• How did cocoa products come about?

    Where can cocoa be found in the world?
    Cocoa Introduction

  • Step 1. location

    Cocoa trees grow in hot, rainy tropical areas within 20 degrees of latitude from the equator. Harvesting is not restricted to one period per year and usually takes place over months and can be done at any time of the year.

    Step 2. growth

    Immature cocoa pods have a variety of colors, most often green, red or purple. As they mature, their color tends to change towards orange or yellow. Unlike other trees, the cocoa pods grows directly from the trunk of a tree rather than from the end of a branch. This makes it easier for farmers to harvest it by hand.

    Cocoa Introduction

    Step 3. harvesting

    Harvesting of the cocoa pods is extremely labor intensive. Farmers cut the high pods from the trees with large knives attached to poles, taking care not to damage the junction of the stem with the tree as this is where future flower and pods will emerge. The women of the family is usually in charge of collecting the pods in large baskets which they balance on top of their heads.

    Cocoa Intro

    Step 4. fermentation

    These pods are then piled up and prepared for splitting. Once split, the pulp and cocoa seeds are removed then piled into heaps and laid out for days. The fermented pulp trickles away, leaving the cocoa seeds to be collected. The sweating process is crucial for the quality of the beans which originally have a strong bitter taste. If not performed properly, the cocoa may be ruined.

  • Step 5. drying

    Next the wet beans undergo fermentation and drying. This prepares the beans for sale and is an important stage in the development of the delicious chocolate flavor. Upon fermentation for 4 to 7 days, the beans are dried for another 5 to 14 days. Finally, the beans are trodden and shuffled about while red clay is being mixed in so as to prepare the beans for its final stages before shipment to countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands and other countries.

    Cocoa Intro

    Step 6. roasting

    In the chocolate factory, the beans are roasted before they are cracked and de-shelled. The resulting product is called cocoa nibs. The nibs are then ground into a thick creamy paste commonly known as chocolate liquor or cocoa paste. This “liquor” is then processed into chocolate by adding in cocoa butter and sugar before being refined, conched and tempered into a chocolate bar.

    Cocoa Intro