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WHAT IS BEAN TO BAR?

What is bean to bar? When we say "handcrafted", we mean it! 

Sourcing 

 . **95% of the worlds cacao is the Forestaro variety and is grown in the Ivory Coast in west Africa. There are over 4000 variaties made up of Forestaro, Triniario & Criollo with the later two being far superior in terms of taste but often more labour intensive and less robust. The 
The climate, terrain and altitude all affect the flavour of each bean.  
We source the finest cacao from co-operative farms around the world.
Different areas are known for different flavours. For example, Madagascan beans are famous for their rich and juicy berry tones. There are so many factors that affect the flavour profile of a bean: from the climate, the terrain, to the fermentation process. Each stage acts as a building block to make up the magnificent flavours.

What a cacao bean goes through before it even reaches our workshop is astonishing. The hours of time, labour and care is something that's difficult to comprehend when we see 70kg sacks of beans in our workshop. Every single bean has been handpicked, sorted, fermented and dried by dedicated farmers across the globe. We are so thankful for everything they do, because they make our cacao what it is. We work closely with cacao emporters in order to make sure that the farmers are getting paid fairly for their crop, which is often 4x the fairtrade rate. Getting a fairtrade or organic certification can often be too expensive for a farmer to afford, .... 


We spent a year carefully selecting, making and testing our chocolate from a variety of origins to find the ones that really made us think "I need another piece!".

Roasting

The roasting process is where we heat the beans to a very specific heat profile, in order to unleash the flavours in each bean. It's incredible that roasting can make a bean taste like lemons, or caramel or even milk. We roast in a converted coffee roaster in small batches. 

Cracking

Unlike roasting coffee, cacao retains its shell during the roasting process. It acts like a little jacket to protect it from the heat and agitation of the roaster. We only use the nib when creating chocolate, so in order to release the nib from the shell, we crack the bean. 

Winnowing

Once we have separated the nibs from the shells, we need to remove the shells. In the thousands, its impossible to do this by hand. So we need to use a winnower, which is the process of air circulation (?????) that filters the shells away from their nib counterpart.  

Grinding & Conching

Once we've got our nibs, we need to grind them to a smooth paste in a melanger.
 

Ageing

Much like cheese or a fine wine, chocolate changes and develops through time. We age our chocolate for up to two weeks to let the flavours intensify. 

Tempering & Moulding

The process of tempering is all about crystal allignment. We temper to stabilise the chocolate – giving it that crisp snap, shine and making sure it doesn't melt on the shelves or in your handbag!
We hand-pour every single bar into their moulds and, very noisily, drumroll the moulds to make them flat.  

Packaging

When dreaming up Bare Bones a year ago, we wanted to make sure that our packaging was a representation of the chocolate inside. Simple, yet beautiful. We also wanted it to be as eco-friendly as possible. We are so proud that our packaging is 100% recycled and 100% recyclable, using materials like recycled paper cups. 
We wrap every bar by hand in our beautiful vegware wrappers. Then we apply our labels, fold and package the bars in their beautiful boxes. ***Hand stamp batch number and date. For online and wholesale orders, we use green packaging and wrap. 

We care about the planet we live on and try to do our bit as small business owners. Working with some amazing papermakers and printers, we've created mindful packaging from recycled sources (that can be recycled too!) that we hope Mother Nature would be proud of.  In the UK, we use 7 million paper cups per day – yet less than 1 in 400 of those cups are recycled. We've created our chocolate boxes using recycled cups so that they not only look good but do good too. Inside our boxes, you'll find a beautiful plant-based wrapper from Vegware