Not so long ago in Lida unusual production. In the city centre in a small workshop Elena T. and Vadim Bocharov began producing artisan chocolate — no additives or preservatives.
The production starts from the selection and roasting of cocoa beans and ends with the packaging of the finished product by the technology of Bean-to-bar.
Lida — provincial city where he lives little more than a hundred thousand people. Of course, no chocolate traditions here. But Elena and Vadim are not confused, they are ready to be pioneers of their craft in the province.
Workshop in Lida is not a huge factory, and a small, almost hand-made. In a small workshop — warm, tart smells like candy. At the entrance of Elena hands boot covers and hat — everything has to be according to the rules.
Elena and Vadim notice that while citizens are wary of their product, because not all are willing to appreciate dark chocolate appreciated.
— But it is only until then, until you try our bars. Then people are surprised they say chocolate is the taste, and it’s different, depending on the variety. And it is not bitter, she says.
Chocolate entrepreneurs sell in your store. They say the interest of citizens to kraftbomb chocolate there, but the real demand is still small.
In the future Elena and Vadim are planning to sell not only packaged chocolate, but in bulk. And will offer buyers of cocoa beans in the chocolate and chocolate candies.
In the world there are three main types of cocoa beans. Criollo, raw honey. Forastero is unpretentious and high-yielding varieties. It is their use in the industrial manufacture of chocolate. And then there are the hybrid trinitarios, was founded in XVIII by the monks of the monastery of the Holy Trinity on the island of Trinidad. Cocoa beans can also be divided into aromatic and mass. Cocoa beans, trinitarios and Criollo, to make expensive types of chocolate. These varieties and use the lidian in his workshop.
The main difference between artisan chocolate from “industrial” is what large companies in mill load 100 500 kg of cocoa beans and the grind lasts no more than an hour. In craft production — small volumes and a long (two-three days) grinding of the product in melanura. And artisan chocolate is often confused with a similar product of manual work. In this case, chocolate is made from prefabricated “chocolate nibs”.
From the cocoa bean to the tiles
In Lida decided to develop the so-called Bean-to-bar technology. This means the full cycle of production in one place — from the cocoa bean to the tiles.
To the opening of Elena and Vadim, companions in business, was a long. First worked together on the sale of the vegetables, then opened in the city centre, a small shop with dried fruits, nuts and everything necessary for confectioners. Then took over the chocolate.
It was a dream to do expensive chocolate from scratch. The quality of what is sold in stores, the associates were not absolutely satisfied, so I decided to cook their product. But this enterprise referred to as rather a gamble, not a business.
— Many friends and relatives still don’t understand. Say we crazy, they say, who need our chocolate. But we are determined and hope that someday on Belarus will be discussed as a chocolate country — dreams Elena.
To start a chocolate business, according to rough estimates, the companions took about 20 thousand dollars.
A year experimented, even as many decorations needed for commencement documents. And in December last year has started, — says Elena. And tells what to buy cocoa beans in Belarus impossible. Must be purchased in Moscow. Go for the raw materials yourself, buying a few bags at a time, trying to order cocoa beans from different countries for a wide range.
Kilo varieties, Trinitarian or Criollo, which is used for cooking, Lida chocolates, from 50 rubles.
Starting the production of craft chocolate, Lida understood is risky.
— We somehow just got lucky — we quickly learned how to dry cocoa beans, immediately picked up the required temperature. However, when just beginning, ruined probably 15 pounds of chocolate nibs — crushed cocoa beans. Does not immediately understand, what volume should be filled up in melanger, here and hooted to some large number. And it all started to fall out of the mill. Had a part to throw away. Manufacture of chocolate — is it trial and error. We all the process recorded in a special notebook, — says Vadim.
Rolls-Royce of chocolate and different tastes
— We use first grade the trinitarios. Inside the class there are many subspecies with very different tastes and aromas, which depend on the growing location and weather conditions, — says Vadim. For example, Dominicana is the taste of cheese, Sao Tome — the taste of raisins, prunes, and later open tart chokeberry. There is only one female chocolatier, which accurately describes the whole range of flavor of a chocolate.
— We’re not chocolatiers — adds Elena. We are simply masters. Now in our workshop we make about 20 kinds of chocolate. Try to give each of our potential buyers, to enable them to decide what kind of tile he wants to buy.
Production technology of chocolate at first glance seems simple. After drying, cacao beans are ground for three days in melanura, then there is added cane sugar and cocoa butter. But there are nuances. For example, depending on the temperature at which dried cocoa beans, you can get a different taste of chocolate. And if you overdry — cocoa bean will be bitter.
When the mass becomes homogeneous, it is poured into special containers, forming large tiles, in which the chocolate needs to survive from one month to three, depending on the variety. And only after that Elena and Vladimir embarking on the final stages of preparation: tempering when chocolate is heated several times. Then the warm chocolate is poured into forms, which solidifies at room temperature. Chocolate only package.
Your chocolate lidian called the “rolls Royce” of such sweet and notice that tiles for them by definition can not be cheap. Composed of only natural ingredients — cocoa beans, cane sugar and cocoa butter. The percentage of cocoa content — 70%. Costs 75-gram tiles 1416 rubles.
As an exception, the partners began to produce a creamy chocolate, which add the milk.
— This chocolate is more sweet and mild taste. Buy it for children, — says Elena.
And Lida came up with their special line of chocolate to the wine.
— We can say that this is the first chocolate in the world, — says Vadim. To him drew a separate box with a glass. In order to choose the right wine, the samples will be sent the sommelier in Saint Petersburg, together with whom he developed the wine collection chocolate.
Despite the cost of the enterprise, to make a cheaper version of chocolate Lida don’t want to.
— We just love our chocolate. And I hope that our enterprise in the near (or not) the time will start to make a profit.