Words By: Ann Svanidze


Cocoa Land

Cocoa, they say is the food for Gods. For centuries it had a more literal and spiritual meaning. Aztecs, for example, used cocoa beans as a currency and as a food and drink for the privileged.

For Gela Kuprashvili, Head Chocolatier at Stamba Hotel, love for all things chocolate started a couple of years ago, and for him as well, cocoa and chocolate are more than just a confectionery, it also embodies spiritual meaning. When he got carried away with the idea of making chocolate, he did extensive research, found every worthwhile cocoa grower in Latin America – where cocoa was born – and reached out to them individually.

As a result, in 2016, he ended up as a volunteer in a Farm in Ecuador, where he learned everything from scratch: ABC of cocoa-growing and harvesting. Cocoa’s value and quality is related to unique and complex flavors, which is determined by environmental conditions, post-harvest processing of the raw beans, farming practices, and manufacturing stages. Understanding the mechanisms of the flavor formation, grasping the subtle, pervasive qualities of aromas were the first steps in Gela’s long and magical journey.

Only after a while got Gela involved in the harvesting and went through the whole process of chocolate making, from tree to bar. This learning phase lasted for first 1.5 months; Day in and day out, Gela was in the cocoa fields, getting firsthand experience. It was only after 1.5 months that he moved onto the second phase – industrial processing of chocolate making and production, which in itself was an exciting phase and also continued for a few months.

When he was coming back to Tbilisi, Georgia, all 30 kg baggage he was allowed to carry was pure Cocoa beans collected in Ecuador. Upon return, he immediately created his little studio, bought a small grinder, and since then, he has never stopped learning, observing, and experimenting. Since the conception of Stamba Chocolaterie, Gela’s life became a roller-coaster ride filled with amazing experiences.

Stamba Chocolaterie

However, standing out takes more than just organic ingredients. It is the relentless passion Gela and his team put into each bar and bonbon at Stamba Chocolaterie that makes the difference. The truffles & bonbons are made fresh in small batches with high-quality ingredients and no artificial flavorings or preservatives.

Imagine how amazing it is that chocolate begins as a tiny blossom on a small tropical tree and ends up in your hands in Tbilisi, Georgia, in the form of a delicious bar or a bonbon.

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