We start by sourcing cacao beans from trading companies who publish verifiable information of every transaction along the supply chain. Where the cacao comes from, who grew it and what they were paid is available to us.
Once we have secured our beans, we get to work developing a roasting profile for each origin. Each area of the world will produce chocolate that is unique in it's flavour characteristics. Finding the personality of that bean and coaxing it out through roasting is integral to the finished chocolate - it also gives clues to what inclusions it will pair well with. Coffee, cinnamon, coconut? Taste is our guide.
After roasting, we crack the skin off the beans, and winnow it out of the nibs. Winnowing is done with a handmade vacuum system. Because we are such a small production, we have had to custom build our own machines or appropriate existing machines. Juicers, shop-vacs, unused plumbing pipes, are just some of the tools we use!
Grinding chocolate comes next and can take between 6-100 hours depending on what we're trying to achieve. This is also where creativity starts to take shape. Inclusions of spices, nuts, oats, milk, espresso, you-name-it... can all be added at this point.
Tempering and moulding bars happens last. We temper.. meaning we cool the chocolate to a certain temperature and then warm it up to another specific temperature. This makes the cocoa butter crystals uniform and shelf stable, making sure the chocolate melts properly in your mouth, has a uniform glossy appearance, and a clean snap when you break it.
We then wrap it up in compostable cellulose film, and locally printed paper envelopes made of Canadian post-consumer waste. Making sure that no trace of our chocolate bar would remain after you eat it is incredibly important to us. The thought of a plastic chocolate bar wrapper floating in the ocean is a horrifying thought, so we prioritized compostable materials from the conception of our company.
As you can see, there are many measured steps to take from bean-to-bar! The level of work is actually slightly insane, but it truly is a labour of love, and we are so thrilled to share this chocolate with you.