Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I make chocolate?

A: Well, that is THE question isn’t it? From the main page, on the right hand side, the is a list of steps; Cocoa beans, Roasting… Just follow those links in order and it will walk you through the process from Raw Cocoa Beans to Finished Chocolate.

Q: I have heard that cocoa beans have health benefit and that I can eat them raw.

A: I too have seen these studies and information about eating them raw. I also have seen documentation that raw cocoa beans (even organic) can be contaminated with molds, bacteria and other organisms. I would really recommended roasting to help minimize and potential problems. If you do decide to eat them raw, I would suggest peeling them of their husk, as this is where the contamination can reside. I do not suggest, or support eating raw cocoa beans. Please do your research and make an informed decision.

Q: Do I have to use a Champion Juicer to make chocolate? I have seen that other people say I can use a mortar and pestle, blender or coffee grinder.

A: It all depends what you want your finished chocolate product to be like. I am trying to give you the information needed to make good chocolate, indistinguishable from commercial. I don’t want you to have to reinvent the wheel. That is why I am here. When you give someone a piece of your homemade chocolate, I want the comment to be “WOW, that’s great”, not “that’s good FOR homemade”. Know what I mean? Through MANY tests, I have found that the Champion Juicer is the only readily available product on the market that will give you the very smooth cocoa liquer needed for making chocolate. All of those other pieces of equipment did not give me the product I wanted. If you find another piece of equipment that works, please tell me.

Q:  Can’t I use “just a little water” to dissolve the sugar and eliminate the refining step with the Melanger?

A:  In a word, no.  Go check out the Water and Chocolate FAQ for this question alone.
Q: I don’t see my question here. How can I get answers?

A: Either write me at the above e-mail address, or better yet, leave a question in the comments section on the main page (here). That way other people can see and learn also. The only dumb question is an unasked one!

56 Responses to “Frequently Asked Questions”

  1. Is there any discount if you buy the crankinstein with the stainless steel replacement gears at the same time? Do you still pay the individual $190 and $110 regardless?



  2. Do your cocoa beans come from sources that are fair-trade? I’ve read how a majority of cocoa bean farms use slavery for the labor. I’ve always wanted to try making chocolate from scratch, but I’d like to do it without supporting that. Thank you.

  3. Shrell,

    That is totally untrue. It has been a problem on the Ivory Coast, and due to public knowledge that is largely a thing of the past. And you will note I don’t carry any from the Ivory Coast as I too don’t brook with slave labor.

    Everything I carry is ethically traded one way or another. And you will also notice that many of the beans are indeed FT certified. Some are direct trade. Some are purchased from farms individually, which makes them ineligible for FT status as only co-ops are granted that certification – a major issue to my mind.

    Hope that answer that and let’s you move forward with chocolate making.

  4. Cocoa and coffee beans are compared numerous times on your web site. Have you ever tried using coffee instead of cocoa beans in the conching and refining process? A company called il Morso does to produce a coffee shot in a bar form. I work for coffe roasting company in their espresso repair division. I can tell from your writings, #152, that you have both knowledge & appreciation of the caffeine extraction process ☕️

  5. Yes, I have indeed used coffee directly in the melanger. I found you can’t quite replace it 1:1. Even sweetened, it is too much. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. As someone who loves my coffee black, and my shots short, even a 50% coffee bar wasn’t right. Too astringent and bitter. That said, what I like very much is adding up to 4 oz to a 1 kg batch. And especially to a white chocolate batch so you end up with what I call latte bars. No cocoa at all.

  6. How long do raw beans last? and
    Do you recommend storing roasted beans in an air tight container?

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