How To Become a Chocolate Taster?
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Being a chocolate taster might seem like the perfect job. You get to eat different flavors of chocolate every day, and then you get paid for it – it sounds like a dream, right? After all, almost everyone loves chocolate. Of course, in reality, it’s not as pretty as it seems; very often, professional tasters need to eat bitter and tasteless chocolate to tell the makers what is wrong.
However, for many people, it’s still better than a regular 9 to 5 job. So if you can’t get through a day without this cocoa snack, there is a surprising amount of bulk chocolate in your home, and you’re not afraid of experimental flavors, here you can find out how to become a professional chocolate taster.
Requirements for a Chocolate Taster
If you want to become a certified professional chocolate taster, you might want to pass an exam organized by the International Institute of Chocolate & Cacao Tasting; the only requirement for the beginning is your high school diploma. You also have to take part in a professional chocolatier program to know the basics about the manufacturing of chocolate. Most of these programs last a couple of months.
Higher education is not required to become a chocolate taster, but it can give you an advantage. If you’re genuinely interested in the topic and you would like to pursue a career in nutrition for real, you can complete a degree in Nutrition and Food Technology or Nutrition and Food Science.
During such programs, you will learn the history of chocolate and chocolate-making. You will know the different varieties and uses of cacao, and the classes will also touch upon the subject of how to make chocolate to obtain the best taste. You’ll also learn about decorating techniques, chocolate tempering, dipping, and molding, plus tasting and profiling.
Are There Any Other Requirements To Become a Chocolate Taster?
Active and perceptive taste buds are only the beginning of the list of things a good chocolate taster should have. Apart from education, to pursue a career as a professional chocolate taster, you can’t have any teeth/gum problems, plus, should not have any pre-existing food allergies. You can’t have a sensitive stomach, and you need to be truly devoted to chocolate, as you will do taste tests the whole week long.
You also need to be genuinely passionate about chocolate, and not only about eating it but also the history, manufacturing and cooking. You have to be a communicative person, have no fear of expressing your opinions and be able to take feedback.
You have to be at least 18 years old to take part in any of these chocolatier programs.
Job Description and Career Prospects of a Chocolate Taster
As sweet as it sounds, a chocolate taster doesn’t really eat a lot of chocolate. They take a bite of each, then chew it for a moment before allowing it to melt and making sure it spreads all around their mouth. That’s how you can taste all of the flavors. Then, in most cases, a chocolate taster needs to share their experiences, thoughts, and suggestions.
All chocolate manufacturers need chocolate tasters to help them during every step of production, and a taster should always be able to tell, in detail, how chocolate tastes, what it lacks, and what should be reduced/eliminated. It is an extremely important role, as it allows producers to avoid the situation when the customers reject their product after the release. But it puts some responsibility on a taster too.
When you become a professional chocolate taster, you can work with chocolate makers, but this is not the end of your opportunities. You can also find a job as a taster or a trainer in the hospitality industry, for example, in casinos, huge resorts or cruise ships, not only to taste the chocolate they’re making in their kitchens but also to organize workshops for tourists. Apart from that, you can always open your own outlet to sell chosen products to all customers or develop cooperations with bakeries and other shops.
How much money do chocolate tasters make? The average chocolate taster salary is around $21,000 per year, but the best of the best can earn as much as $90,000-$100,000 annually.
It’s not as sweet and smooth as it may seem. A chocolate taster needs to always be ready for action. Even a minor cold prevents you from working, as it affects your taste buds. You need to move around a lot, provide and take feedback, and live in harmony with your digestive system, which at times might not be an easy task. If you still think you could be a great chocolate taster, and all these restrictions and requirements don’t scare you, find a chocolatier program in your area. And good luck!