Tucker Greenhouse Chocolate making

We — as in me and my intrepid student helpers, Natalie and Tanner — harvested a chocolate bean from the Theobroma cacao tree growing in the greenhouse.  We cured the seeds within the bean, dried them, then roasted them.  We then ground these seeds in a coffee grinder and made pure cocoa.  We added this fresh cocoa to ground coffee, perked it, then added sugar and half and half.  We essentially made mocha.  It was delicious!  The smell was divine.

We made of video of each step in the process.  Watch our chocolate making adventure:

***I’ve been referred to as ‘professor’ Sonderman in this video. While I am flattered to be thought of as a professor, I am not an actual professor.

chocolate bean

Our unripe chocolate ‘bean’ Once ripe, these fruits turn bright orange.

These are the flowers of Theobroma cacao.  The flowers occur on the woody stem and along woody branches of the tree.

These are the flowers of Theobroma cacao. The flowers occur on the woody stem and along woody branches of the tree.

orange leaves

Chocolate leaves

Making Hibiscus tea from Hibiscus sabdariffa-another Tucker Greenhouse project!

red flower buds

These are the remnants of flower buds from Hibiscus sabdariffa. Today, Tanner & I harvested a couple of cups of buds in order to make Hibiscus tea.

We gently removed the red sepals from the buds and placed these in flask of water to boil for 10 minutes.

tea making

Hibiscus tea boiling.

tea is almost ready

tea is almost ready…….

Tanner drinking his tea….

taste like herbal tea....

taste like herbal tea….

Apparently, drinking Hibiscus tea helps lower blood pressure.