@potomacchocolate - Ben, thanks for helping out here.
@msayla - Tempering at this level is more art than science. As you probably don't have access to a temper meter, you don't know the rheology (flow characteristics) of the chocolate, and probably do not know the exact fat content of the chocolate, the temperatures and times you might use to temper a commercial couverture do not apply here. Ben rightly points out that you can modify the "normal" procedure (in fact you must) in order to accommodate the unique characteristics of this particular batch of chocolate.
There are two reasons to increase the temperature of the chocolate after reaching the lowest temperature:
- melt out unstable lower-form crystals; and
- reach an equilibrium point where you're neither melting out too many wanted crystals nor forming too many unwanted crystals.
It's important to recognize that it is the fat that crystallizes. The less fat there is in a chocolate, the harder it is going to be to generate the right kind and amount of the desired crystal form. Also, not all of the crystals in the chocolate will be form V, there must be enough to coerce the rest of the fat to crystallize in the wanted form.
That said, each batch of chocolate you make will be slightly different because that's the nature of small batch chocolate making. When you arrive at a set of times and temperatures that do work, these will form the basis for subsequent batches but they may be slightly off because of process variations in the chocolate that can arise from the chocolate being in the melangeur for different lengths of time, adding ingredients in different amounts at different times, different tension on the springs in the melangeur, and more.
As Ben points out, if your chocolate is thickening up too quickly then you can raise the temperature. How much? There is no way to know as we don't know the exact characteristics of your chocolate. It may also be the case that you're cooling the chocolate to too low a temperature. It might be a combination of both going too low and not high enough. Ben is also right in pointing out the need to wait after the machine reaches the set temperature for crystals to mix throughout the chocolate. Remember, the thermocouple is only measuring the temperature at one location in the bowl – and that is close to the bottom, not the surface.
One thing I recommend is having both a thermometer and a hygrometer right by the tempering machine. It may be that changes in temperature and humidity are affecting results. If you don't know the precise environmental conditions you may not have enough information to really discover the root of your problems.
It may be that you need to warm the chocolate slightly to get a better shine. You may also find it helpful to warm the molds slightly before filing them with chocolate. Or both.
Even if the coffee inclusion is a very dark roast with a lot of visible oil on the surface it's not likely that the oil will radically affect temper unless there is a huge percentage in the recipe. Even a bar of properly tempered and cooled chocolate contains some percentage of lower-form crystals that do, over time, change into higher form crystals. The oils from the coffee may slow this process to a degree but I know it is possible to get a nice shiny bar with ground coffee (and ginger) as an inclusion. If your bars are not shiny enough for you the temper is not quite right and/or the molds are at the wrong temperature. Adding more cocoa butter will also help. A lot.