• 5.5 days (6 night stay)
  • Sat - Thu, 18 - 23 Feb 2023
  • Cocoashala, Chennai, India
  • €3250

Advanced level course in Chocolate Tasting


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This course is no longer available. Please check our calendar for future dates.

Course details

Level 3 – Indian Cacao Field Trip

In partnership with our Indian IICCT partner, Cocoashala.

Join us for an immersive study tour of Indian cacao regions in our first Indian Level 3 cacao growing edition.

In this intensive course we will travel to some of the most important cacao producing regions in India, including internationally recognised GoGround farms, visit chocolate makers and a bean-to-bar development centre, while experiencing a unique sensory journey that will widen your chocolate senses and help to build your flavour archetype skills as a taster.

The course fee for Level 3 includes hotel accommodation in India from the first to the last day of the course, all meals, excluding alcohol, and travel within India during the course. Flights and transport to India and transfer from the airport to the hotel on arrival and departure are not included.

The Level 3 course will be for Indian and international students and will be taught in English and will be examined on the final day of the course.

Course outline and features

  • Total course length – 6 days study, travel, sensory activities and group exercises
  • Classroom learning and field trips to several cacao regions
  • Introductory tasting kit with special ‘get to know you’ chocolate bars
  • Interact with international students and alumni
  • Hotels and meals (Excluding alcohol, 6 nights accommodation from 18-23 February. Meals will be South Indian vegetarian)
  • All transport during the field trips

Other activities

For a complete training programme in craft chocolate product, chocolate tasting, cacao farming and varieties you can take Level 1 and 2 Chocolate Tasting in Chennai before going directly on to Level 3 (1-day break between the courses), or to really get the full experience, arrive early and take Cocoashala’s bean-to-bar chocolate making course for all round intensive training!

Level 3 includes

  • A total absorption approach
  • Variety and genetics study
  • ‘Build a brand’ group exercise with assessed presentation
  • An exam with short written answers
  • A blind tasting exam, including blindfold identification of different chocolates
  • Sensory immersion in the local chocolate and culinary culture

South India 2023 itinerary features

Our busy, intense and fun trip will include:

  • An extensive visit across the South Indian cacao scene in four states
  • Visit 3 chocolate factories in addition to the KocoaTrait lab, including Bon Fiction and Paul & Mike
  • Three cacao fermentation centres, including new bean sources
  • Cacao farms including GoGround Beans and Spices in Kerala, famed for their ‘Iduki’ and ‘Malabar’ origins
  • Visit to remote forest farms and sample lab

Sensory extras

Enjoy total sensory immersion and expand your flavor note archetype references as we travel around – every moment is an experience!

  • South Indian meal experience with food served on a banana leaf
  • Seven Course Chocolate indulgence experience
  • Spice making production visit
  • Indian sweets factory visit
  • Bio Dynamically grown Tea appreciation experience
  • Honey Tasting experience
  • Indian filter coffee appreciation session
  • Ice Cream Experience

Indian Level 1 – 3 Chocolate Taster trip 13-23 February 2023

We will also be running a combined Level 1 & 2 four-day Certificate in Chocolate Tasting course in Chennai from 13 – 16 February, which would be ideal for anyone new to our Chocolate Taster program, allowing you to take Level 1 to 3 in India in a two-week intensive period. A package price will be available if you are taking all three levels.

COVID situation

Currently there is no quarantine requirement to enter India and restrictions have been lifted or are voluntary. You will though be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before entry. Please ensure you check the required official guidance before booking or travelling.

The situation is subject to change if there are any further developments but at this time normal travel is expected to be possible.

Level 3

About the course

The Level 3 Advanced level course in Chocolate Tasting builds on the Level 1 Foundation and Level 2 Intermediary courses and develops a deeper understanding of chocolate tasting and profiling through advanced sensorial work, following the flavour journey from cacao farming through to chocolate making.

The Advanced course will help you develop an in-depth understanding of the influence of cacao production and chocolate making on the flavour of finished origin chocolate bars, and will include field visits to either cacao farms or chocolate factories and where possible, to both.

The course includes five days of training and tasting, with additional travel time for field trips where required.

Entry requirements

Pass in Level 1 and 2 Certificates in Chocolate Tasting.

If you do not yet hold Level 1 and 2 Certificates, you may take Level 1 and 2 as a block in our Combined Level 1 & 2 4-day course, or as individual courses.

What's included
  • Classroom study and tastings
  • Advanced sensorial study, tasting and profiling
  • Relating cacao tasting and chocolate flavours
  • Cacao production techniques and their effect on flavour
  • Cacao varieties, recovery projects, latest research
  • Chocolate production styles, recipes and effect on flavour
  • Cacao history and development
  • The cacao trade and commodity market
  • Chocolate market, branding and origin story
  • Visit to at least one chocolate factory
  • Practical sessions working with chocolate
  • Field trips to cacao region for courses held in cacao countries
  • Group projects
  • Networking events and dinners
Who should take this course?

Level 2 students wishing to develop their understanding of chocolate taste to a new and cutting edge level and to obtain an advanced grounding in the world of fine chocolate and cacao.