The journey of a chocolate maker

'Well how hard can it be?' was the far too casual approach I had when starting my chocolate making affair. I quickly realised that there was a lot more involved in making chocolate from the cocoa beans.

It is a very complex time consuming process, and by changing one small aspect within it will yield a completely different end product, which at times has been a nightmare. But I love it!

What began as a simple side project, started to consume me as my passion for the craft grew. It all starts with the genetics of the cocoa, without good genes, you won't get great chocolate.

The beans are roasted, cracked, winnowed, stone-ground and conched until each individual cocoa variety reveals it own unique flavour profile. The chocolate is then remelted and hand tempered on a marble slab before moulding into bars to produce a high shine and the iconic snap that high quality chocolate has.

With almost a year's worth of practicing, research, taste tests and trials (by my more than willing friends and family) the chocolate I was producing was proving popular.

I had always loved the idea of trying to make a business from it, so in July 2015 I launched J.Cocoa, and now cannot wait for everyone to try my Handmade Bean To Bar Artisan Chocolate produced in my very little chocolate factory in West Sussex.

I only add Organic ingredients to my chocolate, and use only 3 ingredients in my Origin Dark Bars (cocoa, cocoa butter and sugar), and only 4 ingredients in my Origin Milk Bars (cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar and milk). I never use emulsifiers like lecithin's, and strongly believe that for great chocolate, Less Is More.

I do it because I love it, and I want others to enjoy what I make.