TalamancaOrganica
@TalamancaOrganica
06/25/15 11:51:25AM
12 posts

what use it is given to the shell of the cocoa beans


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

 Hola Sebastian from the coastal slopes of Caribbean Costa Rica. Thank you for your information. No, I currently not conducted my own scientific analysis of my soil over the past 20 plus years of farming cacao. Yes, I am in the process of conducting this analysis in soil, as well as genetic heritage of my trees. The prior owner of our farm, Mr. Rolegio Smith from Punta Uva, owned and worked the farm for 70 plus years before I bought it from him. And before that his family, The notable Downer family worked the larger farm (including what is now mine) for a 85 plus years before that. These peoole never lived on the land; they only lived out on the beach area, and worked the "farm" from dawn until afternoon. There were no roads, at all here until the 1980's as the Province of Limon was a restricted province to keep the Black people and Jungle at bay. It wasn't until 1950's that Black people could even leave the Province and go to the capital.
Before that (1700's) it was all Indigeneous land which the artifacts in the soil reveal as well. But really really, where we are here is "new land" so to speak, recently arisen from the sea. It is not uncommon to see coral deposits nearby and I have even seen this 1Km inland, on the top of a high hill with 400 year old Almond Trees growing out of them! So, all in all we can conclude that the land near at the home of Talamanca Organica is recently risen from the sea (within the last 1000 of years or so), quite far from the alluvial flow of the volcanic region of Costa Rica. Heck, we don't even have any native rock here....it is all clay rock. You have to travel way out to the River Sixaola or the River Chirripo to get any rock, hence why gravel costs a fortune here.
So, yes, I can understand where alluvial flow soils typical of Central and South America would contain Cadium, and other heavy metals. And yes, I see the practice here in the province of locals drying cacao on the roadside. WE, here at Talamanca Organica sun dry our cacao in our farm, and then our cacao is stored daily on clean organic cotton linen, untl it is complete dry; and then in airtight containers. Just yesturday I was sunnin up a ferment from Nov 2014, and I have to tell you that it is as beateous as ever, with amazing aroma and a lovely fruity taste, and only sundried.
If you are ever in my neck of the woods, and you would like to tour my sustainable, organic, regenerative cacao farm, I invite you. And if you have your handy soil testing kit, I would love to offer my soil for your review. You will see that the Superior taste in our beans in multi-fold. First off, it's organic, second, it's grown in harmony with the forest (and that is taste worthy), and it is fermented with prestige and sundried exclusively with our expertise. 
Thanks you very much for sharing your experience, and i hope one day you try our beans. 
And yes, I agree with you, people can ingest poison in they so choose. I do not. And I hold that principle in my agricultural practices. I am fascinated, though with the European love of the cacao shell, and the high demand amongst the European tourist. Yep, few Americans are even interested in it at all.... and it was an Isreali who discovered smoking it....I never thought of it before that. Pura vida, Christina.


updated by @TalamancaOrganica: 07/06/16 01:15:37AM
TalamancaOrganica
@TalamancaOrganica
06/16/15 09:04:56PM
12 posts

what use it is given to the shell of the cocoa beans


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

One of the first processing steps involves roasting of cocoa that consists in a heat treatment of the beans at 110–140 °C for about 30 min for beans and 12 min for nibs, depending on the equipment. The primary goal of roasting is to complete the development of the chemical reactions responsible for the formation of sensory characteristics of flavour and colour of ‘chocolate’ (Kamphuis, 2009 and Ziegleder, 2009). In addition, there is an important decrease in the water content, volatile acidity (Minifie, 1999) and microbial contamination of cocoa beans (ICMSF, 2005). After roasting the separation of the shell is facilitated, being removed by winnowing. The cotyledon is now breakable, which produces the nibs. The nibs are ground to form a fluid mass of a dark brown colour called liquor (also called cocoa mass when solidified by cooling). The temperature used in this process is 50–70 °C, during a variable time of 2–72 h, depending on the equipment and cocoa quality and the required chocolate quality (Beckett, 2008). The homogeneous combination of cocoa materials (liquor and butter) with milk products, sugars and/or sweeteners, and other additives, produces the chocolate (Codex Alimentarius., 2003). The process occurs at temperatures between 45 and 100 °C (Minifie, 1999) and at this stage a reduction in acidity and moisture content is observed, and the Maillard reaction is enhanced. Some steps of cocoa processing involve heat treatment or segregation of fractions, which can play an important role in the reduction of contamination of cocoa by ochratoxin A. The purpose of this study is to determine the natural contamination present in cocoa by-products and to evaluate the effect of the chocolate manufacturing process on the reduction of ochratoxin, a contamination in chocolate.


updated by @TalamancaOrganica: 07/06/16 04:37:34AM
TalamancaOrganica
@TalamancaOrganica
06/16/15 11:44:59AM
12 posts

What to do about To'ak Chocolate?


Posted in: Opinion

Hola, I a TREE-to-BAR chocolate maker, meaning that I literally farm all of my own beans (roughtly a half a ton a year), and really ONLY myself, with very little outside help with exception to "harvestings and openings," where I have 1 guy help me, and only in that part of the work, picking the fruit, and cracking the pods; I am the only one who removes the beans from the pods. Then I personally ferment and dry all of my own beans. AND, I single-handedly do all the chocolate making, including tempering, molding and packaging. The word around this neck of the woods is that Talamanca Organica is the best chocolate EVER. I attribute it to the fermenting and my very fastideous practices of bean storage. I actually pride my chocolate on two points (beyond the fact that it is organic and grown in harmony with mother nature): 1. Talamanca Organica Fine Chocolate only includes two ingredients: Talamanca Organica Cacao and a small amount or organic cane sugar; 2. Talamanca Organica Cacao and Fine Chocolate is only handled by one or maybe two sets of hands through it's entire life cycle of TREE to BAR. 
After reading your story, I realize that I am completely under valuing my AMAZING chocolate bar, 60 grams, that retails at $6 a bar. Private message me if you want some affordable, amazing chocolate, and or beans.


updated by @TalamancaOrganica: 07/06/16 04:12:28AM
TalamancaOrganica
@TalamancaOrganica
06/16/15 11:19:56AM
12 posts

Chocolate Refrigeration


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

We have been using a normal two door (top and bottom) refrig and as of recent (the last 2 times I made chocolate) the compressor on the refrig quit on me about 80 bars into the 100 (60gramers) I produce at a time. This was a real bummer, as I lost the temper on those last 20 bars, and had to retemper. Here in the tropics, working in an 84F environment in the shade of the cacao forest at mid day demands that refrig is obtained as soon as the chocolate hits the mold. I too am looking for a refrig to help me solve this problem. Thanks for the link.

 


updated by @TalamancaOrganica: 07/06/16 04:12:27AM
TalamancaOrganica
@TalamancaOrganica
06/16/15 11:09:52AM
12 posts

what use it is given to the shell of the cocoa beans


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

Actually, many people make tea from the shells. I am not sure where Sebastian gets his information about heavy metals in the shells (???) Where did that come from? I personally farm about a half a ton a year of cacao on my farm, organically, and I have no idea where the "heavy metals" could come from. Actually, I have many tourists who visit my farm from Europe who ask me to buy my shells, as they say that they are extremely expensive in Europe. They choose to make tea from them they say that the nutritional qualities are higher in the shell. 
We here at Talamanca Organica Cacao and Fine Chocolate use the shells as mulch in our vegatable garden, that is if we are not giving them away to tea drinkers.  Recently I had a guy ask me for the shells to use as smoke. (I thought wow, now there is a novel idea!) He twisted up some fresh shells right out of my winnower and smoked away. I had a puff or two and I must say, it was nice and smooth and nothing like tabacco or other smoke that gets you dizzy and high. This shell had a marvelous taste of chocolate, that was quite appealing! with no after affect. It burned very well, but then again, it was fresh roasted.
Additionally, I have made Kumbutcha from the shells for personal consumption, and it was quite nice, too. I am sure we can think of a million other things to do with the shells. And I would really like to hear more about these so called heavy metals in the shells? 


updated by @TalamancaOrganica: 07/06/16 04:37:48AM
TalamancaOrganica
@TalamancaOrganica
12/25/14 05:58:18PM
12 posts

Recommendations for visiting San Blas and finding cacao?


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

We have a nice selection of 2014 beans here in puerto VIEJO Talamanca, Limon, Costa Rica just across the boarder of Panama. 011-506-8563-2790 . Thanks
TalamancaOrganica
@TalamancaOrganica
12/19/14 03:10:43PM
12 posts

Winnower needed!! Help


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Thanks cheebs! We have lots of beans if you need.
TalamancaOrganica
@TalamancaOrganica
12/19/14 07:53:18AM
12 posts

Winnower needed!! Help


Posted in: Tasting Notes

We are cacao farmers and chocolate makers working 4 kilos at a time. We hand winnow and we would like to either build a winnower (electric) ourselves as we are in Costa Rica or buy one. Any recommendations or pictures or designs are very much appreciated. Thanks so much! Pura vida
updated by @TalamancaOrganica: 04/11/15 03:45:05PM
TalamancaOrganica
@TalamancaOrganica
12/19/14 07:40:44AM
12 posts

Cocoatown Melanger - ECGC-12SLTA - Leaking Chocolate - Epoxy Glue Fail


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

We use our machine 1-4 times a month for 9 months now and e have had to replace the seal 2xs now (we used regular epoxy here in Costa Rica) the stones twice and now the wiper. The customer support at Cacaotown sucks an their machine is way too expensive. We just bought a premier machine which is more lie a santha and cost $250
TalamancaOrganica
@TalamancaOrganica
12/19/14 07:35:00AM
12 posts

adding cocoa butter when tempering


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

Real chocolate makers don't add cocoa butter. Don't do it.
TalamancaOrganica
@TalamancaOrganica
12/19/14 07:31:01AM
12 posts

Cocoatown ECGC-12SLTA Issues


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

Which machine do you have Brad?
TalamancaOrganica
@TalamancaOrganica
12/19/14 07:29:50AM
12 posts

Cocoatown ECGC-12SLTA Issues


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

We here at Talamanca Organica have had many problems with Cacao Town and have had to replace the stones twice and the wiper is now cracking. Although still under warranty they do not want to replace the wiper and the want $37 for a new one. They made me send the parts back to them and now they do not want to send me back my old parts. I will never deal with horrible people again I would never recommend them.