Troy Easton's story about how he started making bean to bar chocolate
When we asked Troy Easton of Sublime Chocolate to tell us a bit about them, here is what he had to say:
“I have owned a chocolaterie for 7 years now. In my little 771 sq ft shop, we make truffles and bonbons, sipping chocolate, ice cream and espresso-based coffee drinks. At my shop, I would organize chocolate tastings where I taught people about the origins of cacao and chocolate…where it came from, how it was first used and the fact that it was taken from South America to Europe and eventually all over the world. During those tastings, I would also lecture on the chocolate-making process – from “bean to bar”.
It took a family medical emergency for me to come to realize how little time we have to accomplish things and that it is easy to go through life and not really “live” life. I had been teaching the process of making chocolate all those years so why wasn’t I actually making chocolate? It seemed to be a natural progression for the direction I wanted to take my shop.
We take small batches of beans from all over the world, hand sort and roast them. Once cooled and left to rest for a few days, the beans are crushed to separate the husks from the actual beans. These “nibs” are then stone ground and refined for about a day before organic sugar is added. Once the two items are combined and ground to a certain particle size, the conching begins. In this process, which can last hours or days depending on the type of bean, the combined cacao and sugar are exposed to certain degrees of agitation, aeration and heat.