This is where the beans begin to develop flavor and color. Our beans are slightly fermented to give it a nice taste without too much acidity. Most cacao used for candy chocolate are fermented 4 to 7 days which can produce quite a bit of acidity. With more acidity requires more machinery processing to allow the acids to evaporate which is usually done by conching. After the beans are fermented, they are then dried by sun or with large blowers. Our beans are dried by sun at the plantation for an average about 5 days, depending on the weather. Once dried, they are ready to be bagged and shipped.
FROM BEAN TO BAR
There are about 18 companies in the US that make chocolate from bean-to-bar. Most of them are large industrial manufacturers like Hersheys, Cargill, and Nestle to name a few.
We stone grind our chocolate using lava stones just how it was done over 2000 years ago. It’s minimally processed to maintain the purity and nutritional value. Our chocolate is made fresh every week. We don’t use any flavorings, extracts or additional cacao butter. It is 100% whole bean chocolate using whole ingredients. Our process involves:
- Fermentation – Fermentation is important in the process of taste. Our beans are specially fermented anywhere between 2-3 days.
- Drying – Our grower spreads the cacao beans on his plantation and dries them under the sun.
- Winnowing – Deshelling and breaking the cacao beans into small pieces called cacao nibs.
- Roasting – We lightly roast our nibs.
- Stone Grinding – We use lava stones to grind the cacao nibs into cacao liquor. We don’t add additional cacao butter, flavorings or soy lecithin or other ingredients to mask up the true flavor of the cacao. We only use the natural cacao butter from the beans. Why mess up what nature gave us?
- Cooling – We then spread the chocolate on sheet pans which is all done by hand. Chocolate will solidify at room temperature. That’s why when you open a bag of chocolate, there are several pieces of chocolate that come in different shapes and sizes. It’s like opening a pack of baseball cards. It’s a surprise waiting for you.
Since we don’t temper or conch the chocolate, it’s best eaten within a couple of months. For more information on storage and how long the chocolate will last please read the FAQs.