wrapping paper as well. I imagine that makes production costs higher, though, thus decreasing the profit margin.

Sadly, the converse is also true-- some very high quality makers are often overlooked only because the packaging was not as attractive as other bars.

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
05/03/14 01:20:55PM
251 posts

New category suggestion: "Science"


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Sure, give me Admin rights. I don't have much time available, but maybe I can do a little for the group.

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
05/03/14 10:17:03AM
251 posts

New category suggestion: "Science"


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Clay,

Would you be able to add a new category called "Science"? This would be a place to discuss all of the scientific aspects of cacao and chocolate such as biochemistry etc.


updated by @ChocoFiles: 04/13/15 06:12:18PM
ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
04/30/14 10:39:41PM
251 posts

I just wanted to show my new website and get some feedback!


Posted in: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Nice photos and a good explanation of your chocolate making process.

You have very pretty and enticing packaging. Good choice!

A small correction-- typo- on theGrinding/ Conching page (http://www.stonegrindz.com/#!grinding/c1l7b) "loscious" should be luscious"

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
03/20/14 11:39:21AM
251 posts

What's not to be missed in New York?


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

What about Food Emporium?

405 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
Phone 212.752.5836

Location: 59thand 1st

How is there chocolate selection these days?

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
02/18/14 10:33:42AM
251 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

Of course when standardized to the price per 100g, Amedei has already been selling expensive bars for a long time.Amedei Porcelana is currently $39.90/100g (at the Meadow). More than Rogue Porcelana bar at $30/100g. In addition, since Bonnat sells 100g bars, some of theirs already sell for $22-25 too; the cost feels higher when you have to shell out $25 for 1 bar.

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
02/18/14 10:25:51AM
251 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

Rogue's80% Porcelana is an incremental step in the direction of $100 bar. I wonder how it is selling? When standardized to the price per 100g this bar is bar is $30/100g. Rogue has certainly developed the credibility to entice people to pay this much for this bar.

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
01/29/14 04:16:38PM
251 posts

Cocoa butter and cocoa solids


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Also, in your example you have "1. 56g total wt". But the nutritional information is based on a serving size. For Dagoba bars the whole bar is usually 56g but the serving size may only be half of that. Was your example using Serving Size from the nutritional info or the total size of the bar?

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
01/29/14 04:10:47PM
251 posts

Cocoa butter and cocoa solids


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Drew,

Thanks for the reply but I think you missed a crucial point that wasn't made clearly enough in my OP. You can only do this with dark chocolate that has no other inclusions such as milk powder, fruit, nibs, or nuts added.

The only 37% bars I have ever seen are milk chocolate bars, so they have milk powder and other ingredients added, including some that have fat in them. You CANNOT use this method with any bars that have inclusions. Does that make sense?

A better explanation is below:

---

Its actually pretty easy to figure out the percentage of cocoa butter in a chocolate bar. Note, though, that you can only do this with dark chocolate that has no other inclusions such as milk powder, fruit, nibs, or nuts added. You also have to have a package with the nutritional information that includes the fat content (in grams) because the fat is from cocoa butter. Follow these steps:

1) Note the serving size (in g)

2) Calculate the amount of cacao per serving by using the cacao percentage. Keep in mind that the total serving size = cacao + sugar + (optional other ingredients, 1-2%).

The amount of cacao = serving size X cacao percentage (as a decimal number).

Ex- a 40 g serving X .75 = 30 g cacao.

3) Note the Total Fat (in g)

4) Divide Total Fat by Cacao Amount in step 2. This gives you a decimal. Then convert this decimal number to a percentage (i.e. 0.52 is 52%) and then you have the cocoa butter percentage.

An example, Fresco Dominican Republic 223, 72%:

1) Serving size = 45 g

2) Cacao percentage = .72

3) Weight of cacao = 45 x .72 = 32.4

4) Fat content = 16.2 g

5) 16.2/32.4 = .50, so 50% cocoa butter

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
01/27/14 04:01:43PM
251 posts

Cocoa butter and cocoa solids


Posted in: Tasting Notes

So, I used the method above and calculated the cocoa butter percentages for more than 300 bars... then I discovered that method was flawed, so I threw away all of that data. I had neglected the fact that the serving size was the total weight of cacao plus sugar plus any extra ingredients (vanilla and/or soy lecithin)

Here is the correct method:

1) Note the serving size (in g)

2) Calculate the amount of cacao per serving by using the cacao percentage. Keep in mind that the total serving size = cacao + sugar + (optional other ingredients, 1-2%).

The amount of cacao = serving size X cacao percentage (as a decimal number).

Ex- a 40 g serving X .75 = 30 g cacao.

3) Note the Total Fat (in g)

4) Divide Total Fat by Cacao Amount in step 2. This gives you a decimal. Then convert this decimal number to a percentage (i.e. 0.52 is 52%) and then you have the cocoa butter percentage.

An example, Fresco Dominican Republic 223, 72%:

1) Serving size = 45 g

2) Cacao percentage = .72

3) Weight of cacao = 45 x .72 = 32.4

4) Fat content = 16.2 g

5) 16.2/32.4 = .50, so 50% cocoa butter

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
01/23/14 02:29:32PM
251 posts

Seeking Comments on Felchlin Dark Chocolate


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I also really enjoyed the Cru Sauvage, even though I only had it in couverture. (I forget the term for those little round discs.) See my review notes attached. I think it would be an excellent choice if it fits your budget.

I have also reviewed 4 other Felchlin chocolates. You can find my reviews at ChocoFiles.

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
01/21/14 02:31:40PM
251 posts

Group Review - Fortunato #4


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Brian,

I deleted the message that you replied to because I didn't want to give out information that was not correct. I was making assumptions based on the PR that I have seen, so I apologize if my comments created any negative repercussions. (Some day I may learn that making assumptions so often gets one in trouble!!)

ChocoFiles

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
01/09/14 06:10:11PM
251 posts

Group Review - Fortunato #4


Posted in: Tasting Notes

French Broad 2011

Rating = 6, Above Average

See Review notes attached below.

Profile: hard to pin down, but I'll go with Earth. My very first tasting was noticeably acidic and kind of burnt, but I never got that again subsequently. Red wine undertones, but not too strong. There's a persistent "off" note in the undertone that reduces my enjoyment, but it's hard to nail down. Maybe like something green or unripe, maybe like faint red wine. It rather overpowers other flavors, though.

For a first attempt with these beans this is above average. Knowing the French Broad Chocolate's Lounge high standards I expect them to work out the kinks, so I believe that this bar will get even better over time. One reason for my lower rating is because the bar is expensive. I know the beans are expensive, but when I pay more I expect more.

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
01/09/14 06:07:11PM
251 posts

Group Review - Fortunato #4


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Also-

  • Chrisophe Morel
  • French Broad, 2011. Probably made from the beans not Felchlin's couverture.
  • Good & Evil bar (extremely expensive!)
ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
01/09/14 05:30:34PM
251 posts

Group Review - Fortunato #4


Posted in: Tasting Notes

There are quite a few makers that have Fortunato bars, so a good place to start may be to identify all of the companies that sell Fortunato #4 bars. To get things started:

Moonstruck by Felchlin

Cocoa Dolce

I saw a list somewhere, maybe it was on the Maranon website...

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
08/23/13 02:21:09PM
251 posts

Single Origin Cocoa butter?


Posted in: Opinion

Askinosie presses their own cocoa butter and they use it in their chocolate. I agree that to be strictly origin chocolate that the cocoa butter should come from the same origin as the cacao. So for those who add cocoa butter, maybe only Askinosie is truly single origin.

One chocolate maker I know recently said that, in his opinion, to be truly single origin then even the sugar should come from the same source. But that may be going too far. If that were the case then then no company would be able to call themselves single origin.

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
02/03/13 02:05:41PM
251 posts

Coffee and Chocolate pairing


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Giovanni,

You make a good point about people using sugar in their coffee. (Thank you google translate.) I was assuming that all of the coffee would be black because that is the only way to get the true coffee flavor. But many people won't drink black coffee because they aren't used to it.

When I do this pairing I will still use only black, though. That is the best way for people to truly taste the single origin and not to adulterate the coffee.

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
02/03/13 01:58:40PM
251 posts

Coffee and Chocolate pairing


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Karine,

Is your coffee person just a roaster or a barista at a cafe? You need to partner with someone who knows about coffee. You should ask your coffee partner about pour overs or French Press (not to mention Clever Coffee dripper or the aeropress or other brewing methods...) If they can't tell you what these are and the advantages and disadvantages to a cup of coffee then you need to find someone else.

IMO pure espresso is much too concentrated to pair with chocolate. It is one popular brewing method, so it might work, though. I haven't gotten into espresso all that much because it is so concentrated and powerful. I think it would totally overpower any chocolate.

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
02/02/13 07:49:04PM
251 posts

Coffee and Chocolate pairing


Posted in: Tasting Notes

The Simonelli website says that it makes Espresso machines. Are you really going to use espresso for these pairings? I hope not.

If I do a coffee and chocolate pairing, the coffee will be made by pour over or French press.

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
02/02/13 02:35:20PM
251 posts

Coffee and Chocolate pairing


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I'm curious... why is a roaster only using blends and not single origins? The roasters that I've seen use mostly single origin beans. I think this would work better for a tasting.

And what kind of equipment isSimonelli? Have you or he done any pour over cups? Does he know how to do a coffee cupping?

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
02/01/13 04:26:44PM
251 posts

Coffee and Chocolate pairing


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Great topic! For about a year I have been delving into the world of fine coffee, so I have been learning all I can about good beans and brewing techniques. I think that coffee and chocolate are a very natural pairing, hence the many coffee flavored bars out there.

What brewing method are you considering using? Yes, I think you're right that having the coffee hot is crucial. It also needs to be brewed in a quality way so that knocks out theubiquitous drip coffee makers or percolators. It takes some time to grind the beans, set up the equipment, and then brew it.

How many cups of coffee are you going to make? I assume you will pair several kinds of beans with one chocolate. If you had 5 types of coffee beans then you would need to brew 5 batches. I think it would go much quicker to have 5 sets of equipment ready to use. I guess a coffee cafe or a brewer would be the best place to do it so you have access to that equipment.

Just a few thoughts off the top of my head... I've been thinking of offering some chocolate and coffee tastings so this has been on my mind for a while.

Please keep us informed of how you progress.

Lowe

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
12/12/12 05:15:39AM
251 posts

70% cocoa


Posted in: Classifieds

Swiss Chalet Fine Foods sells Felchlin but the cheapest I saw on their website wasCru Hacienda Elvesia 74%Rondoin 6 kg bags for$6.75/lb. Others are $8+to over $11/lb. Sounds like it's too expensive for what you want.

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
12/10/12 08:48:49PM
251 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

Another expensive bar... Amedei Le Selezioni Collection. $180 for 6 bars in a fancy wood box. So 1 bar/box of 12 pieces is $30. BUT each box/bar is only 55g! $30 for 55g = $54.55/100g!

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
12/01/12 10:18:16PM
251 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

The most expensive chocolate that I have bought was a Soma Hawaii 2011 bar-- $46/100g. ($11.50 for 25g.)

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
12/01/12 10:02:52PM
251 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

I agree with using 100g as a benchmark.

FWIW I paid $34/100g for Domori Chuao 2011. ($8.50 for 25g).

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
12/01/12 08:41:33PM
251 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

Here is a $44 bar of chocolate. Forte Fortunato #4.($20/45g = $44.44/100g.)Made from, and I quote from their website, "the rarest chocolate in the world". I bet the "colorful storybook depicting its amazing discovery" cost a quite a bit to put together too.

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
11/11/12 01:15:07AM
251 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

Well, I should have looked closer. Caputo's also still has listed a 50g box of Oialla for $30. Thus, per gram, it would be even more expensive than the 100g box since it is $60 for 100 g, and proves my point of the need for a standardized weight for this discussion.


updated by @ChocoFiles: 09/07/15 11:08:40PM
ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
11/11/12 01:07:11AM
251 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

A couple of points:

1) For this discussion there needs to be a standard weight for the bar. I suggest 100 grams. Obviously, a 50 g bar for $100 is much more expensive per gram than a 500 g bar at the same cost. Or perhaps more realistically, you get twice as much chocolate for a 100 g bar than you do for a 50 g bar. For sake of argument, and just to be consistent, can we just say we're talking about a 100 g bar?

2) The most expensive 100 g of chocolate that I've seen so far is $50 for 100 g of Oialla at Caputo's Market. It's still listed, but no longer for sale. Oialla might be a bar worth discussing because it is way overpriced and the chocolate is not very memorable. I'm guessing that in this case paying a PR firm for marketing andindividuallywrapping each 5g piece are at least 2 factors that drove up the price. Apparently Caputo's also agreed that there is better chocolate for a lower price. They said, "Be sure to check out the "Beni Bar" from Original Beans. It is made with the same beans from the same area and is a fraction of the price. While it is not in super fancy packaging like Oialla, we feel the chocolate is tastier."

3) I guess that the question of this thread presupposes $100 bar that is actually worth the price.

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
11/10/12 06:45:37PM
251 posts

That One Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

A tie:

  • Fresco 212 Dominican Republic 72%. A quintessential example of what I like in a chocolate bar!
  • Rogue Piura 2010 75% (no longer available). A magical bar!

Both rated 9.8 out of 10.

If I had a time machine my all time favorite was Amedei Chuao 2009 vintage (but their current bars have significantly declined in quality so I wouldn't choose that bar today).

See my reviews atChocoFiles.

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
11/04/12 09:50:07PM
251 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

My reply was a weak attempt at a bit of levity. Without tone of voice I'm not sure it came across that way.

There is a lesson that marketing often trumps quality, though.

Plus another lesson: wealthy yet uninformed people will sometimes buy something based on the assumption "it's expensive so it must be good". (I can think of at least one other chocolate maker that uses this strategy to sell LOTS of chocolate for higher prices than the quality justifies. [Still only in the $9/bar range, though.])

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
11/03/12 11:01:59PM
251 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

There already was a $100 bar... when NOKA was around. haha

ChocoFiles
@ChocoFiles
05/15/12 09:51:49AM
251 posts

Examining a Mast Brothers Assertion


Posted in: Opinion

Hi Clay,

I'd like to clarify some of the math that you did. You said:

"Do some math. Is it possible to pay $25,000/MT for beans and make a 2.5 oz (71gr) bar of chocolate that can be sold (profitably) for $7?

At $25,000/MT raw, whole beans in multiton quantities costabout $11.35 per pound. By implication in the video, that money is paid to the farmer and therefore would not include customs, insurance, freight, and other costs, so the calculation understates the actual landed price of the beans and therefore the following cost basis is low.

Assume an 80% yield on those beans (i.e., every 100 lbs of beans yields 80 lbs of usable nib after roasting and winnowing - this is generous) raises the price per pound of nib to about $14.15. Assuming a 70% cocoa content chocolate, that means that the cost ofjust the cocoa nib componentof a pound of chocolate is north of $9.90 - also assuming zero loss in the process of making the finished product."

It looks to me like there may be some mistakes in the calculations you used. Here are some calculations that I made:

Assume $25,000/MT

80% yield means that 1 MT yields 800 kg of cacao nibs.

So 800 kg costs $25,000.

$25,000/800 kg = $31.25/kg or $.03125/g

Mast Brothers bars are 71g.

70% of each bar is cacao so 1 bar has 49.7g of cacao.

Putting it all together: $.03125/g x 49.7g cacao = $1.55/bar for the cacao.

Add in the cost of the sugar and they still make a profit. If they paid 5x then the cost per bar is only about $0.80.

Of course, this ideal yield with no other losses, so their profit margin is still lower, but it does seem feasible.

The Mast Brothers also claimed "up to 10x" so it's not at all clear how much cacao they bought at this price. I might suspect that it was a very small percentage of their total volume.

I'm not being critical; I'm just trying to get accurate math. You're right that this was an instructive exercise to do.

I also think that you point about asking how much of this profit actually got to the farmers is spot on.

1