Chocolate makes us happy? Yes it jolly well does! A couple of weeks ago, D and I went to Hamburg for a couple of days as part of the Come to Hamburg project. Hamburg is the second largest cocoa import harbour in Europe so we decided to book onto one of the Chocoversum Chocolate museum tours. The Chocoversum is situated in Meßberg and is a stones throw away from the Uber.
The Chocoversum opened up to visitors in 2011 to show what Hachez stands for: Production of quality chocolate in the traditional way. The chocolate factory of Hachez was founded in 1890 by Belgian chocolatier Joseph Emile Hachez. The chocolate factory continues to use his original recipes and processes. The manufacturing plant is in Bremen but due reasons of hygiene and safety, tours transferred to the museum in 2011.
You are advised to arrive 15 minutes before your tour starts to ensure nothing is delayed. Upon entering we placed our coats in the lockers provided (1 Euro coin needed for the lockers). We where greeted by an extremely chirpy young man named Jaron K who gave a brief introduction on what the tour would consist of before donning his rubber gloves (which was a sign that we were about to be given chocolate). He lead us to a big chocolate fountain where we were each given a wafer to dunk under the chocolate. It tasted delicious, I love warm chocolate!
Hachez is one of the few chocolate manufacturers in Germany that still carries out all manufacturing processes under one roof. From the cleaning and roasting of the cacao beans to the forming and packaging of the chocolate. Approximately 100 hours of work are put into every cocoa bean which leaves the factory in Bremen as chocolate.
We were shown the cacao beans and were given the opportunity to try them. This was really interesting as it showed us how citrusy in flavour they were at this early stage.
One cocoa tree can produce enough cocoa for about 100 bars of milk chocolate per year and each tree up to 100,000 blossoms each year.
Next we were shown to a kitchen, this was our favourite bit. Jaron poured chocolate into a mould for you to take to one of the tables and decorate. You could choose from either milk or dark chocolate. There were so many topping to pick from including nuts, coffee beans, amaretto biscuits, sprinkles, chocolate chip, raisins, cereal etc. Once we had finished decorating we popped them into the fridge to collect on our way out.
We went on to discover which countries produced cocoa beans. Today, about 70% of the cocoa in the world is produced in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, this is about 2.5 million tons per year. We got to taste cocoa beans that were at the next process and they tasted of really dark chocolate even though they were actually milk chocolate. Jaron invited us onto the next process, we were each given a tasting spoon to sample both the milk and dark chocolate in its slight crunchy stage. Moving onto how the chocolate was processed and packaged again Jaron gave us this time two wafers with one being submerged into warm milk chocolate and the other warm dark chocolate they both tasted divine, you can tell it takes 100 hours of work to get it to this stage.
We were shown how some of the chocolate was packaged and given a lovely Hachez chocolate to try. We then collected our chocolate bars to wrap and label them to take away with us, we have since eaten them and they were scrumptious, I sprinkled a spiced fruit powder onto mine when decorating and I loved this!
On the way out there was cocoa butter to try before leading into the most wonderful chocolate shop filled with every chocolate delicacy you care to mention, including chocolate beer!
This was a fantastic tour, a chocolate lovers dream made fun, interactive and tasty. I would say that I don’t think it would have kept Lucas’ attention so if you are thinking of taking children, I would say 4+ would be perfect x
We were given complementary tickets to the Chocoversum as part of the Come to Hamburg project, this does not effect my opinions