• 5 to 8 days
  • Wed - Fri, 20 Apr 2022 - 20 May 2022
  • Milan & Turin regions + onlineItaly
  • €3,250 (EUR)

Advanced level course in Chocolate Tasting


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€3,250/person

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Course details

Level 3 – Italian Chocolate Tour

In partnership with our Italian School

We’re please to announce our first International English-language Level 3 in Italy, which will be a mix of online learning with the centre-piece a field trip in Northern Italy, based around Milan and Turin and taking in chocolate makers, culinary experiences and immersion in the local food culture.

This ‘Chocolate Maker’ version of Level 3 is an ideal option for students already working in cacao or cacao countries, who want more focus on developing their chocolate skills and understanding of chocolate making. The course is also designed to cater for those not currently able to visit a cacao country and will include further study of cacao varieties and agronomy in the online webinars.

The field trip will be run in partnership with our Italian school and will be hosted by two of our founders, Martin Christy and Monica Meschini and will include several northern Italian chocolate destinations. The course will include online study webinars and group working before and after the field trip.

The course will be examined with group presentations during the field trip and blind tasting recognition of chocolate tasted during the course, followed by a written exam in short answer format, which will be held after the course has completed.

The course will be for international students and will be taught in English.

Course outline and features

  • Total course length equivalent to 6 days study
  • 4-night, 3-day field trip around Milano/Torino, see below for full details
  • Online webinars before and after the field trip
  • Introductory tasting kit with special ‘get to know you’ chocolate bars
  • Take away samples of your own chocolate made by the class during the trip
  • Interact with international students and alumni

Field trip program

Dates: 5-8 May 2022  – arrive evening 4 May, depart afternoon of 8 May

The field trip will include:

  • Visit to Packint Chocolate Machines, where we make our own chocolate
  • Visit to the factory of one of Torino’s most famous gianduja makers, Guido Castagna
  • Visit and sensory session with a high-end ingredients supplier, Pariani plus special lunch
  • Visit to two Award winning chocolate makers (Castagna and Joyflor)
  • Couverture sensory session with Valrhona and other examples
  • All hotels, meal and travel in Italy
  • A last night special party send-off meal and drink
  • Plenty of culinary and sensory experiences along the way and good food

Level 3 includes

  • A total absorption approach, getting to know reference chocolates like they are your friends!
  • Variety and genetics study
  • ‘Build a brand’ group exercise
  • An exam with short written answers (taken after the field trip)
  • A blind tasting exam, including blindfold identification of different chocolates
  • Sensory immersion in the local chocolate and culinary culture

Course fee

The full course fee is €3250 per person.

The Early Bird price is available before 25 March 2022 and is €2750 per person.

A 50% deposit is required to secure the Early Bird price, the remainder will be payable by 25 April 2022. The Early Bird deposit is non-refundable in the case of cancellation, due to non-cancellation policies of hotels in Italy at the current time.

The course fee includes:

  • online sessions before and after the field trip (approx 10 hours learning)
  • all travel, accommodation and food (excluding alcohol) in Italy during the field trip *
  • your pre-field trip tasting kit
  • chocolate and sensory samples during the trip
  • samples of the group chocolate to take away
  • exams and certification for successful students

* Excludes travel to and from Milano at the start and finish of the field trip. Alcohol is not included, except where stated. An evening meal is not provided on the 4 May, but we can meet in the hotel bar for a drink.

COVID restrictions

While COVID restrictions seem to be lifting everywhere, you will still need to check for your own situation for travel restrictions going to Italy or within Italy. This is a helpful site that will help you find the current situation for your country of departure https://infocovid.viaggiaresicuri.it/index_en.html . If you are fully vaccinated and boosted you should be ok, otherwise you may have to quarantine on arrival in Italy or have trouble going into restaurants and venues. That said, it’s quite possible that some of the tougher restrictions will start to be lifted in the next few months, but it will be up to you to check this.

If you’re worried about missing out the cacao field trip experience, we will also be planning more origin field trips once COVID allows, including optional Level 4 modules and other Level 3 programs.

Combine with Sensory Aroma Workshop – 1-2 May 2022, Florence

PLUS we will be holding a very special 2-day Sensory Aroma Training session in Florence 2-3 May, featuring the wonderful Bizzarri apothecary store and laboratory in Florence, an Aladdin’s cave of aromas, herbs, extracts and sensory experiences to improve your flavour archetype training. If you join both courses, we will include free travel from Florence to Milan on 4 May. (With a free day in Florence on 3 May). Find out more about the Sensory Aroma Workshop here.

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.