The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

Clay Gordon's Chocolate Life

Latest Activity

Adam Dick 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
Andy Ciordia 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
Profile Iconthechocolateclubhk, Lance Omsky and Preston Stewart joined Clay Gordon's group

Startup Central

Are you looking to start a chocolate business? Want to talk to others who've been there or done that - or have you been there and done it and want to share with others? This is the place to discuss it.
thechocolateclubhk joined Clay Gordon's group

Home Brew Chocolate

This group is for ChocolateLife members making, or who are interested in making, chocolate from the bean."Home Brew" means you haven't gone out and spent millions-you're mixing and matching (and making) what it takes to make it work.See More
Nicholas Whebell replied to Clay Gordon's discussion Group Review - Fortunato #4
"I tried one of these in Australia the other week as my father bought some. Its not often that I get to sit down and just enjoy chocolate any more. Anyway, my father told me about it first and said it was Tasmanian chocolate (the reason he bought it)…"
Brittany commented on Clay Gordon's group Startup Central
"Hi! I've been obsessed with finding the nutrition in chocolate and that has led me into the whole world of cacao. It began as a hobby and now I'd like to turn chocolate into my career. I'm experimenting with bean-to-bar methods and…"
Clay Gordon replied to Vinh S's discussion The chocolate business in the group Startup Central
"Jonathan: 500 pieces of what? You will not get a large producer to do this as their minimums are likely to be thousands of pieces. However, you might find a local confectionery business to do a job this size."
Clay Gordon replied to Vinh S's discussion The chocolate business in the group Startup Central
"Vinh: Another thing to consider with the delay in the response is that the question is too huge to answer. What are the margin differences between making your own and private labeling? That's a question that can't be answered…"

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.

Clay Gordon's Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

Clay Gordon's Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Clay Gordon's Blog

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…


Anatomy of a Tasting Menu

Posted on April 21, 2013 at 12:00pm 0 Comments

I am often asked ... about how I approach my pairings, where I get my inspirations, and what my thought processes are. I recently had the opportunity to conceive and prepare a five–course prix fixe tasting dinner at Jimmy's #43, a craft beer bar and restaurant in New York's East Village. The occasion was April, which at Jimmy's is the inspiration for April Sours month - a celebration of sours, Lambics, and wild ferments. As I was working on the menu I…


The Salon du Chocolat in NYC - The Chocolate Show

Posted on November 11, 2012 at 3:51pm 2 Comments

This weekend (November 9-11) saw The Chocolate Show in New York City. The show is organized by Event International, the company that organizes the Salon du Chocolat in Paris and more than 15 other cities around the world. New York is the only location that does that does not incorporate the Salon du Chocolat brand into the name.

I like The Chocolate Show for a number of reasons, including the fact that it brings out the core of the NY chocolate community every year while bringing…


Comment Wall (164 comments)

You need to be a member of The Chocolate Life to add comments!

Join The Chocolate Life

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, Judy and 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).

At 7:48pm on June 25, 2012, Paula Keller said…
Hi clay,

I am looking to start up a chocolate business in Grenada (we grow criollo) and would love to use your consultancy service. Please contact me at Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Paula
At 9:28pm on April 24, 2012, Mimi Wheeler said…

Hi Clay

I am starting the process of selling my small, award winning and fast growing chocolate business. Is there a way to broadcast this fact in an appropriate way to members of this wonderful website? Mimi

At 8:54pm on February 22, 2012, Wendy Buckner said…

Hi Clay!  Hope things have been going well for you!  Been away from here for a while!  Just a friendly hello!  ~Wendy

At 8:08pm on January 24, 2012, Lisi Montoya said…

Thank you so much Clay, it was very nice to meet you. Hope to see you soon in Perú!

At 4:30pm on December 20, 2011, marie rich said…

Hi Clay,

What chocolate plantation trips are in the near 2012 future ?

Thank you., Hope you are doing great ! Paula R. from Spokane , WA


Member Marketplace

Promote TheChocolateLife

Bookmark and Share

Follow Clay on:
Twitter :: @DiscoverChoc
F'Book :: TheChocolateLife
F'Book Group :: LaVidaCocoa :: @DiscoverChoc



© 2014   Created by Clay Gordon.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service