New Origin – Organic Nicaragua 2012

That brings the currently number of cocoa bean offerings to a baker’s dozen.

“….. As a chocolate, the nuttiness stays on, along with the richness of medjool dates, molasses and interesting tobacco (leaf not smoke) notes….”

As always, it’s available Retail, Wholesale, and both raw and roasted.

And I have confirmation that the alluded to container of Venezuelan are just about to hit the water.  It is all loaded and should arrive and be available sometime late September.  At which point another 4-5 cocoa bean types will be available.

And one other thing I will toss out there.  I have been experimenting with the Premier Wonder stone wet grinder.


I’ve actually been using one continuously for a year now.  Totally unmodified.  And it is working fantastic as a Melanger.  Why isn’t it on the site you ask?  Well, there is an up side and a down side.  The up side is that it is UNDER $200.  And will refine 7-8 lbs of chocolate.  The down side is that the manufacture will not warranty it for chocolate.  So, if you go get it, mums the word about what you are using it for.  The don’t say they exclude chocolate, but when they noticed the name (Chocolate Alchemy) they asked and I don’t lie, and they said it would not be sold with a warranty.  So, as I said, mums the word.

That all said, I’ve run it hard.  It takes (warmed) nibs into liqueur great and fast.  It does not over heat.  It can run days on end.  And it’s both half the weight (25 lbs total) and less than have the price of the ‘official’ Melangers but refines almost the same amount (about 80%).

So, if you get one, I would LOVE hearing about it.  Mine of course is just a single data point, but it’s been great.

BTW, Psst, if you are into it, we are also now (finally) on Facebook.  If not, no worries, everything will still be posted here and via e-mail as before.


8 Responses to “New Origin – Organic Nicaragua 2012”

  1. Picked up one of these premier grinders on your recommendation to run test batches in. It’s a nice little unit and priced well. Better build quality than the Santha, lighter and smaller so it’s easier to handle, good design to avoid the drum bearing as a point of failure (if you have an old Santha 10 you know what I’m talking about), geared to improve torque, has drainage for leaked chocolate, and a smaller footprint. Only run a couple of batches in it and my only concern is the reduced surface area of the rollers, but have yet to determine if that impacts particle size distribution or refining time.

  2. I was wondering if you have seen the Premier wonder small wet grinder in 220v?

  3. Dave,

    I really like the Wonder also. It’s what I run most of my test batches in.

    Chocolate Lover – No, I’ve only seen it in 220 V. What I recommended to a couple people is to be a moderately sized 110 V -> 220V transformer. They can be had for under $100.

  4. It seems this item is out of stock, and I’m not sure how long it will be that way. Do you know of an acceptable alternative grinder in the same price range?

    Thank you.

  5. Dove, I would suggest just looking around the net. Others carry it. And no, no others in that price range that won’t burn out.

  6. Thanks so much for the reply, John, and thank you for letting people know of an alternative to the Santha. I was able to find the Premier grinder elsewhere on the net. 🙂

    I would like to ask if you’ve written a tutorial or made an instructional video about how to use this grinder in place of a normal melanger. If not, is there any way you can write something up for beginners? It would be nice to see the insides of the machine and have it explained by someone knowledgeable, and also have some information on how to use it (how it works, amounts that can be used, time it takes to do certain tasks, how to stop it to test the consistency, cleaning, special tips, etc.).

    I assume that using this only to refine liquor and sugar together will be much easier on it than using it for the whole process. How long on average does it take to just refine?

    Sorry for all the questions; I’m obviously new to this field–lol.

    Thanks so much!

  7. I recently purchased the Premier Table Top Tilting Stone Grinder that’s 2 liters instead of 1 1/2 liters. It’s a little bit more than the Wonder ($250), but in comparison to the Santha I like that the tub is taller and tilts nicely to unload. I have it going now and it’s fantastic! A side note: I purchased it from my local Indian market so no shipping cost!

  8. I actually thought I had discovered this before you. It’s the first grinder I bought, because of the price. I just discovered this post this morning. I’ve been running the grinder about six months now. At first I had no way to add cocoa butter, so the machine did have some hard work to do, and the chocolate I turned out was quite bitter. I’ve since purchased a screw press to extract some of the solids, so this grinder is not working as hard now. I have run the machine for three days without stopping, though I don’t notice a difference between 12 hours and 72 hours of grinding.

    The only mod I would like for it is a lid with some ventilation. I’m thinking about cutting out some window screen and fastening it with a rubber band. The lid that comes with this machine is practically airtight, meaning that you don’t get a lot of oxidation for the conching unless you leave the lid off, a risky proposition if you have any flying insects in the vicinity.

    I am thinking of buying the 2.0L tilting grinder from the same manufacturer, but still looking for some feedback and specifications on that machine. We are getting a lot of requests for our chocolate, so I need to increase capacity. I could buy a large melanger, but it would require special wiring in our building, and if it broke down, we’d be done. I’m thinking we just buy another 2.0L grinder whenever we need more capacity. That way if one breaks down, we aren’t out of business.

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