How We Make Chocolate

In our cozy studio nestled in Austin, Texas, we absolutely love making chocolate by hand, surrounded by the wonderful smell of cacao. We're not like those big chocolate factories that focus on making lots of chocolate quickly. Our passion lies in cherishing the unique flavors and taking great care in every step of making chocolate. From the delicate process of fermenting to the precise stages of roasting and grinding, making chocolate is just as complex, if not more, than making coffee. Each little difference brings delightful surprises to what we create. We're proud to be part of the exciting New American Chocolate Movement. Small-scale producers across the country, working in garages and kitchens, are joining in and starting to craft chocolate. This movement is driven by a simple goal: to bring back the missing element in the chocolate world, which is flavor.

Now, let's get started with making chocolate!

Carefully handpicked cacao beans

The first step in making our craft chocolate is handpicking the cacao beans. We carefully select only the best beans, making sure to remove any impurities or damaged ones.

Roasting the beans

Roasting is a really important step in making cacao beans into chocolate. It gets rid of impurities and makes the flavor of the chocolate even better. We choose just the right temperature and time for each batch of beans, so we can keep their unique flavors intact.

Cracking and separating the beans

Next, we crack the beans into small pieces. Using a special technique with vacuum pressure, we gently remove the lighter shells, leaving behind only the precious cocoa nibs. Our skilled artisans then handpick the nibs, making sure there are no leftover shells, so the chocolate tastes absolutely amazing.  

Carefully grind and conch

We take those cocoa nibs and put them in a traditional stone grinder. We start a gentle grinding process, stirring the chocolate at higher temperatures. This helps the flavor develop and mature. We also add other ingredients like cocoa butter, sugar, and our special Asian flavors, making sure everything blends together perfectly. This part takes anywhere from 24 to 72 hours, allowing all the flavors to come together and create the best possible taste.

Temper and mold the bar

Cocoa butter has this special property where it forms different crystal structures at different temperatures. That's actually why we named our brand KESSHŌ! These crystals give the chocolate its shiny look, satisfying snap, and melt-in-your-mouth texture. We take great care in tempering the chocolate to make sure it's at its most stable state. Then, we pour the chocolate into molds and quickly vibrate them to remove any air bubbles. Finally, we control the cooling process so that the chocolate sets into its final beautiful form.

Wrapping and enjoying

Once the chocolate is set, we gently remove it from the molds and inspect it carefully. Then comes the fun part: we wrap each piece in aluminum foil and further package it in recyclable materials. And there you have it, a perfect piece of craft chocolate, just waiting for you to savor and enjoy.