You’ve discovered the world of bean to bar chocolate and fallen in love the the concept of small batch chocolate. Want to try and make it yourself? You too can be a chocolate maker!
Making chocolate in Australia guide
You’ve come the right place – here is the Bean Bar You guide to making chocolate in Australia. This page has links the the key things you need to get started. Beans, Machines, equipment and bit of knowledge, you’ll need to supply your own willingness to experiment & clean up (a lot)!
With the exception is the products we sell in our store (we need to keep this going somehow), none of the links here are affiliate links. We only promote products we know and love – the chocolate world is very supportive, our promotion of these people and brands is our way of saying thank you.
We had so much fun making our own chocolate. We hope you to give this fun experience a go!Chris & Alison, Bean Bar You
First thing first, you need a good quality cacao bean otherwise your chocolate will never have the wonderful flavours that we know and love in craft chocolate. Getting good quality cacao beans in Australia has been one of the toughest problems… Luckily there are now a few people who are selling great beans:
- Makira Gold makiragold.com – Brian imports cacao from the Solomon Islands into Brisbane. You can buy small bags (from 5kg) up to full sacks.
- The Cocoa Provider www.thecocoaprovider.com.au – Thibault Fregoni is one of Australia’s most versatile cacao contributors. He founded Monsieur Truffe, later moved to North Queensland to work on cacao plantations and in 2022 he purchased BearSeed.com.au from Monique and started The Cocoa Provider. Thibault has imported 20 new cacao origins to Australia. We are excited to see the next wave of bars launch here soon. You can buy small (2kg) or big (4.8kg) bags to get started.
- Australian cacao – there are various people selling Australian grown cacao. e.g. Charley’s Chocolate factory. Whilst we can grow cacao in the tropical areas of the country the problem is that Australian cacao is expensive to maintain and harvest.
- Your local chocolate maker – Don’t be shy to introduce yourself to your local chocolate maker and explain that you want to have a go at making chocolate. If they don’t give you a job on the spot they may be able to sell you some of their cacao beans to play with.
As a side note, Check out Daley’s Fruit nursery if you want a cacao plant of your own. It may be tough to keep it alive if you’re not in the tropics and you’ll need to manually pollinate the flowers if you don’t have midges nearby.
Mealanger / stone grinders
Getting cacao from nibs into chocolate is a core component of the process. To make this work you need a good quality stone grinder.
- Getting started: check out a table top Premier Wonder Grinder. We sell these in Australia on behalf of www.mealagers.com. Nearly every chocolate maker we’ve visited has at least one of these machines for making small test batches of new beans at various roast profiles. Note: there are older models of these floating around with blue or white bases – the red ones have been built specifically for chocolate. The others have been known to overheat / catch fire under the conditions you’ll want to run.
- Going big: You can import machines from your manufacturer of choice directly. FBM chocolate machines are available in Australia via www.euroquip.au.
You will need various other things to make life easier.
- Moulds: you can get them from Savour School or via Chocolate World online.
- Winnower: you can hand crack and hair-dry roasted beans. You can only do so many beans before you go insane so check out Chocolate Alchemy’s winnower – it’s really good. If you’re handy (you’re going to want to be) you can make your own along those lines…
There have been a number of chocolate making classes in Australia, the two below are currently offline thanks to COVID, send them a message asking about when it’ll be on next, hopefully it will help get them restarted:
- Savour School – Melbourne runs a 3 day bean to bar class in their Brunswick kitchen, VIC. Regularly, $877.
- Celebration Cooking in collaboration with Euroquip, FBM & Makira Gold run a 3 day course focused on industrial chocolate making in Padsow, NSW. May, $500.
Books / websites
- ChocolateAlchemy.com Nearly every single chocolate maker is indebted to the wonderful work of John Nanci. His guide “how to make chocolate” is a must read!
- Make Chocolate at Home. Dr Thomas Avery. Australia is lucky to have our very own version of Jonh Nanci who has so much fun making chocolate for himself and his kids that he wrote his own book about it.
- The Well Tempered Facebook group is an active and engaged group of chocolate makers. Do you homework before you ask a question – it’s very supportive but search the archives to see the same questions and answers over and over again.
Updates or additions?
If you know of someone else who sells these things in Australia please let us know and we’ll add them to the list.