As much as possible we try to control any areas where mechanical heating may occur.
After fermentation (during which there will be some natural heating - we'll come back to that later), the beans are sun dried (not roasted).
To make cacao powder and cacao butter the beans are then crushed.
During this crushing phase, the friction can cause some heating up of the bean. We stipulate a cold press technique to extract the cacao fat (cacao butter), rather than a more aggressive, heated process. As far as I am aware there is no data on what temperature is reached during the crushing phase, but it seems logical that there will be some fractional heating up. It would not be in excess of the heat experienced during the fermentation phase, which is necessary to develop the flavours and enzyme activity which we all want and love.
During our own production phase, we slow grind and low temperature temper the chocolate to keep the temperature as low as possible.
The cacao is a mix, mostly criollo.
There are 2 different types of Cacao that we use in our products. Cacao powder, cacao butter and cacao paste are the main cacao ingredients we have. Our main one, which we use for making into bars and chocolate for coating products, comes from Peru. The powder that is used for our 180g pouches comes from Africa (Ghana).
We are “almost” bean to bar...
Technically "bean to bar " is when you get the beans and grind them yourself. To do this you need to remove the husks from the beans. We don't do this (removing husks), someone does it for us.
The other common definitions:
'Couverture to bar' is when you buy a premade chocolate and reform it. We don't do this.
'Liquor to bar' is when you buy a pre-ground cacao and add sugar and other things to it. We don't do this.