Who doesn’t love chocolate? Men and women, old and toddler, Asian or Caucasian, everybody love chocolate. So, when Grace mentioned about a Chocolate Factory tour at Big Tree Farm, we are all excited. What else that make us excited than a possibility of chocolate tasting?
Big Tree Farm’s office & factory is at the northern part of Denpasar, around 1 hour from the downtown of Denpasar. At the end of a small road, a big bamboo building appear from the corner. Yes, Big Tree Farm’s office is entirely made from Bamboo.
We arrived a bit late to Big Tree Farm’s factory. The knowledge sharing has started for few minutes, and in the big hall on the third floor, we join a group of teenager from French. I think they are the sons and daughters of French living in Bali.
The knowledge sharing session shares about the process of Chocolate production. First, Chocolate Pods were plucked from the trees. The pods then cut in half, and the beans extracted and fermented. The results are dark hard shell chocolate beans.
Once hardened, the beans are roasted and peeled. Big Tree Farms use cold roasting process, which roast the beans at lower temperature than other factory. The cold roasting process took longer time, but produce beans that is richer in taste, and less bitter from burnt beans. To me, the roasted beans taste much like coffee mixed with chocolate.
Big Tree Farms packed and sold some of the roasted and peeled beans. Other roasted beans are further crushed into nibs. When mixed with cashew nut, the chocolate nibs become what our guide said as “The most dangerous snacks in the world”. Once you eat it, you will never stop. And she is right.
Some of the Chocolate Nibs goes into packaging to be sold, and other goes to the next production stage: milling. In this process, the Chocolate Nibs is further crushed with heavy wheels. This process extracts the essential oil in the beans, resulting in paste-like chocolate. During the tour, we are shown with the gigantic milling machine.
The Chocolate Paste from milling process is then packed and sold, or further separated into two product: Chocolate Powder, and Chocolate Butter.
At the end of knowledge sharing, we went for a tour through the factory. We can see the part of factory where they roast the chocolate, mill, or even further process the chocolate paste into finished product, such as chocolate bar. Unfortunately, the production was pretty much done for the day
Don’t forget to buy some finished Chocolate Product to take home. The whole knowledge sharing and tour took close to 2 hours. And we think that, those 2 hours are well spent for a different kind of experience in Bali.
For more info, please visit Big Tree Farms's Website.