To understand what bean to bar chocolate, let’s first look at the comparison between a chocolatier and chocolate maker.
You may be familiar with chocolatiers who use chocolate as an ingredient to make delicious filled chocolates. In this case you start with chocolate and products chocolates. Chocolate makers start with cacao beans to make chocolate. Chocolate making typically begins with roasting fermented cacao beans. The fermentation happens within days of picking the fruit off the tree – in some of the most remote places in the world. The beans have quite the journey before the chocolate maker ever touches their most critical ingredient.
The four most influential factors to the flavour of chocolate are; 1) the genetic stock, 2) the fermentation 3) the roast 4) the conch. The latter two are under complete control of the chocolate maker and are dependent on the first two factors.
Bean to bar chocolate making is a relatively new phenomena. Over the past 15-20 years, the industry has moved from less than a handful of participants to a bustling craft marketplace with hundreds of participants, growing every month. In a way, the term fine chocolate is being re-defined with Bean to Bar Chocolate Maker’s attention to the details essential to flavour development; cacao genetics, fermentation/drying, roasting, and tailored processing methods.
This blog spot is intended to explore the world of chocolate from the Maker’s perspective. I will talk about my operation, the art and science of chocolate and flavour development, sourcing cacao beans, and much more. I hope that you’ll participate and we can learn about the wonderful world of chocolate together!