The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

Clay Gordon
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Clay Gordon's Chocolate Life

Latest Activity

Thea Spencer joined Clay Gordon's group


The purpose of this group is to provide a place for ChocolateLife members to share their efforts in creating machines and gadgets - from winnowers to melters and more.See More
8 hours ago
David Menkes commented on Clay Gordon's group Startup Central
"Reducing moisture in the beans themselves before grinding also helps. I like to do a burn test on every batch of beans we get so that we know the moisture content. If the beans are around 6% moisture and the roasted weight is only 4% less than…"
15 hours ago
Dale Anderson commented on Clay Gordon's group Startup Central
"Dave, Thanks so much for your response. I'll see if adding a bit of cocoa butter resolves the issue. This would be a lovely simple fix."
15 hours ago
tom menezes joined Clay Gordon's group

Hawaii Cacao

Information on cacao and chocolate in Hawaii and about the Hawaii State-wide -Cacao Variety Trial in 2010. Co-moderated by ChocolateLife member Skip Bittenbender of the University of Hawaii.Group badge photo by ChocolateLife member Koa Kahili.See More
19 hours ago
Daniel Haran joined Clay Gordon's group

International Chocolate Awards

The International Chocolate Awards  highlights excellence in fine chocolate to consumers by awarding prizes for plain/origin bars, flavoured bars, filled chocolates (bonbons, pralines, ganaches) and spreads in national and regional rounds, culminating in our yearly World Final.Competitions are held in an expanding range of countries and World regions, including Scandinavia, Italy, European Semi-final, Canada, Germany/Austria/Switzerland and in the USA for the Americas.The Awards are overseen by…See More
19 hours ago
Daniel Haran joined Clay Gordon's group

Classifieds - For Sale or Wanted

This is the group where ChocolateLife members can A) Advertise USED equipment for sale to other ChocolateLife members. B) Let other ChocolateLife members know that they are looking for equipment (new or used).See More
19 hours ago
Dave Huston commented on Clay Gordon's group Startup Central
"Responding to Dale Anderson's Chocovision Rev Delta issue: Hey Dale, I've seen this once with a 70% batch of Camino Verde beans from Balao, Ecuador right near the end of tempering process.  Turns out those particular beans have less…"
19 hours ago
Dale Anderson commented on Clay Gordon's group Startup Central
"Chocovision Rev Delta Help Needed. I've been running 3-5 Rev Deltas pretty much all day every day for 4 years. Recently, I've had a problem that I haven't been able to figure out. A machine will near the end of the tempering process…"
22 hours ago

Profile Information

Dark, Milk, White?
Dark, Milk, White
Most memorable chocolate experience:
The night in 1994 when I discovered the delights of origin chocolate.
My favorite chocolate is:
One that challenges my assumptions of what a chocolate can be.

How I Live The Chocolate Life

Living The Chocolate Life (or Living La Vida Cocoa) means something different to each of us.

I began my chocolate journey in 1994 after I discovered Bonnat chocolate. I quickly realized that there was no one talking about chocolate the same way as wine, so I decided, in an entrepreneurial epiphany, to become a chocolate critic.

My mission and goals have evolved along with my knowledge about, and appreciation for, chocolate. I did not decide on chocolate because I was passionate about it, I became passionate about chocolate through my long study and close association with people who are passionate about it. For me, chocolate is a lens through which I learn about geopolitics, history, agronomy, science, technology, cuisine, cultural anthropology, and much more.

I spent seven years teaching myself about chocolate and figuring out what I needed to know to become a credible chocolate critic. I started publishing in May 2001, and here I am nearly seven years later.

It's even more fun now than I had ever imagined it would be. In large measure it's because of people like you and the other members of this new community who share my passion for chocolate; your interest and enthusiasm energizes me.

You can contact me at claygordon (at) thechocolatelife (dot) com.

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Clay Gordon's Blog

Perú and the 2014 Salon del Cacao y Chocolate - Part 2

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 2:00pm 0 Comments

Here I am with Roberto Granja of Transmar, one of the larger cacao companies in Ecuador. Roberto was at last year's Salon as well and they buy production from San Martin and Huanuco in Perú as well as other places.

Above: I am wearing a real Panama hat. Although they are called…


Perú and the 2014 Salon del Cacao y Chocolate - Part 1

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 1:46pm 1 Comment

The 5th annual Salon del Cacao y Chocolate was held in Lima, Perú July 4-6. This was followed up by La Ruta del Cacao, a trip into la selva (the jungle) in and around Tarapoto in San Martin province July 7-9. I was one of a group of more than 20 invited international guests who attended both the Salon and La Ruta.

As with last year, the two events were organized and enjoyed the support of a broad range of organizations and government ministries including the Perúvian federal…


Being a Tourist in Amsterdam

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 12:56pm 2 Comments

Tomorrow is the first day of the CHOCOA conference on sustainability in cacao and chocolate in Holland and this is the first time I have been to Amsterdam - this is my third visit - where I have had a free day. I am going to be slamming busy from tomorrow (Thursday) through Monday, so I have decided to enjoy the day: get a late start and be a tourist and enjoy the city by walking around.

Amsterdam is often called the most bicycle-friendly city in the world. The same cannot be said… Continue

A Visit with Andrea Slitti

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 12:15pm 0 Comments

As I hinted to many, my March trip to Europe was going to start with a special visit. I did not want to jinx the visit by mentioning it and then not being able to make it. But it happened!

Following the path of my Chocolate Life has led me to interesting places and to make interesting decisions. For some reason, many of those decisions seem to involve travel. For example, on my first trip to Bolivia I flew to La Paz then scrambled to catch a flight to Santa Cruz to be met by Volker… Continue

Euro2013 Road Trip: London part 1

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 6:07am 0 Comments

It's Thursday morning here on London, barely 48 hours after I arrived at Heathrow for the start of my Euro2013 Road Trip.

This year's trip will see me traveling to Amsterdam, Milan, and Paris after I leave London. It's chocolate festival season here in Europe. It is true, however, that I am missing some events in the US - the festivals in Chicago for example, as well as Dallas. While I would enjoy being able to attend either or both those events, the lure of being back here in Europe…


Comment Wall (169 comments)

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Join The Chocolate Life

At 8:46pm on May 13, 2014, José Crespo said…
I'm not suggesting that you replace paypal. I'm suggesting you to consider addimg bitcoin donations.
At 8:32pm on May 13, 2014, José Crespo said…
The implementation cost is the same as creating a Gmail account.
At 8:26pm on May 13, 2014, José Crespo said…
As of today 0.011%

At 8:05pm on May 13, 2014, José Crespo said…
You just convert it immediately to fiat. It's just another income source from people who do not own a paypal/bank account. No need to worry about volatility. You can use bitpay or coinbase to accomplish that.
At 7:43pm on May 13, 2014, José Crespo said…
You should consider accepting bitcoin donations in addition to Paypal Clay. Global, decentralized, fast and almost free transfer of value.
At 10:49am on November 11, 2013, david castellan said…

Thanks Clay

It points to a whole other way of infusing flavors. The nibs were very moist with the lees/wine sediment before processing and had an incredible aroma. 

Will be experimenting with other origins too.


At 11:33pm on August 21, 2013, Deborah said…

Thanks for the input Clay. I like the solar panel idea and will experiment. We are on stand alone solar at home and have a few smaller panels I can play with plus a 12v portable fridge.

I'll let you know how it goes



At 5:41pm on May 9, 2013, Julie Ehrentraut said…

I am interested in finding out prices on 2 of FBM's machines - the Aura and the Chocolab.  Do you have current pricing on these yet?

At 11:25am on December 20, 2012, Maya Townsend said…

Ditto! Good to see you at the tasting also. Thanks for the Domori & Pacari recommendations.

At 12:15pm on August 28, 2012, Jon Q said…

Yeah!  His name is Pancho- he lives in La Carrera, Usulutan, El Salvador's largest cacao plantation (but in greeeat need of care because its care went way down after the agrarian reform).


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