Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Theo Chocolate Tour

On my last weekday of employment freedom, I had a girls' day out with my wonderful sister-in-law, Staci. Well over a year ago, I won a pass for two to tour the Theo Chocolate factory. Theo Chocolate is a bit of a local celebrity for chocolate lovers here in Seattle. Their reach is expanding, but it still has a loyal hometown crowd. The chocolate that comes out of the Theo factory is divine... it is smooth, flavorful, and they have very clever flavor combinations to keep ya on your toes.

During the tour, we learned about the company's business practices, how they roast the cocoa beans, and how the cocoa is turned into all sorts of yummy goodness. We also got to taste some of their products (oh darn), much to our great happiness. I was most impressed with the chocolate bar that had ground up bits of crunchy Essential Baking Company bread; if I didn't know better, I would have thought the crunch was from rice krispies, not a loaf of bread. Impressive!

After our 1-hour tour, Staci and I enjoyed a tasty lunch at a local Thai restaurant. We left full, laughing, and having chatted ourselves silly.... can't complain about that. :)

The cocoa beans arrive at Theo in burlap sacks like this one

Unroasted cocoa beans

One of the two cocoa bean roasters in the factory

More of the factory
The idea of a cocoa butter holding tank got me a bit teary and overcome with joy

Some of the Theo confections (I think these are caramels) 

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