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Chokospice

The home of bean-to-bar chocolate

About Us

Our bean-to-bar story

Read about how we started out.

Read about how we started our journey.

Our Process

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See how we do bean-to-bar artisan chocolate from the very first step of sorting the beans to the introduction of spices into the chocolate bars.

Supporting our community

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Learn how you can make a difference in your community by buying our spiced chocolate bars. 

Our bean-to-bar story

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What makes us different?

Let's face it: everyone wants to be special.  In the world of chocolate-making, being unique means mainly, either pushing the boundaries beyond the existing few principal components (cacao beans, sugar, and cocoa butter) and inventing more intricate recipes or coming up with intricate designs for the chocolates. We decided to take the first path, and create unique and unusual combinations of bean-to-bar chocolate bars with spices and dry fruits as our signature line. 


But first and foremost, our chocolate is 100% artisan, bean-to-bar and hand-crafted. Regardless of the production capacities and the selection of products, we pledge to keep it that way.  All our chocolate bars are nut-free, gluten free and dairy free.


We are continually working on new flavors, so, check back frequently to see our exciting and spicy additions. 

How it all started

My first book, even before I could read, was a 500-page long 1950s cookbook. I was attracted to the deserts section, especially the ones with chocolates. I loved going through the tarnished yellow pages with my grandmother and deciding what we would bake that day. After that, I had many more books (and even wrote some of my own), and several academic degrees, including a Ph.D. but my fondness for chocolate remained steadfast. Oh, and did I tell you how I LOVE spices? All of them, with different and sometimes strange flavors. Life is short, and life without chocolate and spices is just bland! 

Our past

I spent about 15 years as an academic, teaching and researching in the field of political science and international relations.  When the time came for me to move away from the academic field, I kept looking for a way of not only having some significant positive effect on my surroundings but also - one step (or bite) at a time - making the world a happier place. Remembering my heartfelt affection for chocolate, chocolate-making became an obvious choice: everyone loves it! One may have different preferences when it comes to its types, fillings or content, but there can hardly be found two people who have negative attitudes towards chocolate. It makes all of us happy, regardless of our cultural backgrounds or political views. 

Why bean-to-bar spiced chocolate bars?

I have always loved chocolate, in many forms and shapes, and I tried them in every country I traveled to. With our chocolate, however, I wanted to do something different, something that is not readily available or something that has not been tested yet. 


In my political science life, the main topic that I was working on was political culture. In my books, I defined the phenomenon of political culture as "historically developed and persistent through generations modes of responses by institutional actors to the challenges emanating from internal and external environments." The political culture of a country is similar to individual culture in the sense that it brings national-identity components into the behavioral equation, mainly corresponding to the same cultural characteristics on the individual level of its citizens. Thus, when I worked with political culture, national cultures were the essential components thereof. And there is nothing more cultural about a nation than the way its representatives eat food. When you narrow the national cuisine down to the nuts and bolts of it, you will see that spices comprise the very core of it, thus, in retrospect, were central to my understanding of the political cultures! The full circle was complete. 


Marrying bean-to-bar chocolate with spices in bars would seem an obvious choice but what combinations are the question.  In many cultures, the product that has "spices" in it is considered to be "hot" for the taste, and "spiced chocolate" is just another synonym for chocolate with pepper. For me, "spices" have much more to them than just being "hot" for your palate, and I wanted to explore their multiple versions.


It was then that I remembered my old cookbook and the deserts that my Grandmother Sonya would make when I was little. Among other sweets, the pink cherry marmalade was my favorite: with caramelized cherries and a tint of dry cloves that were floating in the delicious amber suspension. The clove spice became the first spice that we added to our dark chocolate, but instead of the pink cherries that my grannie used, we put ruby-colored goji berries, known for their strong natural anti-oxidant qualities. 


As a research professor, it was all too familiar for me how to gather the information. It took about six months to learn how to make chocolate. The study of chocolate, however, required me to go beyond my academic environment and to get down to mastering the skills. Learning bean-to-bar production was not easy since it entailed many new and unique facts that I had previously no idea of. That is why my journey into the fascinating field of artisan chocolate-making started with the website  https://chocolatealchemy.com. I own immeasurable thanks to John Nancy and his great resource for the early chocolate-makers, like me. It was there where I read about the components of the whole bean-to-bar process, the pitfalls of it and the useful tips on how to make perfect (if this statement can be even applied) chocolate.


In addition to doing my solo research, I took several classes from the renowned teacher and award-winning pastry chef  Michael Liaskonis at the Institute of Culinary Education, New York. I was also trained in Milan, Italy, by the master chocolatier  Massimo Meruzzini, whose unparalleled expertise in making truffles and ganache-filled chocolate candies will be instrumental in the next step of our development as a multi-profile chocolate-making company. 

The road to present

Currently, we combine the ethically selected cacao beans turned into dark chocolate, a natural anti-oxidant, with a mix of powdered spices and/or natural oils and dry fruits from around the world. We are using the diverse spectrum of powdered flavors as well as pure natural oil extracts. We are continually experimenting with new recipes and combinations of spices and dry fruits to satisfy our most demanding chocolate connoisseurs.

Our Process

How we do it

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At ChokoSpice, we select for you ethically sourced and best quality cacao beans and spices from around the globe and handcraft them into delicious chocolate bars in Massachusetts. Our process of making bean-to-bar artisan dark chocolate bars includes sorting cacao beans, roasting, winnowing, grinding and then tempering the chocolate. Whenever possible, in this process, we strive to use mainly organic products, such as cacao beans, cacao butter, sugar and spices. We do not use any refined sugar. One of the distinctive features of our spiced chocolate bars is coconut sugar, which has a low glycemic index.

Sorting

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The beans for our bean-to-bar spiced chocolate bars are harvested from the pods and left to ferment: sometimes in open spaces, sometimes in special covered facilities. Since during the fermentation process the beans are exposed to the elements and the influence of the external physical factors (for instance, debris), they must be carefully sorted to eliminate the presence of external components, such as dirt, small stones or fragments of packaging. 

Roasting

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We roast in a 20-lb drum capacity roaster specifically crafted for the purpose of processing cacao beans. It takes the roaster fully 2 hours at 350 F peak temperature to bring the beans to the perfect artisan chocolate aroma.

Cracking/Winnowing

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As of now, we are utilizing the smaller-scale equipment for cracking the roasted cacao means and separating the husk from the nibs. This process is called "winnowing."

Grinding

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 This is one of the most important processes in making artisan chocolate bars: grinding the nibs and combining them with melted cacao butter and sugar in the so-called mélanger (aka "wet grinder").

Tempering and molding

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The second most important process in making artisan chocolate bars is tempering (i.e., developing and maintaining the Beta-crystal) before pouring it in the molds. It is between tempering and molding that we introduce our spices. 

Making chocolate in a wet grinder

Roasting

Supporting our community

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Non-profit sector in Massachusetts

Every month, 2% of all sales are donated to a different charity or non-profit organization that helps people with cancer or cancer survivors.

Why is it important to us?

We believe in helping people fighting cancer.  If you would like to suggest a non-profit or charity for our monthly donation, please email us at  seta@chokospice.com.  

The charities you support by buying our spiced chocolate bars