OUR PROCESS: FROM BEAN TO BAR
Cacao (scientific name Theobroma cacao) is the plant behind what we all know as chocolate. HISTORY OF CACAO.
The process of chocolate-making begin with a cacao pod. The pod grows on trees in the equatorial regions and contains cacao beans inside a gelatinous pulp. On the cacao farm, the pods are harvested and cut open. The beans and pulp are removed and fermented in burlap sacks. After fermentation, the raw beans are dried and sold to chocolate-makers.
At Devorah Chocolate, our cacao beans are procured by French Broad Chocolates in Asheville, NC and sourced from cacao farms in Nicaragua, Peru, and Costa Rica.
After the cacao beans have made their way to us, we roast them, in small batches, to bring out the flavor profile best suited the characteristics of the beans.
Next, the roasted cacao beans go through a process known as winnowing. The beans are fed through our handmade winnower which cracks the bean and separates the husk, or outer shell of the bean, from the interior, known as the nib.
Winnowing yields two products: cacao nibs, which are either packaged and sold or ground into chocolate, and cacao husk, which is packaged and sold as cacao tea, a delicious and robust infusion.
CACAO TEA PHOTO
The cacao nibs that will become chocolate are then put into a stone grinder along with cacao butter (fat from the cacao bean) and sugar (either coconut sugar or panela, an unrefined cane sugar) and left to grind for several days until smooth, liquid chocolate is formed.
The liquid chocolate is poured from the grinder and is either cooled and chopped to create baking chocolate or tempered, a process which manipulates temperature to create particular types of crystalline structures in the cacao butter, to create a shiny and crisp chocolate bar. The liquid chocolate is mixed with tempered cacao butter and poured into molds.
Finally, once the bars have cooled and released from the molds, they are carefully packaged and then, chocolate bars, baking chocolate, cacao nibs, cacao tea, truffles, and other confections are sold to our community.