Food

From pink-hued ruby chocolate to hot cocoa infused with oak wood smoke, Chocc in SS2, PJ has all your couverture chocolate cravings covered!


PETALING JAYA, Sept 14 — What reminds you of masala chai except there is no tea involved?

If you are a regular at Chocc, a couverture chocolate beverage purveyor in SS2, PJ, chances are you have tried their Totally Spiced, where 71 per cent dark chocolate is elevated with the robust aromas of cinnamon and cardamom.

Chocc, opened last October, is the brainchild of brothers Jonathan and Alvin Boey. Despite having no prior entrepreneurial experience, the siblings decided to take the leap to leave their corporate jobs and start their own business.

Jonathan, 29, shares, “What really gave us the push was the realisation there is a gap in the F&B scene where most businesses are only focusing on coffee and not focusing much on us chocolate drink lovers. It was hard to find a place that sells pure couverture chocolate drinks like those from overseas.”

The feeling of being left out inspired the duo: Rather than waiting for someone else to open the couverture chocolate drink shop they envisioned, they decided to start their own and cater to all the chocolate drink lovers in Malaysia.

Alvin, 28, adds, “Most places were selling chocolate drinks made with cocoa powder or compound chocolate. We realised that lots of Malaysians lack knowledge about the different types of chocolates they are consuming on a daily basis and are so accustomed that chocolates have to be eaten rather than be drunk.”

Given this lofty vision, it’s no surprise that the Boey brothers have been very fastidious about where and from whom they source their chocolates.

Brothers Alvin and Jonathan Boey founded Chocc despite no prior entrepreneurial experience.

Brothers Alvin and Jonathan Boey founded Chocc despite no prior entrepreneurial experience.

Jonathan explains, “Before we decide on which chocolates to place on our menu, we will always request samples. By eating the chocolates and also by making them into a beverage with fresh dairy milk or oat milk, we can see whether it has an interesting taste — as each single origin chocolate has its own unique natural tasting note — and ensure it has a nice smooth fluid texture for a chocolate drink.”

Chocc currently sources couverture chocolates from a diverse number of countries, from Venezuela and Peru in South America to the chocolatier capital of Belgium. The shop also sources from Malaysia cocoa farms too, such as those in Melaka, Sabah and Pahang.

Jonathan’s personal favourite is the 65 per cent Dark Chocolate from Peru. He says, “It is the only organic chocolate on our menu. It has a very interesting red berry aftertaste with slight bitterness to it. I usually have it with oat milk to add a slightly nutty taste to it.”

His brother prefers the 72 per cent dark chocolate from Venezuela. Alvin explains, “This has a very nice nutty, woody tasting note which really suits my taste. I usually have it hot with dairy milk, and a pinch of Maldon sea salt to elevate the taste of the chocolate drink and give it a whole new experience.”

Choosing the right percentage of artisanal chocolate for customised beverages.

Choosing the right percentage of artisanal chocolate for customised beverages.

Chocc tries to set itself apart from other beverage shops by focusing on customer experience, training their staff — known in-house as “choccologists” — to guide new patrons on the myriad choices.

Jonathan says, “We would always advise customers to try the drink on its own first without any add-ons so that customers get to taste the original taste of the chocolate drinks.”

The next step for Chocc’s customers to personalise their chocolate drinks is to experiment with different flavourings. Jonathan says, “Safest option to add-on is Maldon sea salt, which goes really well with any of our chocolate drinks. The sea salt helps to enhance the flavours of the chocolate.”

Beyond this basic add-on, customers can then play around with different spices, mixing and matching to find a combination best suited to their taste.

Imagine infusing your hot cocoa with oak wood smoke. Or spicing your dark chocolate with nutmeg or chilli. Perhaps a hit of citrus with orange or lemon zest?

Customers from all walks of life flock to Chocc in SS2, PJ.

Customers from all walks of life flock to Chocc in SS2, PJ.

If customers are still unsure, the friendly “choccologists” will be more than happy to recommend some popular pairings.

These include Salt & Pepper (71 per cent dark chocolate with Maldon sea salt and black pepper), Chocolemon (34 per cent milk chocolate, Maldon sea salt, lemon zest and a dried lemon slice) and The Grinch (28 per cent white chocolate with Niko Neko matcha).

This entire approach can be summed up in their 3Es philosophy: Educate, Explore and Experiment.

Alvin explains, “Firstly, we aim to educate the public about the different forms of chocolates (couverture, compound and cocoa powder), the different types of chocolates (white, milk, ruby, dark), different cocoa percentages, the health benefits of cocoa butter that can be found in couverture chocolates.”

The idea here is for the public to understand more about chocolates before they purchase and consume them. (Ruby chocolate, for example, is known as the fourth type of chocolate and is naturally pink in colour, purportedly from naturally pink cacao pods.)

Every beverage, such as this Ruby Chocolate, is made fresh to order.

Every beverage, such as this Ruby Chocolate, is made fresh to order.

Next comes the Explore phase, which Alvin describes as encouraging “the public to take a step further and explore couverture chocolates from different origins with different unique tasting notes such as nutty, floral, fruity and caramel.”

Finally the well-versed chocoholic can now play around with their favourite type of chocolate. Experiment by adding different spices and zests to complement the flavours of the chocolate drink. Enjoy dipping a gourmet vanilla marshmallow or a stroopwafel into your hot cocoa.

Jonathan shares, “We decided to go with a brick and mortar shop rather than an online shop as we get to really interact and understand our customers on a face to face level to know what their wants and needs are when looking for a good chocolate drink.

Enjoy the 72 per cent Venezuela hot chocolate with a gourmet vanilla marshmallow (left) or a 'stroopwafel' (right)

Enjoy the 72 per cent Venezuela hot chocolate with a gourmet vanilla marshmallow (left) or a ‘stroopwafel’ (right)

“Coming close to a year in business, we realise our products are able to cater to all age groups and races as we carry the full range when it comes to the cocoa percentage (28 per cent up till 100 per cent) and the types of chocolates.”

The Boey brothers are already looking to expand and in the midst of planning their second outlet. Collaborations with different brands — particularly other local brands — to develop new drinks for special occasions and festivals are also in the pipeline.

Ultimately, Jonathan believes Chocc’s mission is about “making it fun and at the same time bringing a whole new chocolate drinking experience for everyone.”

Chocc

153, Jalan SS2/24, SS2, PJ

Open Tue-Thu 1-9pm, Fri-Sun 1-10pm, Mon closed

FB: facebook.com/mychocc/

IG: instagram.com/mychocc/

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