Did you know that Indonesia is the third largest producer of cocoa beans?
Yes, Indonesia. Not Switzerland. Or Belgium. Both country, well-known for their delicacy in chocolate products, can’t produce Cocoa because the cacao tree can only grown in a tropical climate, between 10ºN and 10ºS of the Equator.. The largest producing countries are Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Indonesia. We provides about 16 percents of global cocoa production. Data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that Indonesia produced 574 thousand tons of cocoa in 2010. Currently, Indonesia cocoa production reached 809 thousand tons. (source: http://perkebunan.litbang.pertanian.go.id).
That’s just an interesting fact that we found out during our Whimsical Garden workshop preparation 3 weeks ago. Irvan, one of the two siblings who co-founded Pipiltin Cocoa says that although we’re a large chocolate producing country, when it comes to chocolate processing Indonesia fell behind from other countries. “Indonesia has lots of good quality cocoa beans. Why not make use of it? Why sell it abroad and then buy an imported chocolate instead?”. That’s why he and his sister Tissa open Pipiltin a year ago. They sources their chocolate from local cacao plantation like Pidie Jaya, Aceh, and Tabanan, Bali. The Pidie Jaya’s chocolate has more intensity and a hint of tobacco aroma, while the fruity flavor with bright acidity is the main character of Tabanan cocoa. They also made chocolate bar that made from cocoa beans harvested in Glenmore, Banyuwangi. But the Tabanan chocolate is the highlighted varians for now.
Their tagline, “We make chocolate from scratch” doesn’t ring a bell to me at first. But later on I found out that they directly monitors the cacao planting. They teach the farmers the right way to produce a good-quality cocoa beans. By harvesting only the ripe pods, known by the orange color of the outer skin (hence the color for Pipiltin’s logo). After harvested, the cocoa beans were removed from the pods. Then it undergo a fermentation, which is less likely to do in Indonesia. Some farmers were unwilling to fermented their cocoa beans because it took longer time than selling an unfermented beans. Cacao beans need to be fermented in order to develop the chocolate flavor. A fermented beans has higher price, and will produce a rich chocolate taste. After the fermentation, the beans are going through the drying and sorting process before being bagged for delivery.
Pipilin processed their chocolate product at their Barito’s outlet. The chocolate making steps are visible to all their guests in order to enjoy the complete chocolate experience. They put the conching machine near the dining area and the chocolatey aroma fills the room with a very nice smell. You can read their bean-to-bar process here.
During the brief chocolate tasting after Ayang’s workshop, Irvan also share some interesting facts about the difference between couverture chocolate and compound chocolate, and about how we can find cocoa butter in our daily lives (like, lipstick!). One of the participants asked him what exactly is the so-called white chocolate, which actually, isn’t made from chocolate-liquor (cocoa solids) but from cocoa butter, sugar, and milk solids. So “technically” it’s not a “real” chocolate. And he also share about the truth behind one of the big question: “Does chocolate makes you fat?” ;D
Recently, they made a short documentary about their bean-to-bar process. We get to see a sneak peek of it after Ayang’s workshop. An interesting fact that were captured on the film is that the cacao farmers, having worked at the cocoa plantation for years, never once do they tried the final chocolate product. So it’s a bit compelling to see their reaction when they try the chocolate for the first time.
It has been an interesting afternoon to share new knowledge about chocolate after completing the gouache painting workshop. If you wanna know more about Pipiltin’s chocolate, you can enjoy the chocolate experience through their activities such as Blind Chocolate Tasting, Be A Chocolate Maker (making your own chocolate bar or praline), cooking class for kids and adult, chocolate factory tour, etc. For more info about Pipiltin’s Cocoa event, check their website www.pipiltincocoa.com . Or their Instagram account @pipiltincocoa.
Jl. Barito 2 No. 5 Kebayoran Baru
Jakarta Selatan 12160
e-mail: [email protected]
photo by: Living Loving doc., Pipiltin’s doc