from stonemill to chocolate
BEAN TO BAR
Bean-to-bar chocolate making means when chocolate is made as a process from cocoa beans to finished chocolate. It is a long process, sometimes you succeed and sometimes you go to the forest properly. Although we have been trying and testing chocolate making since 2005, we still can’t say we do it perfectly. That’s where the charm lies, in the challenge.
It is important for us to know where our raw materials come from. We import cocoa beans to Finland mainly from the South American region through direct trade. Our beans grow on small farms where the cleanliness of the cocoa and the well-being of the staff are taken care of. Cocoa trees often grow in areas where climate change can be drastic. A good example of this is Hurricane “Pam” raging in the spring of 2015 in Vanuatu. Pam instantly destroyed much of Vanuatu’s cocoa crop for several years.
Cocoa beans of the Criollo variety are rare. It has lower yields than Forastero, and also tend to be less resistant to several diseases that attack the cocoa plant.
Forestero is the most widely used, comprising 95% of the world production of cocoa.
Trinitarian is a hybrid between Criollo and Forastero varieties. It has high yields and is more resistant to disease than Criollo.
HOW WE DO IT
When cocoa beans arrive to us, there is still a long way to go before we get to taste the finished chocolate. Sorting cocoa beans is a precise thing to do and sharp eyes are more than helpful! After sorting, the beans are roasted at about 150°C for 15-30 min. The roasted beans are crushed and the peel and nibs are separated. Roasted cocoa beans are ground in a stone mill for days, resulting in a full-bodied chocolate. The chocolate mass is stored for up to months to give the chocolate its necessary properties.
Tempering chocolate is an important step. Properly tempered chocolate makes a “click” noise when you break it. Tempered chocolate is poured by hand into molds. Once packed, the chocolates are ready to be enjoyed by chocolate lovers around the world.