Top 10 experiences to learn about chocolate making

by | Jul 4, 2023 | Chocolate Information

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Chocolate making is a delicate craft that combines an understanding of history, tradition and innovation. From selecting the finest beans to perfecting the roasting process, and from grinding the cocoa nibs to tempering and molding the chocolate, every step is carefully orchestrated to create a symphony of flavors and textures. Join us as we dive into the top 10 chocolate making experiences.

Chocolate making overview

In chocolate making, cocoa beans are transformed into a variety of chocolate products, including bars, truffles, bonbons and more. The process involves several steps that require skill and precision to achieve the desired flavor, texture and appearance of the final chocolate product.

The process of making chocolate actually starts on the cacao farm with the following steps:

  1. Harvesting
  2. Fermentation
  3. Drying

However, the typical chocolate-making process begins with most people purchasing cocoa beans.  When starting with cocoa beans, making chocolate requires the following processing steps: 

  1. Roasting
  2. Grinding 
  3. Refining
  4. Conching
  5. Tempering
  6. Molding 
  7. Cooling

Chocolate making is both an art and a science. Chocolatiers and chocolate makers experiment with flavors, textures, and techniques to create unique and delectable chocolate creations for consumers to enjoy.

Best ways to learn about chocolate making

If you want to learn the craft of chocolate making, there are many opportunities to do so. Here are some of the best ways to expand your knowledge and skills in chocolate making: 

  • Read technical books about chocolate making
  • Take chocolate-making workshops and classes
  • Attending a chocolate-making course or culinary school 
  • Visit chocolate factories and museums 
  • Watch online tutorials and videos about chocolate-making
  • Attend chocolate events

Chocolate-making is a skill that takes time and patience to develop. Enjoy the learning process, experiment with different flavors and techniques, and savor the delicious results.

What are the best ways to learn about chocolate making online?

We think the best way to learn about chocolate making is to enroll in online courses taught by industry professionals. Platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and MasterClass offer courses covering everything from the basics of chocolate making to advanced techniques like bean-to-bar production, tempering chocolate and pairing flavors.

Also, YouTube is a great resource for visual learners. Many chocolatiers and chocolate enthusiasts share their knowledge and techniques through detailed videos. You can find a wide range of videos covering topics like tempering chocolate, molding, ganache making and more.  If you haven’t visited the Chocolate Alchemy website, that’s a great place to start for an introduction to chocolate making and then, when you are ready, you can really dive deep into the technical details.

Top 10 experiences to learn about chocolate making in the US

If you’re interested in learning about the chocolate-making process in the United States, here are ten top recommendations:

  1. Hershey’s Chocolate World – Head to Hershey, Pennsylvania where this interactive museum offers exhibits on cacao cultivation, chocolate manufacturing and a chance to create your own chocolate bar.
  2. Theo Chocolate Factory – Take a guided tour of their Seattle factory to learn about the bean-to-bar process, taste different chocolate varieties, and discover the company’s sustainable and ethical practices.
  3. TCHO Chocolate Factory in Berkeley, California, provides a guided tour of the entire chocolate-making process. Sample their unique flavors along the way.
  4. Valrhona Chocolate School in Brooklyn, New York, offers professional-level chocolate-making classes and workshops for pastry chefs, chocolatiers, and enthusiasts.
  5. Dandelion Chocolate Factory Tour and Tasting – Visit San Francisco, California to participate in a chocolate-tasting experience at this factory where you can learn about the company’s direct-trade practices.
  6. Raaka Chocolate Factory – Head to Brooklyn, New York to see the bean-to-bar process firsthand and learn about the company’s unique flavor profiles. You’ll also get to taste some of their unroasted chocolates!
  7. Fruition Chocolate Workshops – In Shokan, New York, you can learn how to make chocolate truffles and other confections. The experienced chocolatiers teach you the tricks of the trade so you can create your own handmade chocolates.
  8. Kakawa Chocolate House – Head to Santa Fe, New Mexico for a unique opportunity to learn about the history of chocolate and explore various Mesoamerican and colonial-inspired chocolate elixirs.
  9. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory – Drive to Paso Robles, California, for a guided tour of the facility and to learn about the company’s sustainable practices. You’ll also have the chance to indulge in tastings.
  10. French Broad Chocolate –  Explore the world of bean-to-bar chocolate making in Asheville, North Carolina.  Take a guided tour, taste their creations, and gain insights into their sustainable sourcing practices.  

If you are passionate about learning about chocolate making, you can take a variety of routes to explore the craft. Combine theoretical learning with hands-on experiences to refine your skills and develop your own signature creations. Whether you choose to explore online resources, join a community, or embark on in-person adventures, the world of chocolate making is waiting for you to indulge in its fascinating art and science.  You’ll be sure to find a community of people welcoming you with open arms and willing to share their knowledge and experience with you.  Enjoy!

We hope you enjoyed this article. For more great articles, check out the rest of our CocoTerra blog

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us through our social media channels.  We are @cocoterra_co on Instagram and Pinterest and @cocoterraco on Twitter and Facebook.

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