For as much chocolate as we Americans devour, it’s hard to fathom that there are currently less than 10 craft batch chocolate makers across the nation churning out those artisan bars and truffles for our own guilty pleasures.

Say what?

Craft batch chocolate makers take the chocolate from bean to bar, a process hardly as simple as the “life’s little pleasure” label makes it seem. For me to explain it in detail would be disastrous, but the process goes something like sorting, then roasting, then winnowing and cracking, then grinding, then mixing, then conching. And then there is tempering, molding, cooling, and wrapping.

All for that little bite of heaven we can’t live without.

To help illustrate this traditional-yet-innovative method of making sweets, Portland’s own chocolate store, Cacao, will celebrate its three-year anniversary with two special guests, Colin Gasko, the 22-year-old owner and chocolate maker of Rogue Chocolatier in Minnesota, and Alan McLure owner and chocolate maker of Patric in Missouri. Gasko and McLure will demonstrate the benefits of the bean-to-bar process and introduce some of their latest chocolates for tasting.

Also part of the festivities is pastry chef Kristen Murray, formerly of Lucier, who will give guests the lowdown on how and when to reach for the fancy stuff. The tasting and presentation will take place Friday, October 16 from 7:30 to 10 PM at Cacao’s main location, 414 SW 13th Ave.