On Tuesday we visited Luker Chocolate’s factory. Here we were shown the next steps in the process of making chocolate. With so much to learn…. At times it felt like we were back at school!
The factory team were amazing and very knowledgeable of their product and the processes. They took us on a tour of their plant, explaining the process of nibbing the bean and removing the shells, milling, roasting, conching and then finally blending recipes; such as the addition of milk, sugar etc. The process is pretty spectacular to watch and Luker have really refined their art to ensure the quality and flavour of their beans and chocolate.
Two key aspects of the process are ‘roasting’ - ensuring the optimum temperature to retain flavour and aroma. And ‘conching’; this process ensures the grains are smooth and transforms the cocoa mass (or cake) into cocoa liquid. Getting these two key processes right is the difference between average and excellent quality chocolate. We want to ensure we have nothing less than the highest quality chocolate for our customers to enjoy!
What was really inspiring to see is how each and every person in the factory is proud of their role within the chocolate process and proud to work for Luker Chocolate. Confirming to us that we know our chocolate is coming from a reliable source with love in every cocoa bean.
In the afternoon we met with the New Product Development team (NPD) who gave us a wonderful presentation on the history of chocolate and flavour profiles. We sampled cocoa mass that had not been fermented correctly, roasted at the wrong temperature etc. the result was bitter, dry and acidic flavours (not a taste we would wish on anyone!! )
What was really surprising was how different cocoa mass tasted from the different regions in Colombia. Each region had its own identifiable aroma, from fruit notes to the strength of the after taste. It was fascinating to learn how each recipe is carefully blended to balance the different regional flavours.
We can let you in on a big secret 🤫 we are working on blending our very own recipe of milk and caramel chocolate - taking all the knowledge we have learnt from our trip to Luker Chocolate and transforming it in to a very special blend just for you!
(Shh don’t tell anyone! 🤐)