Making chocolate from bean-to-bar, what does it mean?
When chocolate is made from bean-to-bar it means that every step of making chocolate is done by the chocolate maker. We receive fermented and dried cacao beans from very select organic and fair trade cacao growers from around the world. Each one of these beans has its unique "terroir" and this is what we work to bring out in every origin we offer.
The steps in bean-to-bar chocolate production are:
The beans are first sorted to remove any poor quality beans or little bits that are not meant to make it into your chocolate. Remember these beans come straight from the growers. This is an important first step to make sure that we are working with only the best beans, which of course is needed to make the best chocolate.
Roasting: The beans are then roasted to develop the flavour profile of the beans. The temperature and time of the roast can greatly affect the flavour of the finished chocolate.
Cracking: After the beans are fully cooled from roasting they are then cracked to break the shell from the bean. This prepares the beans for winnowing.
Winnowing: The beans are then winnowed which removes the shell from the actual bean, which will then be in little pieces referred to as the cacao nibs.
Grinding & Refining: The cacao nibs are now ready for grinding. Grinding breaks the nibs down into a paste. After a paste has been made, which would also be referred to as both cacao mass or cacao liquor, we are now ready to add sugar. Refining will take place until the micron size is small enough to be smooth and creamy chocolate.
Conching: This further develops the finished flavour of chocolate. The level of conching will determine how much volatile acids remain in chocolate and can minimize the amount of bitterness chocolate has.
Tempering: Now the chocolate is ready for tempering. This makes chocolate "stable" and gives the chocolate both the snap and sheen that you are used to with good chocolate.
Pouring and Cooling: Once tempered, we can now pour the chocolate into our chocolate bar molds and then the molds are vibrated to remove bubbles and then cooled and demolded onto trays.
Wrapping: Now the chocolate is finally ready for wrapping. For our bean-to-bar chocolate we seal the chocolate bar in a compostable cello bag and then put that in a paper envelope, so that the packaging is both compostable and recyclable. The chocolate is then boxed and sent to both our retailers for sale or directly to you via our webstore.