Patricia, Colombian woman and excellent example of great mother and friend, taught me how to process cocoa beans.
Here you are:
Chocolate has similar processing as coffee does. After removing the peel, beans have to be dried on the sun. We dried it on the roof of small hut that the farm owner uses to dry coffee beans. The whole process of drying takes 4-5 days depending on the sunlight amount- the more sunlight the faster are beans ready.
After beans were dried enought, we put the large pot full of beans on traditional brick furnace (food made on this equipment is just simply delicious!) and we were roasting it for few hours from early morning till late afternoon.
Finally roasted cocoa beans gained nice brownish color and the smell of future hot chocolate invaded our imagination.
Patricia put beans into a large bag and started to beat that bag with piece of wood as if it was a naughty child (what a comparison! ). I would say that this is quite simple rural ways of eliminating cocoa bean cover but sufficiently useful and efficient.
Afterwards, Patricia poured beans from height and I was moving a pot lid from side to side to create kind of wind moves so damaged beans covering could be blown away and beans could fell into another pot. Well, now I am not quite sure if you have got it so please let have a look at the next pictures.
Once beans remained clear from dirt, we mixed beans with small amount of cinnamon and ground it using electric machine. It has to be ground three times to obtain chocolate softer and more liquid.
It got darker and the night was knocking on the door when we entered last phase of chocolate making. Patricia´s husband Omar bought two big banana leaves. I took spoonful of deliciously smelling chocolate mass and put it on the banana leaf. We covered both leaves with these “chocolate pooes” (sorry for the expression but it definitely looked like that!).
My hand were covered with chocolate and after washing them, the smell of chocolate stayed. I got asleep with hands on the nose and breathing that nice scent. Next morning I wake up, took one chocolate “poo” and poured it with hot milk. Amazing! For now the best chocolate I have ever drunk!