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The Cacao Beans of Bali

The Primo Chocolate Factory (from Bean to Bar) is a small, artisan operation that has at its helm a colorful and entertaining Italian man named Pepe:

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Pepe on the right with a cacao farmer

His lovely wife has a bakery at the rear of the property and you will most likely be invited to sample her breads / breadsticks:

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Each item is handmade

Pepe is as old school as they come, and that means the quality is the highest. For Pepe it is a matter of principle that one makes chocolate for the ultimate pleasure of not only eating, but as you would a fine wine — smelling, tasting and lingering. Popping a piece of Pepe’s chocolate and quickly chewing it down would be sinful in Pepe’s book.

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For 80 hours the grinding wheels turn to make chocolate as smooth as butter

Pepe himself takes you on a tour of the forest lands that are home to the cacao trees. It’s a good 1.5 hours each way but Pepe will pepper you with stories of his 25+ years in Bali.

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Where the cacao trees grow

The cacao pod itself, when the time is right, offers a creamy coating to the bean. And it is quite good, although it takes nothing like chocolate.

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A thick fleshy coating for each bean.

After harvesting the pods the fleshy beans are fermented for several days in order to extract natural sugars and other goodies to the beans:

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Perhaps not a beautiful sight but a necessary part of the process

After the tour is complete, we return to the factory:

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The magic is hidden on purpose

where we see the details of turning the beans into magnificent chocolate:

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Getting down to the nibs

In the end we get to sample the results of a slow, classic method of creating a highly refined product.

For more information contact us or go directly to Primo Bali.

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