We source our beans consciously
from around the world
and handcraft our chocolate
- from the bean to the bar -
right outside of Munich
in the heart of Bavaria
While our beans are from exotic places around the world, we support local businesses when and where we can. Our moulds are from a local Bavarian company, and our packaging is printed on eco-friendly paper manufactured by solar powered hydo electricty here in Bavaria. Read more about the production of our two ingredient chocolate below. How it starts with the bean, and ends with the bar.
Sourcing single origin beans
Did you know that the Cacao tree (Theobroma) grows only in tropical climates, 20 degrees north or south of the equator?
We start by sourcing cacao beans consciously from around the world. Growing conditions, rainfall, soil composition and temperature all have an impact on the final flavor of the chocolate. Perhaps the biggest impact is proper fermentation, which takes place at source as soon as the cacao pods are opened. Our emphasis is on finding trusted cooperatives to partner with, who work closely with cacao farmers and insure they get the best price for the quality of their cacao beans
Once we receive the jute sacks of dried and fermented beans, we hand-sort every single bean and eliminate any beans which are broken, damaged or not fully developed, including rocks or twigs which may have made their way into the sacks. Imperfect beans can create off-flavors so by hand-sorting through our shipment, we guarantee that only the best beans will be roasted.
Roasting is the most essential part of the process which we can control. While fermentation is probably the most important part of the process as a whole, this needs to take place at-source, right after the pods have been harvested and opened. Roasting develops depth and range and brings out the bean’s nuances. We generally prefer lighter roasts but will go through several test batches on a small stone grinder, tempering by hand on a marble slab, to find our “sweet spot”.
Once we determine which roast profile we find best for each bean, we then start production in slightly larger batches including a larger stone grinder.
What we find so fascinating about the roasting process, is that just a few degrees difference will bring out completely varied results and flavors in the same little bean.
Cracking & Winnowing
The 4th step is cracking and winnowing. We pass the roasted beans through a cracker and winnower, which breaks the outer shell from the inside nib and separates the two. The husk gets discarded and only the nib is used for chocolate making.
The next step is grinding. We grind the nibs for a minimum of 24 hours before adding the sugar on the next day. The stone grinding process can take up to 3 days in total but every bean is different, so we take a lot of samples and go with our taste buds to see when may be the right time.
Stone grinding not only refines the chocolate liquor but also achieves a desirable micron size which lends to a smooth mouth feel. Most importantly it also develops flavor.
After the chocolate liquor (there is no alcohol) is ready in the stone grinder, we then refine the flavors, improve texture and reduce acidity by using a conching machine. Conching can take anywhere between 1 and 6 hours depending on the bean - in some cases it can even take longer than a day. To find the perfect balance between acidity and fruitiness, we take samples at certain intervals and note down the time. No bean is alike!
Everything gets better with time! We then age the chocolate for a minimum of 2 months to mature before tempering and molding.
Tempering the chocolate is almost more of an art form than a science. It is the process of heating and cooling the chocolate so that the cocoa butter crystallizes into the desired shape and each bean will have a different temperature curve at which it tempers.
Unlike regular chocolate production, making bean to bar chocolate requires finding the right temper, which involves a lot of trial and error. Even the weather on the day you temper will influence your chocolate.
A well-tempered chocolate bar will be shiny, glossy and have a nice snap to it which also makes it enjoyable to eat. An untempered bar may appear dull with a grayish color and waxy texture. It will still have a lot of flavor but it will have a different mouth-feel than that of a tempered bar.
We then mould the tempered chocolate in to polycarbonate forms made by a local Bavarian company. A vibration plate takes the air bubbles out and the forms are left to cool and set.
Hand Wrapping & Packaging
Last but not least, we carefully take the bars out of the moulds when they are set and hand wrap each individual one.
Our packaging is made of eco friendly food grade paper from a renowned local paper company which uses solar powered hydro-electricity to manufacture their paper products.
All of this is done in our small kitchen just outside of Munich! Our bars are small enough to fit in your pocket (not that that's a good place to keep them). Our chocolate is rich and bold, so less is truly more, as one little square really goes a long way! good things come in small packages