It all starts with the beans. They arrive in sacks from countries located no more than 20 degrees North and South of the equator.
Before beans become chocolate, they must be cleaned, sorted, and roasted. Roasting helps to develop the inherent flavors locked inside while also evaporating moisture. Our roasting profiles vary between beans of different origins, allowing us to cater to the characteristics of each varietal. A successful roast is highly dependent on our senses. We take in their aroma, we listen, and we taste.
After the beans have been roasted and cooled, the outer shell must be removed. This step is known as cracking and winnowing. Once a bean is cracked, it is referred to as a nib. The nibs are run through our winnowing machine which separates the lighter shells from the heavier nibs. After they pass through the winnower we meticulously remove any remaining shells and radicals ( the tap root had the bean not been fermented) by hand. This is the most tedious step in our process.
The nibs then go into a stone grinder to which sugar is later added. Here the chocolate is refined until optimum flavor is achieved.
At this point, our chocolate is poured into pans and left to rest for many weeks. During this time flavors mature and round out. Like wine, chocolate gets better with age.
When the aging process is complete our chocolate is tempered, molded into bars, and hand wrapped. It takes a well over a month to take a batch from start to finish - from bean to bar.
photography by Alyssa Florentine