If you’re a chocolate lover, then you probably know something about the humble cocoa bean. But what does a cocoa bean actually look like? And how does it become a smooth, delicious piece of chocolate?

Now there’s a simple kit to answer all your questions. Even better, it promises to take you from bean to chocolate in a matter of hours. We take a step-by-step look at the process and discover what it takes to create a little piece of chocolate heaven.

▼ The kit includes raw cocoa beans, fresh from an Indonesian cocoa plantation.


▼ Step 1 Wash the beans


It’s important to ensure the beans are dirt free so rinse them in water until the water runs clean. Wipe excess water off beans with a paper towel.

▼ Step 2 Roast the beans


Roast in a frying pan on low heat for about 5-10 minutes. During the process, the beans give off a popping sound like popcorn, which releases the beans’ aroma. When the skins look crispy, as in the photo above, turn off the heat.

▼ Step 3 Hull the beans


Once your  roasted cocoa beans look like this it’s easy to hull them by breaking off the outer skins with your hands.

▼  Step 4 Grind the beans


The easiest way to do this is with a mortar and pestle. If you’re in Japan, a suribashi (ceramic mortar with ridges inside) like the one pictured above, is perfect for the job.



▼ Once the beans have been ground to a paste, you’ve made cocoa butter! With 54% fat, this is what gives chocolate its smooth, melt-in-the-mouth consistency.


▼ Continue grinding with the pestle until the paste resembles melted chocolate.


Step 5 Warm the mixture


Place the bottom half of the mortar in warm water and continue grinding and stirring with the pestle. Bring the water to a boil.

 Step 6 Add 30 grams of sugar


Continue stirring. The mixture will slowly become smoother and smoother.


▼ 1-2 hours after the beans were first ground, your mixture should look like this. With an arm workout like that, you can afford to indulge in a few chocolate pieces without feeling guilty!


▼ Step 7 Pour the Chocolate into the provided moulds


The kit includes a mould for nine cocoa pod pieces and one slim bar.

▼ After 3-4 hours in the refrigerator, your chocolate pieces look like this! 70% dark chocolate, containing nothing but cocoa beans and sugar.



The kit is available for 2,100 yen (US$20.41) from handmade chocolate seller Dari K. Although currently sold out, we’re biding our time until they restock with a few daily push-ups so our arms are ready for all that mixing!


Sources: Chocolife Dari K