The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

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  • Lancaster, PA
  • United States
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Sebastian's Friends

  • obaid s.
  • Andy Koller
  • Chi Diefenbach
  • Miguel Pujols
  • Tibor Baan
  • Kim Wilson
  • Tamara Ak
  • Lynn Jahnke
  • priya
  • Daniela Vasquez
  • Hannah Crowley
  • Felipe Jaramillo F.
  • Chocotoymaker
  • Karen Blueberry
  • Ernesto Bugarin Pantua Jr.

Sebastian's Discussions

And the world gets a little smaller

Started Apr 25 0 Replies

ADM's chocolate business for sale, again.  This time they mean it 8-)…Continue

"Raw" chocolate FDA recall

Started this discussion. Last reply by antonino allegra May 21, 2012. 4 Replies should be obvious to everyone what my position is on this matter by now.  It's good to…Continue

Is anyone attending ZDS in Cologne this year?

Started Nov 18, 2010 0 Replies

Koln's great this time of year - if so, first round of Dom Kolsch's on me...Continue


Sebastian's Page

Latest Activity

Sebastian and Kim Wilson are now friends
Dec 4
Sebastian replied to Melanie Boudar's discussion Moisture meter
"My question was actually to Mel 8-)  but glad you asked anyway! The way the moisture meters work that are above the one you linked to essentially look at the relative humidity that a bunch of beans create in a chamber.  This is useful as…"
Dec 3
Sebastian replied to Melanie Boudar's discussion Moisture meter
"Can you define what low cost means to you?"
Dec 2
Sebastian is now friends with obaid s. and Lynn Jahnke
Nov 14
Sebastian replied to Tom's discussion Heavy Metals
"For a hobby?  not at all. For commercial purposes - depends on where you live, as the laws are different by country."
Nov 1
Sebastian and Chi Diefenbach are now friends
Oct 21
Sebastian replied to Ian Horvath's discussion Francois Pralus
"It's incredibly difficult to make a tea out of something that's encapsulated with a total fat content of over 50%, as it is to reach roasting temperatures in tea, as it is to simulate process (grinding, conching).  "
Oct 20
Sebastian updated their profile
Oct 12
Sebastian replied to TerryHo's discussion Chocolate bloom questions
"When does it begin?  immediately.  it's a process who's rate depends on many things - total fat content, if you  have milk fat present, and if so how much, are there nuts present, how 'good' was your temper to…"
Oct 4
Sebastian replied to TerryHo's discussion Chocolate bloom questions
"Chocolate flavor does indeed change over time in tempered chocolate - the main driver of this has to do with how tempering works.  When you have a 'solid' tempered bar - there's still actually quite a bit of liquid cocoa butter…"
Oct 4
Sebastian replied to Louwegi's discussion Fat Bloom, fat migration, under tempering? Wonder what it could be (pictures attached)
"the site's not allowing me to respond to your  last post, so i'll just do it here.  Trouble shooting remotely's always a tricky proposition.  Yes temper meters are expensive, but they do pretty much guarantee success.…"
Sep 24
Sebastian replied to Louwegi's discussion Fat Bloom, fat migration, under tempering? Wonder what it could be (pictures attached)
"Remember, it's always time, temperature, or contamination. Were you able to validate the accuracy of your thermometers? If you'd achieved success historically, and if you're successful with the new batch of liquor - meaning…"
Sep 24
Sebastian replied to Matt's discussion Need some advice on milk chocolate...
"Without knowing all the details, i'd agree lack of proper temper is the likely culprit."
Sep 23
Sebastian replied to Matt's discussion Need some advice on milk chocolate...
"You'll never achieve 25% fat in a spectra - so plan on a recipe of 35% total fat.  Assume your liquor is 50% fat.  For ease of sourcing, just use whole milk powder and assume it's fat content is 26%. Part of learning how to make…"
Sep 23
Sebastian replied to Franzi's discussion Questions about cocoa beans
"Hi Franzi - you're going to find that most cocoa beans are sold in bulk by large exporters, as they've got the advantage of economics of scale on their side, and understand the various trans-country regulations.  You're going to…"
Sep 18
Sebastian and Daniel Herskovic are now friends
Sep 17

Profile Information

Dark, Milk, White?
Most memorable chocolate experience:
Being shot at while in origin.
My favorite chocolate is:
My own.


Over the past year, a few folks have asked if I'd entertain consulting - I've begun to do it on a very small scale.  I'm at the point where it's very important for me to spend as much time with my family as possible, so I'm not really looking for reasons to travel; but have been managing it via Skype and via technical reviews or documentation.  Over the years, all of the information I've provided has just been for free on the boards; however increasingly some have been looking for more in-depth evaluations or direction - since I simply don't have the bandwidth to have that discussion with 100 individuals on a bulletin board simultaneously, a consultation model has helped to narrow down the scope of those who are a seriously looking for help from those who are seriously just looking to learn more for their personal information.

If this is something you'd like to consider, just message me here on the board and we can explore it to see if it's a fit for both of us.


Comment Wall (9 comments)

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At 10:31am on November 23, 2013, Sebastian said…

Sorry chocofiles - i never really check this page, and there doesn't seem to be a notification feature to tell me that someone's posted something here.  For the past few decades, i've run the r/d for companies who you'd recognize.   no, i don't sell any of the chocolate i make for myself i'm afraid. at least, not yet - perhaps some day 8-)

At 2:15pm on August 23, 2013, ChocoFiles said…

Sebastian, do you sell the chocolate that you make?  If so, what it is the name of your chocolate?

At 11:58am on August 28, 2012, Sebastian said…

T - sorry, have been traveling, didn't see this until now.  I'm afraid i don't have a friend request from you, and your profile's set to private so i can neither comment back on your question below, nor post an answer to your board i'm afraid...

At 6:22pm on July 24, 2012, t said…

Sebastian I have sent a friend request because I want to talk to you about sugar alternatives like stevia for chocolate. Is there one cultivar that is best to use? I eat Paleo and have food intolerances, no fructose for one, and autoimmune conditions and insulin resistance and looking for some way to have a sweet treat occasionally. I feel you might understand a possible work around.

At 11:14pm on March 20, 2012, brian horsley said…

hi sebastian-- re your comment, you were not at all out of line.  you are obviously supremely knowledgeable about cacao and genetics.  what do you do?


At 6:36am on September 12, 2011, Ernesto Bugarin Pantua Jr. said…

Hi Sebastian,


I,ll check with DHL if there will be no restrictions in sending them from the Philippines.  I'll not charge you anything but we will be most interested in 

your assessment on the quality of our beans.


Thanks for the offer.




At 11:20am on September 27, 2010, John Hepler said…
I will not likely be back in the States til mid-December, at which point I'll share out some beans. PLEASE remind me with an email at that time, and I'll be glad to send you some.
At 8:11pm on May 25, 2010, heather andall said…
Being shot at?
please tell us more.....
At 8:59pm on May 23, 2010, ChocoFiles said…
Hi and welcome to TCL. I learned a lot from your post in reply to Sunita about the relationships with growers, fair trade, etc. I look forward to learning more from you, as you seem quite knowledgeable.

I'm curious, too. You said your favorite chocolate is your own. Do you make your own chocolate from the bean? What is it called?

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