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

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Sebastian's Discussions

"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 replied to Clay Gordon's discussion What Price, Cocoa?
"Believe me, i know 8-)  i'm quite familiar with Vietnamese cocoa, and if properly processed, can make a very nice chocolate.  That said, the total output of Vietnam today is < 100,000 T, almost none of which is commercially usable;…"
10 hours ago
Sebastian replied to Isaac Ekblad's discussion Moldy Beans?
"very common.  ecuador's a terribly difficult place to dry beans properly, so a great deal of them mold.  if you don't have the proper relationships and controls in place, those beans will find their way to you.  there's…"
20 hours ago
Sebastian replied to Clay Gordon's discussion What Price, Cocoa?
"One of the challenges with Vietnam and cocoa is that the extension agency networks to teach farmers how to handle cocoa don't really exist.  as such, while cocoa is being planted to a very small extent, it's not uncommon to see…"
21 hours ago
Sebastian replied to him's discussion How to calculate how much chocolate enrobing for each bonbon?
"Well, i reckon there's many ways to do it, and there's lots of variables.  if your centers are solid enough for you to handle, why not weigh out 20 of them before and after they've been enrobed to get an average weight?  If…"
Sebastian replied to David Menkes's discussion Bean to bar viscosity after adding sugar
"it tells you a great deal, actually, but the most relevant bit for this discussion is that those beans haven't been particularly well fermented, and their fat will be low. In addition to being more bitter and less chocolate flavor wise,…"
Apr 16
Sebastian replied to John Duxbury's discussion Milk chocolate changing color
"Generally speaking, it's almost impossible for a single bar of chocolate to be 'defective' due to the way their processed."
Apr 14
Sebastian replied to David Menkes's discussion Bean to bar viscosity after adding sugar
"absolutely.  I'll tell you right now however that adding lecithin will fix that problem.  If you've got a philosophical against using lecithin, you're only solution is to add cocoa butter."
Apr 13
Sebastian replied to Anjali Gupta's discussion Robot Coupe with Vacuum attachment to increase shelf life
"On it's own - no.  It has the potential to, but only if your formulation is appropriate, and just as importantly, if you're materials handling procedures are appropriate.  it's meant to  minimize the amount of ambient…"
Apr 13
Sebastian replied to David Menkes's discussion Bean to bar viscosity after adding sugar
"Can you cut 50 of your beans in half and count how many are purplish tinted in color inside?  Can you post your formula you're using, and are you using lecithin?   If your recipe is simply 70% beans and 30% sugar, i'm…"
Apr 12
Sebastian replied to John Duxbury's discussion Milk chocolate changing color
"Nope, wouldn't be the salt.  Pictures always help, but if the starting color of the bar was the same as the others, there's not much else i don't think that could have gone wrong.  You can always get the lot number and call…"
Apr 4
Sebastian replied to John Duxbury's discussion Milk chocolate changing color
"Could be a few things.  I'm assuming the tempered bar you started with was the same color as the rest of the bars in the batch.  Temper is not a yes/no state of being - it's a range - quite a wide range, actually.  Color of…"
Apr 3
Sebastian replied to Scott's discussion "Whole Bean Chocolate"
"Natra tried to do this with a  whole bean cocoa powder years ago.   Aweful, terrible idea for many of the reasons already listed.  Also consider where the majority of mold resides on a  bean, and thus where things like afla and…"
Mar 24
Sebastian replied to Scott's discussion "Whole Bean Chocolate"
"Not even a little 8-)"
Mar 24
Sebastian replied to Tobias's discussion Why can't I keep my temper?
"ok, so we can probably rule out 1&2 (assuming you've got accurate calibrations and 'room temperature' is < 85F).   3 - wet - yes, similar to sweating.  often times when you bring something (even chocolate) out of a…"
Mar 23
Sebastian replied to Tobias's discussion Why can't I keep my temper?
"1) are you sure you have an accurate thermometer? 2) the temperature of your inclusions should be about the same temperature as your tempered chocolate when you add them 3) does your chocolate get 'wet' after you take it out from the…"
Mar 23
Sebastian replied to Tudose Emanuel's discussion Small Scale Chocolate factory
"while there's a great deal of info here, i might suggest you identify a consultant to help, especially if this is meant to be your business and livelihood.  there's is no 'full tutorial' describing everything i'm afraid."
Mar 21

Profile Information

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

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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