How we make our chocolate
- The tree – Theobrama Cacao
It all starts with this ancient tree grown on small family farms in Southern Belize
- The Cacao Pod
This is the fruit of the tree. Inside the pod surrounded by a sweet pulp there are approximately 50 – 60 beans. At this stage they taste NOTHING like chocolate. The beans are fermented in boxes covered with banana leaves and then sun dried.
We hand select the best beans in Belize. Then we roast them, it is here that the magic starts to happen and the flavors of the chocolate start to develop
- Cracking and Winnowing
This process separates the bean from its shell. The great thing about cacao is that nothing is wasted. The shell is used to make chocolate tea and is also good for mulch.What is left and after cracking are called nibs. These are the original healthy chocolate chip. Delicious on ice cream, yogurt, granola and they’re good for you to boot!
We grind the nibs to produce chocolate liquor.
Part of this liquor is taken and put into our 1970’s Italian press to extract the cocoa butter. A by-product of this is cocoa press cake which is ground into cocoa powder and used in our syrup and brownies. The cocoa butter is then added to the other part of the chocolate liquor.
- Refining and Conching
Belizean cane sugar is added to the liquor and cocoa butter. Our Belizean beans are so flavorful that we don’t need to add anything else. Two granite wheels grind the liquor for up to 72 hours. Ta Da! We have CHOCOLATE. There are just a few more steps to go.
This is where the chocolate is cooled and heated to achieve the perfect crystal structure to produce the ideal shine and melt of our chocolate.
The chocolate is then poured into bar molds and left to set before the final step of hand wrapping and labeling.
We hope you enjoy our chocolate as much as we enjoy making it.