Growing the Cocoa The cocoa tree -‘ Theobroma Cacao” grows in the tropical heat of the equatorial forest. Thousands of flowers grow on the stem and branches yet no more than forty of these flowers will eventually develop into cocoa pods. After six months, the cocoa pods are fully grown and ready to be harvested, each year there are two harvests of the cocoa. The farmers cut the outer peel of the cocoa pods open with long knives to collect the fruit pulp inside . This pulp contains 40 to 50 seeds in each pod, and these are the cocoa beans. Making the Cocoa The beans are left to ferment for five to seven days until they change colours from a grey to brown and then to purple and during this process the aroma is developing. After fermenting the cocoa beans are spread out and left to dry in the sun for about six days. After drying, the cocoa farmers bring their harvest to collection centres where they are tested for quality, sorted into grades and the farmer is paid. Preparing the Cocoa The cocoa beans are cleansed of stones, dirt and sand then dried quickly under heaters making it easier to break open the beans and to remove the shell around them. These cocoa nibs are then roasted to develope their aroma, the temperature and length of roasting time may vary for each type of cocoa nib. In special grinders the roasted nibs are ground to a very fine liquid mass called cocoa liquor which is one of the main ingredients of chocolate. Making The Chocolate The cocoa and other ingredients (Sugar, Milk Powders) are then refined between rollers to form a fine chocolate powder to give the finished chocolate an extremely smooth texture and flavour. The powder put into large tanks called conches. It is kneaded for anything from several hours to days until the aromas have fully developed. This is called conching, it is then cooled and set. This is then ready to be tempered. The chocolate is heated and cooled to precise temperatures to make a chocolate which will set perfectly, look glossy and will break with a good “snap”. It is at this stage we add flavours and inclusions then the chocolate is poured into our moulds and cooled. The chocolate bars are then foiled and wrapped by our packing team, ready to come to you. Delivered to you!