Bean to Bar chocolate is made directly from the cocoa bean all the way to the finished chocolate bar. This means that all the steps to take that whole unroasted cacao bean and turn it into delicious smooth chocolate takes place at the same factory.
Chocolate, like wine, is impacted by numerous factors. Each process along the way will determine what the chocolate will taste like.
First we have the region where the cacao comes from and then we have the variety of the cacao fruit. The main varieties are Criollo, Trinitario, and Forastero. Criollo is the “finest” and most rare of the three, with mild delicate flavors and elegant notes. Forastero is the most widely produced and the least expensive; it is called “bulk” chocolate. Trinitario is a mix of Criollo and Forastero.
Chocolate that is made with cacao that originates from just one region is called single origin. Just like coffee!
Additionally, each region has a unique set of characteristics (such as soil and temperatures), which affects the personality of the cacao bean.
Finally, the way the beans are fermented, shipped across countries, and then roasted and ground all contribute to the distinctive flavor of each origin. These flavors could go from bold to fruity to flowery to spicy. So many possibilities! Even the color and texture of the chocolate varies per origin.
Basically, each chocolate bar has body and soul and no two chocolate bars are equal.