Bean to Bar

Bean to Bar

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.

The purpose of the chocolate making process is to cherish that cocoa bean from beginning to end with such love that all the best natural flavors come to life. It is an intricate process as cocoa beans are so susceptible to external conditions, but so worth the effort!

The process begins with the cocoa beans of course, which come in big burlap sacks. The cocoa beans are then roasted using times and temperatures designated to each origin based on its particular flavor profile. For example, some beans are more susceptible to heat than others. Over or under-roasting will affect the flavors of the chocolate greatly, so a balance must be found where the roasting technique enhances the final flavors and aromas of the chocolate.

After roasting, the shell of the cocoa bean must be removed, leaving only the inside meaty part called “Nib”. This process is called “Winnowing”.

The nibs, which smell amazing by the way, are then added to the grinder. Every cocoa bean has a natural content of cocoa butter, which melts when temperatures go above 93 degrees. This cocoa butter helps the nibs turn into a paste and then into chocolate after they have been properly crushed by the stone in the grinder. Subsequently, the sugar is added depending on the desired cocoa percentage.

The finished chocolate will need to go through a tempering process where we try to establish the most stable cocoa butter crystals in order to make the chocolate shiny, smooth and have a good snap. This is achieved by increasing and decreasing the temperature of the chocolate to specific thresholds. The tempered chocolate is then poured into the molds, refrigerated and packaged.

And Voila!