CHOCOVIVO - The Journey from Bean to Bar
CHOCOVIVO - The Journey from Bean to Bar
I'm so close to realizing the goal of ChocoVivo - with this one final step, I could fully complete the journey from "Bean to Bar".
I'm so close to realizing the goal of ChocoVivo - with this one final step, I could fully complete the journey from "Bean to Bar". Read more
About this project
The basics. The idea behind ChocoVivo has always been to make entirely bean-to-bar chocolate. I've spent the past five years working towards this goal of selling at Farmer's Markets, opening a store on Abbot Kinney, and then opening Los Angeles' first bean to bar chocolate factory. All I need now to be a complete factory is one machine! With your support, I can complete this life-long journey.
ChocoVivo chocolate. ChocoVivo chocolate is special, because of the simple ingredients and the stone grinding, which is how the Mayans and Aztecs made chocolate over 2000 years ago, grinding chocolate with a tool similar to a mortar and pestle called a "metate y mano".
It’s not over-processed -- it is not refined like most products, we never conch or temper (micro-refine or intensely heat). We only make dark chocolate, and don't work with milk powder, soy lecithin or add cacao butter. From using only whole cacao nibs to whole spices (never powders or extracts), they are as Mother Nature intended our food to be. We eat whole fruits and vegetables – why not whole bean chocolate?
So what's the problem? Right now my little chocolate factory grinds away but I have to start with the cracked beans from my grower. These "nibs" are the broken beans that result when the husk is removed. This de-shelling of cacao beans is a slow and tedious process by hand. However there's a Winnower which is a machine that can do it for me! The best machine is invented by a man in Brooklyn and is called a Vortex Winnower that uses cool technology to separate nibs from husks using "vortex tubes". And the best part is that this beautiful piece of machinery was specifically designed to be a showpiece, educating customers so that they can fully understand the process.
*The Vortex Winnower. For all you nerds out there here is the technical way it works (I just like the gentle handling of the beans and how amazing it is to watch -- not to mention that it is so energy efficient and does not make a lot of noise). Roasted beans pass through a two stage cracking mill. The first stage has interlocking rollers that crack them into small pieces while producing little dust. The second rollers have parallel serrated knives which cut odd shaped nibs. Both stages of rollers are machined from hardened Stainless Steel. Small stones typical of "raw" beans are pulverized without damaging anything.
The cracked beans are then sucked into "Willy Wonka factory" like tubes into the Vortex cyclones made of laboratory grade glass. The nibs and husks swirl around suspended in a stream of air -- this is so neat to see! Both the nibs and husks travel at the same speed as the airflow, but the mass of the nibs vs. husks are different, so is their kinetic energy and centrifugal forces differentiate between the nibs and husks. Now here is the amazing part: the high and low kinetic energy particles that are swirling around, suspended, are denser than the air so they move outward to the edge of the Vortex tubes and fall along the wall down into the reservoirs -- nibs into one 5 gallon reservoir and husks into another. All dust particles larger than 5 microns (millions of an inch) are also collected. This is super cool!
*you can see this in detail at: http://www.brooklyncacao.com/machines/vortexWinnower.html
Video credits. Animation by Rajesh Bhavnani, Video by Radioactive LA
Risks and challenges
If I meet my goal, I have no doubt in my ability to follow through with this project. ChocoVivo has been a risk from the beginning, but hard work, passion and dedication have brought me so far already. Integrating the Winnower into our process has always been the goal, so it will be an adjustment in our system, but a very welcome one that I am confident I could fully and seamlessly incorporate. With your help, I could finally complete the dream of ChocoVivo.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me! Or just stop into the shop - I'm always here.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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