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BANNER-Chocolate.jpg

Chocolate


The Bean to Bar Process is a journey that starts with cacao being grown +/- 20 degrees of the equator. From each origin to your local chocolate maker or chocolatier, cacao is transformed into luscious, flavorful chocolate that makes us happy. For some it's not just about the final product but also the journey.

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Chocolate


The Bean to Bar Process is a journey that starts with cacao being grown +/- 20 degrees of the equator. From each origin to your local chocolate maker or chocolatier, cacao is transformed into luscious, flavorful chocolate that makes us happy. For some it's not just about the final product but also the journey.

Harvesting, Fermentation & Drying

There are typically two harvests per year. Once harvest begins, cacao pods are skillfully cut from the branches of the cacao tree and cut open with a machete. Inside each cacao pod there are raw cacao beans surrounded by a white pulp called mucilage. In this state, the wet cacao is transferred to wooden boxes to ferment. Fermentation can last for up to seven days and based on processes at the origin, the beans are turned every few days. When fermentation has completed, the beans are laid out to dry on beds until their moisture level is around 8%. Once this has been achieved, the beans are packed up in jute bags and are shipped throughout the world to craft chocolate makers. 

Our process starts with receiving dried cocoa beans.


Sorting

When we receive our beans, we sort through all of them to take out any detritus. This is considered any clumped beans, germinated beans, pieces of jute bag, rocks etc. Although this seems very tedious, it is essential in order to ensure that none of the poor quality beans or any other items get into the mix and negatively affect the flavor of the batch

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Roasting

We roast our beans in a Behmor 1600 Plus Roaster at various levels and for different durations to bring out the natural flavor profiles of the beans. During the roasting process chemical reactions occur where the beans start to develop their flavor. The bitter notes and the moisture content of the beans also decrease during this process. Once we are happy with the particular roasting profile and our work area is full of fragrant aromas we cool the beans down and its at this point where the nibs will start to detract from the husks of the beans.


Cracking

We crack open our cooled cocoa beans by running them through a Champion Juicer. This allows the nib and husks to separate.


Winnowing

When we put them through our Sylph Winnower, an air pressure system separates the nibs from the shell and air sucks the husks into a separate container while the nibs are collected and are ready to be ground.


Grinding

Once the nibs have gone through the winnower, we grind them through a Champion Juicer. This allows us to break down the nibs from their whole state into a liquid called chocolate liquor. Once all of the beans have been ground into the liquor, we are ready to put them into our melanger. We have two including a Spectra 11 Melanger and a Premier Melanger.


Refining and Conching

Our melangers have two granite rolling stones that rotate over a granite platform. The grinding at a fast speed allows the particles of the chocolate liquor to decrease in size and release cocoa butter. We then mix pure cane organic sugar with the cocoa liquor to get to our desired cocoa percentage for our chocolate. The flavor profile of our chocolate further develops as we run the chocolate through the melanger to the desired particle size of about 20 microns. When we achieve that particle size, the chocolate will have a nice shine and be silky smooth on your palate. 


Tempering and Molding

Once we achieve the perfect particle size, it is time to temper the chocolate in order to achieve that perfect shine, smoothness and snap. The tempering process allows us to build the appropriate crystallization structures by taking it to various temperature levels. When chocolate is at the perfect level of crystallization, it will have a nice shine, a good snap when you break it and favorable melt properties. At this stage we do not have a big tempering machine but have grown fond of tempering by hand on a 24 in x 24 in Calacatta Gold marble slab. The marble’s cool surface is beneficial in helping cool the chocolate down during the process. Upon getting our chocolate in temper at the right working temperature we fill our polycarbonate molds. Each of our bars is 52 grams in weight.


Packaging

After the chocolate bars have set, we demold them and they are then ready for their packaging. In order to provide a unique chocolate experience, we do not hand wrap each bar in foil. We felt that packaging each bar in an environmentally friendly, aluminum lined kraft envelope with an easy re-sealable zipper packaging would allow the chocolate to stay fresh and be susceptible to the other scents in the atmosphere. Every time you open the package, you should receive a pleasant flavorful aroma of the chocolate. We hope that this will aid in evoking a euphoric chocolate experience.

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