Our Friends At Emkao
Updated: Aug 3
Recently we were fortunate to take a visit to one of our suppliers Emkao in Mission, BC.
We were met by the ever happy and delightful Ayissi who is also the CEO and Founder of a Emkao Foods inc, a startup food processing company, founded in 2016, focused on the production of high-quality single-source chocolate.
First we got to see the beans in their whole form, before roasting they are put through a sorter to ensure the correct size beans are roasted and to ensure the consistency and quality of the products
After sorting they go into the roaster and timed to perfection so the husks separate from the bean, this is why the separate sizing was required to ensure that the roast is even and effective for each individual bean.
No part of the bean goes to waste at Emkao as Ayissi was keen to point out, the husks are a wonderful fertilizer and also used in other various food and beverage production as you can see from their latest collaboration with Twin Sails of BC...
... sounds delicious we can't wait to try!
So next steps are the processing of the beans where they are fine ground into what is know by chocolatiers as Cacoa Liqour as you can see below, We can tell you first hand how delicious it is and nothing like you expect. Without any added sugar we were expecting a very bitter taste but due to the fine roasting and processing it was smooth and luxurious.
From here the liqour is poured into fine micron bags ready to be pressed to extract the fat from the solids. We've used presses before but nothing to this scale and the power of this machine is immense. As you can see below as the pressure is applied, a slightly brown liquid starts but then very quickly runs to a clear oil and the smell is fantastic at this point. The mixture is squeezed for a number of hours to ensure the correct extraction and you are left with fantastic cacao butter and these rather great-looking discs.
These blocks are then ground up to make powder and mixed with sugar and fat to make various types of chocolate depending on the required percentages. Emkao doesn't use milk so vegan friendly and refined products.
Finally here are a couple of shots of the holding tanks and choc chip machine, this whole section of the warehouse is dedicated to the production as the other side deals with extraction. We got to try the chips, nibs and chocolate at the end and they're every bit worth the hand craft, time intensive dedication required to make them.
We would like to thank Emkao and Ayissi for the aromatic, fascinating and delicious tour. It is always great to learn more about local companies and get the opportunity to let our customers know where their food comes from.
Check them out here https://www.emkaofoods.com/