Chocolate has long been known as an aphrodisiac, so if biting into it sparks up passion, what about making it?
There is no escaping the romance of Bali. Yes, love permeates through the island of the gods, be it in the wonders of nature, firing the glow of a candle at dinner, or by simply offering moments that warm and fill the heart. Wherever you are, love can be found — even in a quaint little chocolate factory in East Bali.
In the village of Jasri, Karangasem, hidden away from the main roads, you’ll find the modest-yet-cosy factory of Sorga Artisan Bali, where Balinese cacao beans are farmed locally to produce mouthfuls of happiness.
This remote and intimate chocolate house offers a cacao-focused workshop surrounded by rice fields. An experience apparently so romantic that a marriage proposal took place after the cooking class the day I went to visit. The proposal was on a total whim; no plan, no ring, just a handmade heart-shaped chocolate (she said yes!).
Perhaps it was chocolate’s aphrodisiac properties that compelled the man to get down on one knee that day; and Sorga’s chocolates are very dark and rich, making it all the more enticing. So, whilst buying chocolates for your loved one is a great gesture, making chocolate with them is a romantic experience on a whole new level.
If you and your partner wish to create your own hand-made chocolates, opt for Sorga’s tour and workshop where you’ll learn the heart and soul of traditional chocolate-making from fermenting, drying, grinding, to tempering, moulding, decorating, and packaging.
Couples often come here for the hands-on, farm-to-table experience. You can reserve a private workshop for the two of you, where you will have the chance to put a spotlight on your creativity and imagination to inspire each other.
You’ll be given the opportunity to create new combinations, adding anything from natural mango jelly, crunchy flowers hand-picked from the garden outside, to sprinkling coconut shavings and cashews. The chocolatiers will give you the freedom to make art, whilst providing their full attention and support. If you know your partner’s favourite ingredients, this is when to show them. Make a chocolate bar perfect for them.
During the harvest season, generally between July and August, visitors are welcome to view the complete chocolate-making production process from fruit to bar. Whilst they typically welcome walk-ins, it is suggested you book in advance to schedule a tour and class. Same goes to those who are interested in visiting the cacao garden, as it is located a drive away from the factory.
Sorga Bali Chocolate is one of the few factories in Bali that still embraces the process of natural fermentation. Upon harvest, cacao bean pods are selected and wrapped in banana leaves and placed in a wooden box out in the open air. This stage unleashes the rich, bitter piquancy but with an added acidity kick, or exquisitely sour taste.
Chocolate-making, if done properly, can be a sustainable zero-waste practice, as all components of cacao are fruitful. Adopting a certain drying method, you will get tea leaves; whilst the ‘bad’ seeds can be extracted into butter.
At their chocolate tasting session, you will get the chance to sample 12 varieties. You’ll taste from 100% Pure Dark Chocolate, a Bali coffee infusion, sea-salt topped chocolate that flawlessly melts in your mouth, a ginger crunch to strike the palette, to fruity flavours packed with real dried fruits. Delicious yet nutritious.
Sorga Bali Chocolate takes pride in their ‘100% local’ pledge to support local farmers. Their sea salt is sourced from Amed, cashews from Karangasem, mangoes and rambutan from the village’s local market, and their cacao beans are grown and harvested on the island.
Whilst you may not have access to all of these ingredient, you can even recreate your custom chocolate experience at home by purchasing Sorga Bali Chocolate’s 100% Pure Dark Chocolate to be melted and moulded in your own kitchen.
Most importantly, after a couple’s trip to the lush and verdant corners of East Bali, where you enjoyed the bonding moments of creating and sculpting natural cacao, and savoured the aphrodisiac delights and bites of rich dark chocolate, you can be sure that love will be in the air – and probably coursing through your bodies!
Jalan Pura Mastima, Karangasem
+62 363 21687