Cacao trees thrive in countries 22 degrees north and south of the equator. Growing conditions and fermentation methods shape the unique flavor characteristic of each crop of cacao beans. Once received beans are sorted to discard debris and prepare for roasting.
Roasting is a process where time, temperature and agitation bring out the inherent flavor profile of the cacao beans while at the same time destroying unwanted pathogens.
Cracking and Winnowing
Once roasted cacao beans are cracked and winnowed to separate the beans' shells from the nibs. The nibs can be grounded into cacao liquor or pressed to make cacao butter and cacao powder.
Stone wheels grind the nibs to form a paste. Then cacao butter and sugar are added, and the grinding continues until the mixture is silky smooth. During conching, the pressure on the stone wheels is lessened to stir and aerate the chocolate for the next 48 to 96 hours.
After conching to the desired consistency, the chocolate is now ready for tempering. Tempering is the heating and cooling of chocolate to stabilize the crystals resulting in a smooth and shiny bar.
Molded Finished Products
Once tempered the chocolate is moulded, cooled and wrapped by hand. Labeled with the country of origin the experience for the customer has begun.