A Cacao Blend Was Born

Funny thing happened while I was working in the chocolate shop last night.  This will take a minute or two, so hang in there with me.  I bought Michelle this new Jambox Bluetooth speaker phone/stereo speaker that pairs with the iPhone.  Talk, listen, and enjoy all with the magic of wireless connectivity.  When Michelle isn’t looking, I cleverly borrow this amazing device, pair it with my iPhone, open up Pandora, and fill the shop with streaming music.  Thank you Steve Jobs, Pandora and whomever invented Bluetooth.  The contrast of technology and traditional chocolate making in the same room is remarkable.

I was surfing Pandora for a channel while glancing at cocoa running in one of our Melangers and I don’t know what the heck I clicked on, but suddenly there were voices in the room.  I know better than to think and click so I got what I deserved.  Very confused by the language and dialect I stopped to listen harder.  After a few minutes it dawned on me that the 6 different cacao beans in our chocolate shop were telling stories.   Jambox and Bluetooth had somehow picked up on the wave length that cocoa beans use to communicate.

Who knew.

Just absolutely fascinating stories of their origin, their farmer, and journey to Houston, Texas were coming across the air waves in the chocolate shop. At first the banter was playful and fun.  But then things started to take a turn for the worse when Papua New Guinea called out Ecuador for being fat.  Then he called Madagascar a fruit and accused Peru of being an under achiever.  Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Mexico were deceptively enabling the others to self destruct.   Sneaky cacao.

I tell you, that Papua New Guinea cocoa bean has a horrible sailor mouth on him.  The dude was getting a little out of hand and nothing seemed to slow him down.  I wasn’t sure what the heck to do.  Then I imagined a plan.

You should have heard the crying, complaining, and moaning when I threatened to mix them up if they didn’t ratchet down the chatter to an acceptable family tone.  They were all saying “No, I want to be alone. Stop touching me. I don’t want to play nice with others.  I’m the best cacao origin that ever lived”.  On and on and on they bemoaned.  Good grief.

What started off as charming and delightful had turned into a full scale bitch session.  I’m a tolerant man but I had heard enough.  I grabbed some Papua New Guinea, some Ecuador, some Madagascar and threw them in the Melanger.  Told them they had better get along or they’d get fed to some unappreciative food monger who wouldn’t know chocolate from spam.  After an hour or so of great conflict things quieted down considerably during the night.  I’m happy to now report that by this afternoon these three cranky beans were getting along very well.  There is another day or two of work to be done before we can call the disciplinary action I took successful.  They’ll also have to chill out for a week or two before I know for sure the boisterous cacao bunch is singing as one.  I will say that as of this writing the chocolate shop has returned to sounds of Miles Davis and a beautiful blend appears to have born right here in my hometown Houston.

Soon enough a cafe shop near you may well have a batch of Bayou City Blend.

Cheers! Scott

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