Page-Origins and History of Chocolate
Origins and History of Chocolate


The cacao tree is native to the Amazon Basin. It was domesticated by the Olmecs and Mocayas (Mexico and Central America). More than 4,000 years ago, it was consumed by pre-Columbian cultures along the Yucatán, including the Mayans, and as far back as Olmeca civilization in spiritual ceremonies. It also grows in the foothills of the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America, in Colombia and Venezuela. Wild cacao still grows there. Its range may have been larger in the past; evidence of its wild range may be obscured by cultivation of the tree in these areas since long before the Spanish arrived. New chemical analysis of residue extracted from pottery excavated at an archaeological site at Puerto Escondido, in Honduras, indicates that cocoa products were first consumed there sometime between 1500 and 1400 BC. Evidence also indicates that, long before the flavor of the cacao seed (or bean) became popular, the sweet pulp of the chocolate fruit, used in making a fermented (5% alcohol) beverage, first drew attention to the plant in the Americas. The cocoa bean was a common currency throughout Mesoamerica before the Spanish conquest.


Cacao trees grow in a limited geographical zone, of about 20° to the north and south of the Equator. Nearly 70% of the world crop today is grown in West Africa. The cacao plant was first given its botanical name by Swedish natural scientist Carl Linnaeus in his original classification of the plant kingdom, where he called it Theobroma ("food of the gods") cacao.

Cocoa was an important commodity in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. A Spanish soldier who was part of the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés tells that when Moctezuma II, emperor of the Aztecs, dined, he took no other beverage than chocolate, served in a golden goblet. Flavored with vanilla or other spices, his chocolate was whipped into a froth that dissolved in the mouth. No fewer than 60 portions each day reportedly may have been consumed by Moctezuma II, and 2,000 more by the nobles of his court.

Chocolate was introduced to Europe by the Spaniards, and became a popular beverage by the mid-17th century. Spaniards also introduced the cacao tree into the West Indies and the Philippines. It was also introduced into the rest of Asia and into West Africa by Europeans. In the Gold Coast, modern Ghana, cacao was introduced by a Ghanaian, Tetteh Quarshie.


Cultivation, consumption, and cultural use of cacao were extensive in Mesoamerica where the cacao tree is native. When pollinated, the seed of the cacao tree eventually forms a kind of sheath, or ear, 20" long, hanging from the tree trunk itself. Within the sheath are 30 to 40 brownish-red almond-shaped beans embedded in a sweet viscous pulp. While the beans themselves are bitter due to the alkaloids within them, the sweet pulp may have been the first element consumed by humans.


Cacao pods themselves can range in a wide range of colors, from pale yellow to bright green, all the way to dark purple or crimson. The skin can also vary greatly - some are sculpted with craters or warts, while others are completely smooth. This wide range in type of pods is unique to cacaos in that their color and texture does not necessarily determine the ripeness or taste of the beans inside.

Evidence suggests that it may have been fermented and served as an alcoholic beverage as early as 1400 BC.

Cultivation of the Cacao was not an easy process. Part of the reason was that was due to the fact that, Cacao trees in their natural environment grew up to 60 or more feet tall. When the trees were grown in a plantation however, they grew to around 20 feet tall.

While researchers do not agree which Mesoamerican culture first domesticated the cacao tree, the use of the fermented bean in a drink seems to have arisen in North America (Mesoamerica—Central America and Mexico). Scientists have been able to confirm its presence in vessels around the world by evaluating the "chemical footprint" detectable in the microsamples of contents that remain. Ceramic vessel with residues from the preparation of chocolate beverages have been found at archaeological sites dating back to the Early Formative (1900–900 BC) period. For example, one such vessel found at an Olmec archaeological site on the Gulf Coast of Veracruz, Mexico dates chocolate's preparation by pre-Olmec peoples as early as 1750 BC. On the Pacific coast of Chiapas, Mexico, a Mokayanan archaeological site provides evidence of cacao beverages dating even earlier, to 1900 BC.



The three main varieties of cocoa plant are Forastero, Criollo, and Trinitario. The first (FORASTERO) is the most widely used, comprising 80-90% of the world production of cocoa. Cocoa beans of the Criollo variety are rarer and considered a delicacy. Criollo plantations have lower yields than those of Forastero, and also tend to be less resistant to several diseases that attack the cocoa plant, hence very few countries still produce it. One of the largest producers of Criollo beans is Venezuela (Chuao and Porcelana). Trinitario (from Trinidad) is a hybrid between Criollo and Forastero varieties. It is considered to be of much higher quality than Forastero, has higher yields, and is more resistant to disease than Criollo.


A cocoa pod (fruit) has a rough, leathery rind about 2 to 3 cm (0.79 to 1.18 in) thick (this varies with the origin and variety of pod) filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp (called baba de cacao in South America) with a lemonade-like taste enclosing 30 to 50 large seeds that are fairly soft and a pale lavender to dark brownish purple color.

During harvest, the pods are opened, the seeds are kept, and the empty pods are discarded. The seeds are placed where they can ferment. Due to heat buildup in the fermentation process, cacao beans lose most of the purplish hue and become mostly brown in color, with an adhered skin which includes the dried remains of the fruity pulp. This skin is released easily by winnowing after roasting. White seeds are found in some rare varieties, usually mixed with purples, and are considered of higher value.


Extracted from Wikipedia.



A conche is a surface scraping mixer and agitator that evenly distributes cocoa butter within chocolate, and may act as a "polisher" of the particles. It also promotes flavor development through frictional heat, release of volatiles and acids, and oxidation. There are numerous designs of conches. Food scientists are still studying precisely what happens during conching and why. The name arises from the shape of the vessels initially used which resembled conch shells.

When ingredients are mixed in this way, sometimes for up to 78 hours, chocolate can be produced with a mild, rich taste. Lower quality chocolate is conched for as little as six hours. Since the process is so important to the final texture and flavor of chocolate, manufacturers keep the details of their conching process proprietary.

Rodolphe Lindt invented the "conche" in Berne, Switzerland in 1879. It produced chocolate with superior aroma and melting characteristics compared to other processes used at that time. Legend has it that Lindt mistakenly left a mixer containing chocolate running overnight. Though he was initially distraught at the waste of energy and machine wear and tear, he quickly realized he had made a major breakthrough. Before conching was invented, solid chocolate was gritty and not very popular. Lindt's invention rapidly changed chocolate from being mainly a drink to being made into bars and other confections.

Lindt's original conche consisted of a granite roller and granite trough; such a configuration is now called a "long conche" and can take more than a day to process a tonne of chocolate. The ends of the trough were shaped to allow the chocolate to be thrown back over the roller at the end of each stroke, increasing the surface area exposed to air. A modern rotary conche can process 3 to 10 tonnes of chocolate in less than 12 hours. Modern conches have cooled jacketed vessels containing long mixer shafts with radial arms that press the chocolate against vessel sides. A single machine can carry out all the steps of grinding, mixing, and conching required for small batches of chocolate.


Conching redistributes the substances from the dry cocoa that create flavor into the fat phase. Air flowing through the conche removes some unwanted acetic, propionic, and butyric acids from the chocolate and reduces moisture. A small amount of moisture greatly increases viscosity of the finished chocolate so machinery is cleaned with cocoa butter instead of water. Some of the substances produced in roasting of cocoa beans are oxidized in the conche, mellowing the flavor of the product.

The temperature of the conche is controlled and varies for different types of chocolate. Generally higher temperature leads to a shorter required processing time. Temperature varies from around 49 °C (120 °F) for milk chocolate to up to 82 °C (180 °F) for dark chocolate. The elevated temperature leads to a partially caramelized flavor and in milk chocolate promotes the Maillard reaction.

The chocolate passes through three phases during conching. In the dry phase the material is in powdery form, and the mixing coats the particles with fat. Air movement through the conche removes some moisture and volatile substances, which may give an acidic note to the flavor. Moisture balance affects the flavor and texture of the finished product because, after the particles are coated with fat, moisture and volatile chemicals are less likely to escape.

In the pasty phase more of the particles are coated with the fats from the cocoa. The power required to turn the conche shafts increases at this step.

The final liquid phase allows minor adjustment to the viscosity of the finished product by addition of fats and emulsifiers, depending on the intended use of the chocolate.

While most conches are batch process machines, continuous flow conches separate the stages with weirs over which the product travels through separate parts of the machine. A continuous conche can reduce the conching time for milk chocolate to as little as four hours. You can also do some couching with your wet grinder, you only have to loosen up the tension on the rollers and let the grinder run. It wont reduce the particles anymore it will only aerate the chocolate.

The Couching info above was extracted from Wikipedia.



Raw Cocoa Beans content

Polyphenols are what gives the bitter taste in the beans and I found out that they are heavier elements and that they can be removed by gravity. But Polyphenols are not all that bad, they contains Antioxcidants and other health benefice. (Find out more at this link) After taking it out of the Wet Grinder just let the hot chocolate sit for a couple of hours and the Polyphenols will go down to the bottom by themselves. Then if you want to remove them, you now know what to do.

AFTER ROASTING Raw Beans with their Shells, the Beans with their Shells combined lose around 2.36% to 3% of their total weight.

BEFORE Roasting The Shells Account For 10% to 12% of the weight of the Beans.

AFTER Roasting The Shells Account For around 13.92% of the weight of the Beans.

The rest in the Beans are cocoa NIBS and they account for the remaining 86.08%

In the Cocoa Beans 54% is FAT (Cocoa Butter) the rest 46% is Solid Cocoa.

(Here is a PDF on more Research done on Cocoa Beans from the Scholars Research Library)

* * * * * * *

I wanted to know the Weight of the Shells compare to the Weight of the Beans to find out their percentage of each, so I took a bunch of Beans that I roasted them and then I weighted them and I had 237 grams. So then I peeled them all by hand carefully so as not to lose any shells and any Nibs either to find out what is their respective Weight.

Photo-1 Whole Beans Roasted PHOTO-1 WHOLE ROASTED BEANS= 237 grams.

Photo-2 Beans De-Shelled PHOTO-2 BEANS DE-SHELLED= 204 grams.

Photo-3 Shells PHOTO-3 SHELLS= 33 grams.

Photo-1 Whole Roasted Beans= 237 grams so that would Equal 100 %

Photo-2 Beans De-Shelled= 204 grams, so 204 X 100 and Divided by 237= 86.08 %

Photo-3 Shells= 33 grams, so 33 X 100 and Divided by 237= 13.92 %

If you ad up 86.08% + 13.92%= 100%

So the Shells account for 13.92 % of the total weight of the Beans AFTER Roasted. Those are Criollo Beans and I imagine that the margin would not be too big or different then this even if they where different type of Beans, and if it is different in weight, it would not be much more nor much less. So the Shells are nowhere near 20% of the weight of the Beans as some people pretend them to be.

So now I just did a batch that I had just passed in the Champion Juicer and then I extracted the Dust so as not to be in the way and I used my New Bonneauwing Board to removed the Shells and if I want to find out what is my loss while extracting the Shells this way I must have the total of Materiel before and after.

Materiel before removing the shells (Dust was Removed)= 761 grams.

After shells removed= 611 grams of Nibs left.

So 761 - 611= 150 grams.

So if I want to know my loss I have to figure the percentage of 150 grams compare to 761 that is already equal to 100.

150 X 100 divided by 761= 19.71 % of loss.

BUT NOW I KNOW that the Shells actually account for 13.92 % of the whole Beans, so I must subtract this 13.92 % of the 19.71 % I had above to find out my Real loss.

19.71 - 13.92= 5.79 % so this is my Real loss, and I lost that because some Nibs fell on the floor, because I am very tight in my working space and my tray was not big enough to catch them all, and I did not recuperate them, and If I did I would probably have closer to 0 % loss.


People that have Winnowing Machines tells me that they have only between 3-5 % loss of Nibs, that is their estimate they say. Well I say that they are deluding themselves and that their loss is probably around the 25 % mark. Show me your Numbers, and how you come up with your 3% to 5% Loss that does not make any sense since that the dust by itself accounts for 7.85% to start with if you don't force them trough the Champion Juicer. SEE BELOW ! ! ! ? ? ? Then you account for 20% of the weight of the shells when they actually only weight 14%. Further more, most Winnowing Machines that I saw at work spew out Shells with the Nibs and there is lots of small nibs with the shells they extract as well. So when they make a test I suppose that they weight the Materiel before and then they weight the Nibs extracted with the Winnowing Machine After, and the difference is 20-25% in weight they tell me. But the weight of the Nibs is not accurate if it's full of Shells. Remove those shells and weight the Nibs again to get the true weight of the Nibs extracted then substract that percentage of 14% for the Shells and NOT 20% and then you will be closer to the truth.

* * * * * * *


I did this experiment with the same Type of Beans from the same supplier and the same amount 535 grams. The first time I forced the Beans trough and I got 69 grams of Dust, the second time I just let them go trough the Champion Juicer at their own pace and I got only 42 grams of Dust.

535 grams FORCED THEM TROUGH with the Plunger= 69 grams or 12.89% in Dust.

535 grams LET THEM TROUGH by themselves= 42 grams or 7.85 % in Dust.

Further more I passed whole Beans that had been de shelled by hands in the Champion Juicer just to find out how much dust only Nibs will create. I had 227 grams of whole beans de-shelled by hand and I ended up with 18 grams of dust. I did not forced them trough. That is a percentage of 7.93% of dust only with nibs and if I pass the same amount of beans with shells to find out the difference in dust percentage because whatever is more in percentage has to be shells since that the Nibs account for 7.93% of Dust.

WHOLE BEANS DE SHELLED 227 grams = 18 grams of Dust. a ratio of 7.93%

WHOLE BEANS WITH SHELLS 227 grams = 22 grams of Dust, a ratio of 9.69%

This means that if I subtract 9.69% - 7.93% this will give me the difference of the amount of Shell in the dust and it is= 1.76% is Shells more then Nibs so the dust is mostly composed of NIBS and Not of Shells.

So if 9.69 would be equal to 100% how much would be 7.93 equal to?

7.93 X 100 ÷ 9.69= 81.8369 or rounded up to 81.84 % and THAT is the percentage of NIBS in the dust you get and the rest is the percentage of SHELLS. 100-81.84= 18.16%

So in conclusion I can safely say with certitude that the dust coming out of the Champion Juicer without forcing the Beans trough is composed of.....

81.84% NIBS and 18.16% Shells. There you have it. And this means that Shells turn to dust 4% more then Nibs but the Dust content is still in majority Nibs at 82% and Shells only at 18% so it is much worth it to capture the dust and to find a way to separate the Shells from it.

* * * * * * *

So the Dust is a PRIME LOSS if you don't capture it before you pass the Materiel in your Winnowing Machine. So now you come and tell me that you only have 3 to 5 % loss with your winnowing Machine, I say.........BULL SHIT, because for starter you loose at least 7.85% with the dust alone, and then there is the very small Nibs that get sucked out too.

Now what do I do with the dust I recuperate, I don't know yet but I will find a way to extract the shells form it, since that I think that the shells don't turn into very small dust all I would have to do is to use a smaller strainer and only keep the small dust and the rest would be shells and trow those out.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * HOW IS IT MADE * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


First they roast the raw fermented cocoa beans, they crack them open and they de-shell them by winnowing, then what is inside the cocoa Beans without the shells is called the NIBS. They pass the Nibs into a Champion Juicer or any machines that turns it into a paste by friction and heat, and the result is the cocoa Liquor. But you can't really do much of anything with it except use it for dessert toppings or in your coffee, but it will be very thick and bitter. This is an unnecessary step that I skip entirely to make my chocolate, I just put the Nibs directly into the wet grinder and it turn the Nibs into paste and then into liquor and then into a hot liquid that will become the chocolate after many hours of grinding and aerating in the wet grinder. The friction of the particles in the wet grinder is enough to keep the batch hot and liquid. The fact to let it grind for more then 18 hours will result in chocolate particles smaller then 20 microns and will aerate the chocolate in the same process letting the acidic vapors evaporate making the chocolate less bitter and the more you will run it in the wet grinder, the smoother and better it will taste but I found that after 24 hours the batch start to reduce in size dramatically but the flavors still continues to develop with more time in the grinder as it loose more of it's acidity and bitter taste.


Actually it is simply cocoa Liquor that has cooled down and has harden. You can use this to make hot chocolate by melting it in hot water and adding some spice like ginger or cinnamon and sugars.


They start with the cocoa LIQUOR and they press it at high pressure with a hydrolic press to extract most of the Cocoa butter, and depending on what they intend to do with the CAKE they leave some cocoa butter in it, and they are left with a very dry CAKE of cocoa that was stripped of it's cocoa butter content, and since there was 54% of cocoa butter in the Beans and that cocoa butter is 3 times more expensive then the Cocoa Beans itself, it is another reason to extract it. I don't extract any cocoa butter from the Nibs on the contrary I even add more in it to make my chocolate, I ad about 10% to 25% of cocoa butter depending on the recipe. The cocoa butter gives the chocolate it's silkiness and the smooth melt in the mouth feel and makes a richer chocolate that otherwise would be dry.


The cake that was the result of extracting the cocoa butter is what they use to make the cocoa powder. They simply grind it and refine it to a very fine powder and they ad some sugar and other additive to it. There is some fat left in the cocoa powder, about 4% more or less depending of what they want to do with it and the quality of the cocoa powder they want to produce. A rich high quality cocoa powder will have about 4% or more cocoa butter left in it. The cheap cocoa powder hardly has any cocoa butter in it.

IS IT COCOA or CACAO? What is the bloody difference?

Raw Cacao Powder is made by cold-pressing UN-roasted Cocoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cacao and removes the fat (cacao butter). But while this is very nice and better for your health, if you don't roast the Cocoa Beans you take a risk of being contaminated by all kind of bacteria not counting bird dung and all kind of fungus.

Cocoa powder looks the same but it's not. Cocoa powder is raw Cocoa Beans that's been roasted at high temperatures. Sadly, roasting changes the molecular structure of the cacao bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value. So if it is roasted it becomes cocoa but if it is raw then it's cacao. But this was only when it concerns the POWDERS.

But for all intent and purposes, this was not quite true either, because the raw Beans are always called COCOA BEANS and not Cacao Beans and once it is processed (Roasted or Not) in any way or form it becomes Cacao, like Cacao Liquor, Cacao Paste, Cacao Powder, Cacao Butter.

Then this means that of ROASTED Cacao becomes Cocoa. I think it should be the other way around since that Raw Cocoa Beans are always called COCOA BEANS and NOT Cacao Beans.

So go figure what the hell is going on. Now I am more mixed up then ever before......SORRY.


Note that I don't agree with all their procedure since that I have learned so much since I viewed that video for the first time, but the video is interesting to see anyway. I certainly don't like the dirty environment they do their chocolate in, it is disgusting, but you can still learn from thas video. When making chocolate you must take great care to be extremely clean in every steps of the process.

Tree to Bar || How to Make Chocolate Every Step.

His RECIPE is...

1 vanilla Bean.

4 oz Cocoa Butter.

4 grams of Soy Lecithin.

5 1/2 pounds of Nibs.

2 1/2 pounds of Sugar.

He first turn the Nibs to cocoa Liquor and during this process he ad to it the vanilla bean and the melted cocoa butter and the Lecithin, then he pours all the Liquor in the wet grinder and runs it for 12 hours.

After the first 12 hours he ads the Sugar and let it run for another 12 hours.

Then he Temper the chocolate directly in the wet Grinder by bringing the temperature down by stopping the grinder and by adding crystallized Cocoa Butter (this is called Seeding) to form #5 crystal and then pours it into the Molds.

I converted his recipe into grams but it is NOT 70% cocoa and 30% sugar, by my calculations it is more like 70.9% Nibs (Cocoa) and 25.77 Sugar.

113 grams of Cocoa Butter or 3.21%

4 grams of Soy Lecithin or 0.11%

2,495 grams of Nibs or 70.90% or 5 1/2 pounds.

907 grams of Sugar or 25.77% or 2 1/2 pounds.

TOTALS= 3,519 grams or 99.99%

I suppose that the missing % would be the Vanilla Bean, or maybe not.

So his Total materiel is 3,519 grams and that is a bit too much for my Wet Grinder because it's maximum is 2,000 grams or 2L, so If I was to convert his recipe to the actual 70% cocoa sugar ratio with only 2,000 grams total it would be something like so.........

This recipe contains 70% Cocoa and is 41% FAT.

70% Nibs = 1,400 grams. (37.8% fat)

3.20% cocoa Butter = 64 grams. (3.20% fat)

.11% of Soy Lecithin or 2.2 grams.

26.69% Sugar = 533.8 grams.

1 Vanilla Bean.

TOTALS MATERIEL= 100% 2,000 grams.

I am not counting the Vanilla Bean in the total weight and I would NOT use Lecithin either, so I would put the 2.2 grams of the weight of Lecithin in the sugar for 536 grams of sugar for a new total of 26.8% Sugar.

This would be the recipe I would do to replicate his recipe but only using 2,000 grams of materiel.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * BENEFITS OF CHOCOLATE * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Chocolate has many health-related benefits, most of them coming from an active compound in cacao (a.k.a. chocolate), called Theo-bromine.
Theo-bromine is a bitter alkaloid which acts as a natural vasodilator (a.k.a. dilates your blood vessels to allow more blood flow and oxygen), a diuretic (a.k.a. increasing urination to rid the body of excess fluids), and a heart stimulant.


Chocolate is perfect for not only replenishing our bodies with magnesium but also improving our mood as chocolate contains bioflavonoids such as phenylethylamine (PEA a dopamine copycat), anandamide (“chemical bliss”), and serotonin among other brain chemicals which act to increase the both dopamine (a hormone that helps control our brains reward/pleasure centers) and serotonin (a hormone that stabilizes mood, regulates appetite, and gives focus/energy), which help control our cravings and improve moods.

SO what Are The Health Benefits of Raw un-roasted Cacao ?

Lowers insulin resistance
Protects your nervous system: Cacao is high in resveratrol, a potent antioxidant also found in red wine, known for its ability to cross your blood-brain barrier to help protect your nervous system
Shields nerve cells from damage
Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease
Reduces your risk of stroke
Reduces blood pressure
Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease:

The antioxidants found in Raw un-roasted cacao help to maintain healthy levels of Nitric Oxide in the body. Although Nitric Oxide has heart benefiting qualities, such as relaxing blood vessels and reducing blood pressure, it also produces toxins. The antioxidants in cacao neutralizes these toxins, protecting your heart and preventing against disease.
Guards against toxins: as a potent antioxidant, cacao can repair the damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the risk of certain cancers. In fact cacao contains far more antioxidants per 100g than acai, goji berries and blueberries. Antioxidants are responsible for 10% of the weight of raw cacao.

Boosts your mood: cacao can increase levels of certain neurotransmitters that promote a sense of well-being. And the same brain chemical that is released when we experience deep feelings of love – phenylethylamine – is found in chocolate.

It is rich in minerals: magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and manganese.

But while RAW Cacao is very nice and better for your health, if you don't roast the Cocoa Beans you take a risk of being contaminated by all kind of bacteria not counting bird dung and all kind of fungus.

Roasting does not kill all the Antioxidants and benefits of Chocolate, it only diminish them a bit, but roasting will kill ALL the Bacteria, so it is much safer to eat Roasted Cocoa beans and still healthy. That in itself is a good reason to eat more Chocolate.