How Chocolate Is Made – Bean to Bar

Once the beans are harvested and arrive at the factory they are inspected to ensure the highest quality. They are then sorted by their type. Different beans have different flavors and to ensure that the taste of Vigneri Chocolate is consistent, each bean is closely examined to determine what type of cacao it is.

Once the perfect beans are chosen, they are then roasted in ovens with temperatures ranging from 210-290F. Depending on the chocolate being created, roasting time varies from 30 minutes to 2 hours. During the roasting process the heat from the oven dries out the bean, which unlocks the unique flavor and aroma that the cacao bean has.

After the roasting process, the beans are split and the outer shell is then cracked again and blown away, this process is called winnowed. After winnowing, only broken and crushed pieces are left of the cacao bean. These pieces are called nibs. Nibs have an intense chocolate flavor, but are extremely bitter in taste.

Nibs are then crushed and ground into a paste that is thick and often referred to as chocolate liquor even though there is no alcohol in this product. At this point, the chocolate liquor is not yet at the stage that people associate with melted chocolate because it is neither creamy or sweet. In order to get to the chocolate taste and consistency that we all know and love, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla and milk are added. This final mixture is then sent through rollers in order to achieve the necessary texture and consistency.

Conching is the next step and when the chocolate mixture is blended, aerating the chocolate allowing for flavors to come together. The last step is to temper the chocolate, meaning that it is stirred then cooled and then heated again slowly. Tempering is repeated several times to ensure that the chocolate comes together in the rich and creamy way that Vigneri Chocolate is known for.