Monday, August 24, 2015

101 North: Eureka, Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate


Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate  4 W. 4th St., (707) 798-6010.  M-F 10am-4pm.  This luxury chocolate-maker offers drop-in tours of its production facility. No appointment necessary.  Focusing on quality, they make small batch bean-to-bar chocolate from scratch and specialize in dark chocolate from around the world.  
cacao pod and bean display at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California
cacao pod and bean display
Only 12 tons were produced last year, but the plan is for 18 tons this year.  You’ll see burlap bags filled with slowly sun-dried cacao beans from around the world.
burlap bags at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California

Beans are sorted on a conveyer-belt machine,


then roasted 35 pounds at a time in an antique Royal #5 coffee roaster from the early 1900s, which dries and sterilizes them.
antique Royal #5 coffee roaster at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California
antique Royal #5 coffee roaster
The flavor and chemicals that make you feel so good are in the nibs.
bucket of chocolate nibs at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California
bucket of chocolate nibs
Cocoa butter—which is solid in your hand, but liquid in your mouth or at body temp--is what makes chocolate unique.  A grinding ball mill uses ball bearings to turn nibs into paste, and that is followed by more grinding.
co-owner Adam Dick with grinding ball mill at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California
co-owner Adam Dick with grinding ball mill
The last step in the process is putting the mix into a circular conche,
conche at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California

where it spends 48 hours and comes out liquid.  It is then tempered and put into molds, hardened into blocks, and finally foiled and wrapped in envelopes.
liquid chocolate at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California

chocolate is wrapped at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California
A whole array of specialized machines is used, and it takes three weeks to transform from bean to bar.  This shop sells their own chocolate bars, of course, but also offers a few items they like from other makers.  Since dark chocolate is Dick Taylor’s specialty, and since I am a huge fan of milk chocolate, I wound up seduced by an Omnom dark milk-burned sugar 55% bar from Iceland as my souvenir (I like it).  My husband, a dark chocolate lover, plans to buy Dick Taylor bars where he can find them distributed.
chocolate products at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California


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images and video ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


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