- Try tofuyou at Tatsu-no-Kura, Kencho-mae branch The aged, fermented food melts in your mouth like chocolate
- Lion Midori in Naha City serves great food with fresh vegetables and fine ingredients from all over the world. Enjoy casual French cuisine with a glass of wine here!
Timeless Chocolate There are only two ingredients in their chocolate. Here, they do everything including selecting cacao beans, roasting and making bars
post : 2016.10.25 09:00
A tiny piece of chocolate wrapped in a paper gave me an interesting coarse sugar texture in my mouth followed by the aroma of sugarcane and a refreshing sourness. I enjoyed the sweetness only at the end. It was a totally new chocolate experience for me. I have always liked chocolates that melt in your mouth. This one had such a strong cacao aroma and texture coming from the sugar grains instead of the butter-like smoothness I was used to. It was like a shocking encounter with a new type of chocolate. Since my new addiction came into my life, chocolates from Timeless Chocolate are always in stock in my place and introduced to visitors. I just can’t keep quiet to people about this amazing chocolate experience.
Bean-to-bar is their process; from selecting cacao beans to making bars in-house. The cacao beans come mainly from Cuba, Columbia, Ghana and Vietnam. They carefully select different types of sugar to match each beans with distinctive flavors that come from different climates and soils. This amazing effort creates unique but incredibly flavorful chocolate. As you may know already, chocolate is usually imported to Japan already processed into cacao butter or powder. Local confectionery companies add all kinds of additives and artificial flavors, making the taste far removed from the original cacao beans. Timeless Chocolate makes chocolate with cacao beans and sugar cane only. You can call that real chocolate, right? This fresh-made chocolate containing more than 70 percent cacao, doesn’t cause headaches or heartburn so much. The fact that it is additive-free and not oxidized (because it is fresh) is probably the reason it causes less irritation to your system.
Chocolate is a very sensitive product. You need to watch the temperature during the melting process in order to get the perfect texture. This requires frequent adjustments to complete this important process. Large confectioneries add emulsifiers, vegetable based oil and white sugar to create a nice smooth texture. These additives are thought to cause digestive irritations.
It took two years for the company to achieve the perfect recipe down to the size of chocolate grains.
In the old days, you could only obtain cacao beans at pharmacies because they were considered medicinal back then. Cacao beans were supposed to help with healthy blood flow, stimulate brain cells and help with concentration. Now, people are beginning to look at chocolate as a healthy, “super food.”
A unique staff
Owner, Masayuki Hayashi encountered the “third wave coffee” philosophy during his stay in San Francisco. The idea is that coffee should be treated like wine; the varieties, the areas they come from and how to process the beans are the keys to making the best and favorites. He decided to open a coffee shop based on this philosophy and then obtained a barista license in Melbourne, Australia. At the time, he was curious as to why espresso shots came out differently each time even though the process is very simple with just two basic elements. Beans and roasting made the differences in flavor.
“When you put sugar in your espresso shot,” said Hayashi, “look carefully. It is very interesting to see how the surface changes as a result of acidity from sugar. That was the trigger for my interest in sugarcane. That’s when I came to Okinawa.”
In Japan, sugarcane can grow only in Okinawa and a part of Kagoshima. Hayashi traveled often over past three years to learn about sugarcane and taste the difference at each area. Especially in Okinawa, he discovered the flavor and the taste were distinct, and varied depending on the locations or the farmers. He wanted to use his knowledge and experiences with coffee to start a chocolate business. There were very few places providing bean-to-bar in Japan at that time, so he just stated making chocolate with friends as he read books from overseas.
As soon as the cacao beans arrive at his shop, he inspects them carefully, rejecting bad beans by hand. He sets his standards very high and so ends up discarding 20-30 percent of the total weight. He roasts his select cacao beans. After 10 additional steps, his bean-to-bar will be completed. Timeless Chocolate’s specialty is the result of fine analysis of cacao beans and sugar cane.
In the shop you can actually see how to process beans. Yusuke, the pastry chef at Factory+Café creates new sweets or even non-sweets with chocolate. His creations are not just food products, they are more like works of art. It is certainly a joy to see the beauty in his workmanship.
Tsumibukaki Tart (sinful tart) is very rich and made with peanut butter and cream cheese. Ghana chocolate base. Very rich and dense.
Guilt-Free cake is made with almond instead of regular flour. You will enjoy the layers of cream cheese, ricotta cheese and honey. This cake is lighter than sinful cake, but just as tasty.
The sweets menu varies each day.
Besides sweets and chocolate, the decor is eye catching in the shop. All of the artworks are made by Imamura, a young local pottery artist. Hayashi likes counter-cultures or subcultures. He always wanted to have a space for artists to interact and inspire other artists. You may notice his vision in the interior of the shop.
Exhibitions are regularly changed because Hayashi thinks it is important to enjoy the stimulation of new things. He keeps the changes constant as a way to refine sensibilities. Chocolate is something like art because you can enjoy it with all five senses. He says he likes to provide stimulating space for people.
Hayashi came to Okinawa with a suitcase. When he was new to this island, lots of local people helped him in many ways. He wants to do something in return by using local products such as Okinawan sugarcane. Chocolate bonbons using yogurt from local goats and other chocolate sweets have been created. Right now he and local farmers are in the middle of a new sugarcane project. His sugar will be agricultural chemical free when it’s goes on the market. His ideal future in the agricultural field is to form a great circle for good quality products, that will benefit a healthy life for consumers and create a better selling system for farmers. He has big dreams for local products.
Visit his shop, you will get to hear his “cacao talk”, and feel his passion for chocolate. This “real” chocolate place will be a new popular spot in Okinawa. This made for a very memorable time for me to compare different kinds of chocolate cakes and cacao bean juice with friends.
Address: Distortion Seaside Building 2F, 9-46 Mihama, Chatan Town, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa
Hours: 11:00- 20:00, daily
Photo by Sandy, Okinawa CLIP