Cocoa trees grow in the tropical forests of the warm and humid equatorial belt. There are three different species of cocoa tree, each with its own unique characteristics. Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia are the largest cocoa producers. Cocoa beans from different regions have different aromas, and these are often blended together to produce a wider variety of flavours.
Cocoa pods are harvested from the trees twice a year. Inside the pulp of these pods you find cocoa beans, which once harvested are spread out in the sun and left to dry for about 6 days. These cocoa beans then get crush. Crushing removes the beans protective shell and the remaining 'nibs' are then roasted, which helps to develop their characteristic aromas. The nibs are ground coarsely until they become a fine cocoa liquor, and this liquor is then mixed with other ingredients to form chocolate.
- Dark chocolate is made using cocoa liquor, cocoa butter and sugar.
- Milk chocolate is made using cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, sugar and also milk powder is added.
- White chocolate is made with just cocoa butter, sugar and milk powder (no cocoa liquor).
We are passionate about the sustainability of our cocoa and supporting the livelihood of the farmer who grow it, often in some of the poorest regions in the world. We source our chocolate from suppliers who collaborate with small holder farms to ensure that our chocolate supports cocoa farmers and sustainable cocoa cultivation for the future. To find out more visit Cocoa Horizons website.