The Steps to Producing Tree-to-Bar Chocolate
- Planting the cacao tree.
- Nurturing the cacao tree.
- Harvesting cacao pods from the tree.
- Removing the wet, fruity cacao seeds (also called “beans) from the pod and placing them into Spanish Elm wood fermentation boxes for 3-6 days.
- Drying the cacao beans with nothing but fresh air and sunlight, in a structure that resembles a greenhouse, for roughly two weeks.
- Hand-sorting EVERY SINGLE BEAN according to size and shape, and removing any bean that is defective in any way.
- Roasting the beans at low temperature, making a point of staying below 100° C (212° F).
- Winnowing the beans (i.e., using airflow to separate the nibs from the seed coat).
- Grinding the beans into 100% chocolate paste.
- If sugar is added to the recipe, this is the moment for that.
- The chocolate is then conched. This means that the chocolate, when in liquid form, is mechanically churned at a temperature of about 60° C (140° F), for a period of hours.
- Next, the chocolate is tempered. The temperature of the liquid chocolate is brought down to 30.5° C (87° F), which is just above the melting point, and then the chocolate is poured into molds.
- The chocolate is left to cool down and solidify, whereupon it is removed from the molds in the form of a bar.
- Finally, it’s packaged.
All of the above pertains to our process for producing chocolate bars. In the case of our 100% cacao powder, steps #1-9 are the same. From there on, the production process goes like this:
- The chocolate is allowed to cool down and solidify.
- The solid chocolate is ground into a powder.
- The powder is packaged.
There it is!
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