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Thread: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

  1. #1
    sdg
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    Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Was just wondering -- if 3 minutes is too long to leave ground coffee sitting around, how come powdered cocoa?

    Or is cocoa just fundamentally different?

    Got a vision of in 5 years time, a forum of chocosnobs all dissing us for being philistines :P

  2. #2
    mwatt
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    I know spices will lose their potency over time ... I have no idea about cocoa.

    I suspect the process is different however - unlike with coffee, its not as simple as roasting then grinding cocoa beans to make cocoa powder. Correct me if Im wrong though ...

  3. #3
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    My hot chocolate packs have use by dates.

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    sdg
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Well, best before, anyway -- 2010 for my bag of CS Ivory Coast Red :)

    According to Wikipedia the process is more complex for cocoa. Both cocoa and coffee are fermented, washed, dried, roasted, and ground. But when we do this to coffee we end up with a powder (more or less), while ground cocoa ends up as a "creamy paste", which must then be further refined (pressed) to separate out the cocoa butter (leaving the cocoa powder).

    None of which really tells me why powdered cocoa is good for years (not that Im necessarily doubting this, mind -- just curious ;)


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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?


    The cocoa dates were given to me by the manufacturer, I just pass em on.

    Roasted and/or ground coffee has a 3 year shelf life, just check the packets in the supermarket (but please dont drink that stuff) ;)

    Got a vision of in 5 years time, a forum of chocosnobs all dissing us for being philistines
    Yep, I agree. After making my own chocolate I thought the cocoa nibs improved with a rest after roasting and the roast and ferment flavours fell behind the chocolate flavours, I guess in time they continue to age an loose some punch.

    Having said that Im pretty sure itís the volatile oils in coffee that give most of the aroma and experience and chocolate just has heavier fats that taste good.

    ;-)

    Happy to keep the cocoa experiance neanderthal at the moment:
    "mmmm hot chocolate - taste yum - Andy want more"


  6. #6
    sdg
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Freeman link=1216739345/0#4 date=1217256200
    Yep, I agree. After making my own chocolate I thought the cocoa nibs improved with a rest after roasting and the roast and ferment flavours fell behind the chocolate flavours, I guess in time they continue to age an loose some punch.
    Um -- you didnt really, did you?

    Just checking -- can be quite difficult to detect irony (or whatever ::) ) in text ;D

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    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    [panto]
    OH YES HE DID!
    [/panto]

  8. #8
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Dennis made some too simone.

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Ive made a couple of kilos of chocolate. :o

    I also tried making cocoa powder....just once. It was way too difficult to separate the cocoa butter from the ground nibs and ended up tasting dry/baked.

    On the other hand, the home made chocolate is really superb. Intense without being cloy, and unlike any commercial chocolate Ive tried. ;)

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Got this answer on shelf life and other good stuff like roasting cocao from this Australian site
    http://www.tava.com.au/product_nibs.html#shelf_life


    Shelf Life
    There are three main characteristics that give our cocoa products a very long shelf life. They are:


    Moisture content
    Fat stability
    Antioxidants


    (NOTE: How you store your nibs will also affect their shelf life. They will keep best in an airtight container, out of direct sunlight).


    Low moisture content inhibits decomposition and the development of moulds. Our cocoa beans and nibs have a moisture content of about 6.5% or less, which, according to the experts is ideal [4]. In fact, low environmental humidity was one of the reasons we chose our current location.


    The fat in cocoa nibs is highly saturated, and therefore chemically stable. Stable fats (like cocoa butter) are solid at room temperature. Stable fats are not prone to rancidity, nor are they damaged by exposure to high (cooking) temperatures. Cocoa nibs are approximately 55% fat. Of this fat, about 60% is saturated fat.


    Rancidity in fat is caused by oxidation. Oxidation is inhibited by antioxidants. As explained above, cocoa is an amazingly rich source of antioxidants.

    KK

  11. #11
    sdg
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    OMG you guys are serious. And you can even buy the "raw" ingredients online! I am boggling :o

    But now I know it *can* be done, Im sortof itching to try ... Fresh nibs next beanbay Andy?? ;D

    Looks like I better be happy with chocolate, though, from Dennis description of trying to extract actual cocoa powder. Not exactly a hardship, though.

    Still -- wonder if an olive press would do ::)

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Have a read, see the pics, simone...

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1174018247/0

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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    I remember coming across this topic before I joined coffeesnobs and I thought you guys were mad. Having done a couple of chocolate factory tours and seeing how much is involved *in making chocolate from scratch I am now convinced, but I think we all share a bit of maddness here.

  14. #14
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    I dont share any of my madness.
    Get your own.

  15. #15
    sdg
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Woo. Oh boy oh boy :o

    Having perused the extended mmmmm... chocolate thread (thankyou Dennis :o ) , followed some of the links, and boggled some more, I fear I am now in Remys "virtual chocolate mess is quite enough for me" camp :-/

    Though if beans did become available again I wonder if Id be able to restrain myself? :D

    Loopy. Completely loopy... ;D

    Going back to the original point (yes, Im sure there was one, and in a minute Ill remember what it was ;) ) ah yes, shelf life, and the incredible contrast with coffee in that regard...

    Flavour not derived from volatiles -- check.
    Highly saturated fat + heaps of anti-oxidants. Hmm.

    Or, as Andy said (cue extreme irony here)
    Roasted and/or ground coffee has a 3 year shelf life, just check the packets in the supermarket
    Think Ill drink up ;D


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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    I wasnt wanting any of your maddness Thundergod, I was trying to get rid some of mine.

  17. #17
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1216739345/0#13 date=1217339928
    I dont share any of my madness.
    Get your own.
    ...or "I dont suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it"

  18. #18
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Lets face it...almost all people are mad. *Its just that most havent been diagnosed. ;D

    I on the other hand am hopeful of becoming an eccentric, if not already there. ;)

    Simone, if the actual chocolate making seems way too hard and you have the opportunity to get some of the nibs, do so. With a light roast in the oven, or even raw, theyre a great food to try.

    Andy taught me that in this form, the nibs are also the benchmark of chocolatey as a coffee descriptor. I havent tried it yet (hopefully today) but perhaps a little Cote dIvoire on the tongue might work too.

  19. #19
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Quote Originally Posted by martybean link=1216739345/0#15 date=1217363587
    I wasnt wanting any of your maddness Thundergod, I was trying to get rid some of mine.
    Well Ive had brain surgery...whats your excuse?

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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    I think my wife thinks I have OCD the way I carry on about coffee.
    She now has become a chocolatesnob doing courses and buying all sorts of choclate stuff, Im sure she has spent more on chocolate gear, than I have on coffee gear. The upside of this, the truffles she makes are fantastic, the downside well there isnt one.

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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Back on the topic, my wifes belgian cocoa is dated best before 23/11/09 and she bought it a couple of weeks ago.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Quote Originally Posted by martybean link=1216739345/20#20 date=1217404257
    Back on the topic, my wifes belgian cocoa is dated best before 23/11/09 and she bought it a couple of weeks ago.
    Now if we only knew when it was harvested, processed and packed, we might know what this particular belgian cocoas shelf life is. :P

  23. #23
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Dennis Much like coffee, it doesnt say on the bag.When it was processed.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Quote Originally Posted by martybean link=1216739345/20#22 date=1217413683
    Dennis Much like coffee, it doesnt say on the bag.When it was processed.
    You mean to tell me there are people out there who dont put a "roasted on" date on their coffee? :o ;D

  25. #25
    sdg
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1216739345/0#17 date=1217372726
    I on the other hand am hopeful of becoming an eccentric, if not already there. ;)

    Simone, if the actual chocolate making seems way too hard and you have the opportunity to get some of the nibs, do so. With a light roast in the oven, or even raw, theyre a great food to try.

    Andy taught me that in this form, the nibs are also the benchmark of chocolatey as a coffee descriptor. I havent tried it yet (hopefully today) but perhaps a little Cote dIvoire on the tongue might work too.
    Dont you have to be rich to be eccentric? ::)

    Chocolate nibs sound much more my style -- chocolate with fibre ;D

    I did taste a fingertip-full of my "ivory coast" unadulterated when it first arrived. Im afraid what I thought it set the benchmark for was a quite astonishing bitterness -- I had never encountered straight cocoa before and was slightly stunned (I was expecting chocolate, you know).

    Id love to know how the first guys to meet a cacao tree decided the seeds were even remotely edible :o

  26. #26
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    I think they were related to the guys that first tried Kopi Luwak.

  27. #27
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Quote Originally Posted by simone link=1216739345/20#24 date=1217417872

    Dont you have to be rich to be eccentric? ::)
    Or poor ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by simone link=1216739345/20#24 date=1217417872
    Chocolate nibs sound much more my style -- chocolate with fibre ;D

    Id love to know how the first guys to meet a cacao tree decided the seeds were even remotely edible :o
    Well, there you go - the nibs are quite nice and actually I find them mild, but full of body and nowhere near the bitterness of cocoa that Ive tried.

    And if you wonder about the first guys to try cacao, what possible thoughts must have run through the minds of the first people to see a cow and think, oooh, those udders look good! :o

  28. #28
    sdg
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    Re: Shelf-life of powdered cocoa?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1216739345/20#26 date=1217420474
    And if you wonder about the first guys to try cacao, what possible thoughts must have run through the minds of the first people to see a cow and think, oooh, those udders look good! :o
    I can pretty much guarantee that any cow being eye-ed off by the 1st masochist to think milk was a good idea wouldve looked nothing like the girls you see in the paddocks these days. More like milking a sheep, only with 10 x the likelihood of getting your head kicked off!

    As for Kopi Luwak -- well I just had to go look it up didnt I (thanks TG!)



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