Ask the Alchemist #123

How do you find the beans you sell? Lots of ways. I have long standing relationships with importers, farms and individuals selling cocoa. I also buy beans from chocolate makers that have brought in beans and have too many or wish to share. Routinely farms contact me as do sellers that have found me on […]

Ask the Alchemist #117

What does Single origin mean? How about single estate? Does that mean all the beans are the same? I have to say I never considered talking about this. It seemed obvious….until I started talking with someone else and I realized that it is very much not obvious. I just took it for granted that ‘single […]

Ask the Alchemist #116

How important is it that my cocoa beans pop when I roast them? Sometimes I only get a couple pops but the chocolate seems fine. I don’t have a great answer for this. Well, I have answers, but they are not definitive. Overall, I have an unsubstantiated preference for beans and roasts that pop and […]

Ask the Alchemist #115

I am new to the cacao scene and wanted to know the answer to a question that I have had for a while. How do you know what type of cacao bean you have? Is it by the shape of the bean? Is it the taste? Is it the combination of both? The reason I […]

Ecuador Micro lots are in

First off, there is no telling how long these will be around.  I have a few hundred pounds of each at the moment.  If one or two in particular go over well, I may try and bring in a bit more.  Regardless, get them while they are here. Ecuador – Cedeno  – The chocolate carries […]

Ask the Alchemist #106

I am a little disappointed in the wild boliva I got. I have thrown away a third of the beans. They are full of webs and moth eaten beans. Can I still make chocolate out of these? I’ve read from some chocolate makers that they are throwing out 30%. I’m assuming you got them from […]

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