The journey for all chocolate seems pretty simple, right? You start with some cacao beans and then process them into chocolate. Well, it may seem easy on the outside but, there is a lot of love and care that goes into creating these spectacular bars. In this article, we’ll break down the steps that go into creating astonishing CBD bean to bar chocolate.
Harvesting The Fairtrade Chocolate
When harvesting time arrives, it is meant for celebration - and a lot of hard work. These ripe cacao pods can be harvested twice a year, but when it is time all depends on where in the world they were grown.
Once the precious pods are off of the tree, it is time to start on the chocolate.
Removing The Raw Chocolate Goodness
The cacao pods are first sliced open with machetes. Once they have opened you can see the different parts including the shell and pulp. That less-than-delicious white pulp that contains the cocoa beans is scooped out.
Once they have been separated the pulp goes through the fermentation process, which ultimately turns into chocolate.
The Chocolate Fermentation Process
The pulp is set in containers, allowing it to ferment for anywhere from five to seven days. However, the beans are not left alone during this time. They will need to be scooped, stirred and turned to help them ferment more evenly.
Sometimes it is the farmer who is handling this part, which is one of many reasons fairtrade chocolate is so important - ensuring each farmer is paid respectfully for their work.
Drying The Chocolate
Once the fermentation process has ended, it is time to dry the new concoction.
Most of the time, we can let the sun take care of this process by laying the chocolate out as flat as can be. When they can not dry in the sun they are usually placed near or above a fire to take the moisture away.
Once the moisture is completely gone, they can be transported around the world to create chocolate.
Roasting, Cracking & Winnowing
Chocolatiers can decide how long they would like to roast their beans. This gives each individual chocolate the opportunity to have its unique flavour profile. Once they are roasted, they may go through a process to remove their shells.
Cracking and winnowing is the process that removes the papery shell from around the nibs. The beans are cracked open and the shell is removed. Some shells can simply be blown away with fans, leaving behind pieces of the purest form of the cacao bean.
Grinding & Conching the Nibs
The next step is what turns that cacao nib into something that resembles the chocolate we know and love. These nibs are ground with stone rollers until they become a paste known as cocoa mass.
This will produce two different substances, cacao solids and cacao butter. Cacao butter is helpful to the chocolatier because most will use additional “butter” to give their chocolate a smoother feel.
Adding The CBD
Now that the chocolate is created, you can add in the key ingredient - CBD. All of the amounts are left up to the chocolate maker. However, this bean-to-bar chocolate process isn’t over.
Tempering & Moulding
This is the final step! Tempering is done to form exactly the right kind of crystals. They complete this process by raising and lowering the temperate of the chocolate in an extremely controlled manner. Once the tempering has been completed, the chocolate will be poured into moulds. These are there to let the concoction set and be shipped off to CBD chocolate lovers around the world.