After several tests with different plants — 3 years and two failures — we have selected a plant in Ecuador housing the equipment necessary for roasting and milling our cocoa beans in order to achieve a very high quality chocolate, without over-roasting or losing the flavor we so painstakingly developed at fermentation.
Once our beans are collected, we follow a very specific procedure (tailored to each batch) for one week to transform our cocoa beans into 66 lbs. of chocolate blocks. This is the easiest way to store and move cocoa around in a very hot and humid country (we learned our lesson from trying to complete our process and package the products in Ecuador, only to see that we had melted and bloomed most of our production during truck movements from place to another). Hence, these blocks are sealed and brought to our premises in the USA for further processing and packaging.
By processing as much as possible in country, we intend to give as much value as possible to the local industry. Plants must also be certified by the Rainforest Alliance and other certfications. And it is an incentive for them to adopt sound and healthy manufacturing procedures which protect us all: the consumers.
By slightly tuning our roasting process from batch to batch, we recognize that cocoa beans are not identical from harvest to harvest. We strive to put forward and not hide subtle different aromas, resulting from terroir to terroir, and from harvest to harvest. Thus, we celebrate the excellent fermentation work done by our farmers at the expense of conformity.
We are proud to say that 17 new Ecuadorian chocolates (of different sizes) have listened, observed, and adopted our processes and philosophy which, in turn, helps protect the small farmers and the entire cocoa industry in Ecuador.