We get up close and personal with the cocoa beans and sort them by hand to remove flats, cracked beans and beans harmed by machetes during harvest.
The beans are then roasted to loosen the shell and begin the process of maximizing the inherent flavours in each bean.
The whole bean needs to be cracked to extract the flavourful heart of the bean called a nib so that the shell of the bean can be removed.
Winnowing separates the papery shells from the cracked nibs. If left in, the shell can impart undesirable bitter and harsh flavours. These shells make great additions to various Spinnakers Beer and Sheringham Distillery Chocolate Vodka.
Next the whole bean is ground down to a very fine consistency. It is during this stage that pure cane sugar is introduced, the only additional ingredient in our single origin chocolate bars.
Conching eliminates any remaining impure flavours, and allows the subtle, unique flavours of each bean to shine. Friction and heat do the work.
Tempering is a finicky process that allows the chocolate to form the right crystal structure necessary to give it a smooth silky texture and have a nice snap when broken.
The last step is pouring the chocolate into molds, to be cooled and hardened before being wrapped and sent off to you for your enjoyment.