Making good chocolate is a time-consuming process. It takes weeks from the beans are sorted until the tablets are wrapped and ready to ship, and each step in the process affects how the final product will turn out. Becca Snyder, Co-founder of Lumineux Chocolate in Greenville, spills the (cocao) beans, and tells me how her exquisite chocolate bars are made :
Lumineux was started to showcase cocoa beans not widely used in the United States. High quality cocoa beans are imperative for making good chocolate, and we carefully select the best, most flavorful, but often underestimated, cocoa beans from all over Asia and Africa. We only work with farms and cooperatives with fair, sustainable practices in place, contributing to the economic development of the local communities.
When we receive the cocoa beans, the first step is sorting. We do it all by hand, because in that way we can have a larger impact on the final quality.
After the beans have been sorted, they will get roasted. Each bean has its own unique roasting temperature, to best bring out the flavors.
Then the beans go through the winnower, which will break the beans into pieces and remove the shells. After the winnower, follows 2-3 days in the refiner, which turns the cocoa mass into a viscous chocolate liquid.
The chocolate is then poured into pans. We try to let the chocolate sit for about 2-4 weeks, before we do anything to it, because we found it most beneficial to bringing out the flavor. It is almost like we are letting it cure. From the pans, the chocolate is molded and turned into tablets, which are then ready to ship.