Experience Alba: Unique Craft: Malaysian Cocoa, Bean to Bar Perfection

In the lush landscapes of Malaysia, where cocoa beans thrive under the warm tropical sun, a unique chocolate journey begins. Alba, a dedicated bean-to-bar chocolate maker, takes pride in carefully sourcing cocoa beans from regions like Pahang and Perak. With meticulous attention and artisanal craftsmanship, Alba transforms these locally grown beans into rich, single-origin dark chocolate that is not only distinct in flavor but also a treasure trove of health benefits. Each bite of Alba’s dark chocolate tells a story of dedication to quality, a commitment to local communities, and a celebration of Malaysia’s vibrant cocoa heritage.

Selection and Sourcing

The journey starts with the careful selection of cocoa beans. Alba takes pride in choosing beans from regions known for their distinct flavor profiles. Chemor and Kuala Lipis offer unique terroirs that contribute to the complex taste of the final product. This attention to the origin of the beans is crucial as it ensures that the chocolate has a unique and consistent flavor.

From Roasting to Grinding

After fermentation and drying, the beans are roasted to enhance their flavor. Roasting is a delicate process that requires precise temperature control to bring out the best in the beans without burning them. Alba and its team of dedicated chocolatiers ensure that this step is meticulously handled to preserve the beans’ natural goodness. After careful roasting, the beans are cracked and winnowed to remove the husks, leaving behind the nibs.

These nibs are then ground into a paste called cocoa mass. This grinding process generates heat, which helps release the cocoa butter within the beans. The cocoa mass is further refined to achieve a wonderfully smooth texture.

Conching and Tempering

Conching is the next critical step where the chocolate is continuously mixed and aerated. This process helps develop the flavor and texture of the chocolate, making it smooth and creamy. During conching, Alba pays close attention to the time and temperature to ensure that the chocolate retains its nutrients while achieving the desired flavor profile.

Tempering is the final step in the chocolate-making process. It involves cooling and heating the chocolate to stabilize the cocoa butter crystals. This ensures that the chocolate has a shiny finish and a satisfying snap when broken.

Empowering Local Communities

Alba’s commitment to excellence extends beyond the product itself. The company is dedicated to developing and empowering local staff, providing them with the knowledge and skills needed to master the entire chocolate-making process. One such example is Sha*, who has blossomed into a confident chocolate maker with a keen interest in roasting and selling exquisite Alba chocolates. This commitment to local development not only improves the quality of the chocolate but also supports the communities involved in its production.

From the careful selection of beans to the final tempering process, Alba ensures that every step in the journey from bean to bar preserves the natural goodness and nutrients of the cocoa beans. Their dedication to quality and community empowerment makes them a true champion of unique, locally sourced chocolates. Each bar of Alba’s dark chocolate is a testament to the hard work and passion that goes into creating a product that is not only delicious but also supports sustainable practices and local economies.

*Name has been changed