One of the most popular hot drinks at the High Tea Szalón is “Mámor Koko Samoa Chocolate Tea”. We have been serving this innovative new "tea" to Australians for three years now and finally we’d like to reveal how we make it. Our customers are a sophosticated group and we present them a menu with forty different teas. Yes, we do serve a Haute Supreme Hot Chocolate, which uses a variety of dark chocolates. But this new hot chocolate drink has also found a group of gourmands coming back for it.
First off, it’s not actually tea per se, in the sense that it does not come from a tea leaf or herbal leaf. Mámor Koko Samoa Chocolate Tea actually comes from raw organic cocoa beans that we bring in directly from cocoa farmers that we personally know in the Pacific island of Samoa. It’s the favourite beverage of Samoa where it is called “Koko Samoa”. Traditionally, it is made from fermented or unfermented cocoa beans, water, a bit of raw sugar, and perhaps some liquid coconut cream. It is a usual part of the village meal in Samoa. Considering how much they drink, this might explain why Samoans are some of the happiest people in the world!
In the video you’ll see how we actually make Mámor Chocolate Tea. We start with fermented and dried raw cocoa beans. First we sort them because large and small beans do not roast the same length of time. It’s important to inspect the beans for any imperfections and throw away any beans that don’t meet the gold standard.
Using a light aluminium tray, we first roast the beans for five minutes at 160 C and then reduce the temperature to 130 C for a total of eighteen minutes. Subjecting the cocoa beans to a high temperature initially, slowly reduce the temperature and stop the roast when the beans are "cracking", but before they start to burn. The initial high heat lets the beans gain some thermal momentum and allows for a good separation of the husk and nibs as the beans expand. You lower the ambient temperature so as not to burn the outside of the bean, but let the interior continue to roast. Finally, the cocoa beans will start to pop and crack as water vapour is explosively released. This happens when the cocoa bean temperature is around 150C. Experience and smell are the key indicators when the beans are roasted.
Roasting accomplishes a number of things: It helps separate the outer husk from the inner bean and makes cracking and winnowing much easie. It kills the embryo and sterilizes the cocoa bean. Various chemical reactions occur when cocoa beans are roasted and proper roasting is integral to good flavoured chocolate.
After roasting, the woody husk of the cocoa bean is removed in a process called winnowing. There are big machines that do this, but we mostly use our fingers and a rolling pin. This separation step also breaks down the cocoa bean into small 2-5 mm irregular-shaped fragments known as cocoa nibs. The goal here is to crack the cocoa beans into pieces and then separate the husk from the nib. To make chocolate, this husk needs to be fully removed. Then we use a hair dryer set at cool to blow off the husks. We collect the husks and make . . . another chocolate tea which is absolutely delicious. It is called Cocoa Husk Tea and is also full of theobromine (no caffeine) so has wonderful properties but is also calorie free.