Nero & Bianco, 8 Century Point, Halifax Road, Cressex Business Park, High Wycombe, Bucks HP12 3SL

From Bean to Bar

Our chocolate is made using the finest organic and Fairtrade certificated cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic and Peru. We source the best beans from each of these countries, then roast and grind the beans, before conching and tempering the liquid to create delicious chocolate.

The majority of the cocoa beans in our chocolate are trinitario beans, a family of beans renowned for their complex flavours. Our chocolate is made by our experts, who like us, have a deep rooted love of chocolate and ensure that every bean is nurtured through the process to ensure that the love and care shown by our growers, is continued. The end result is chocolate that is rich in aroma, flavour and extremely high in satisfaction.

The process …
Cocoa pods grow on a cocoa tree and unusually the pods grow directly on the trunk Cocoa trees are sensitive and prefer to be surrounded by other trees that offer shade from the strong tropical sun.

Making chocolate from cocoa pods is a long and complicated process, below we have done our best to try and put this process in a nut shell (well, cocoa pod would be more appropriate!)

Harvesting
Pods containing cocoa beans grow from the trunk and branches of the cocoa tree before being cut down and sliced open to extract the wet beans.

Once the beans are removed, the discarded husks are often used on the soil to return key nutrients back to the earth as fertilizer.

The beans are then fermented. This normally involves piling the beans onto banana leaves to allow micro-organisms and heat to develop. After several days complex chemical changes take place which affect the chocolate flavour and colour development.

Drying

Cocoa beans are slowly dried after fermentation reducing the moisture content from about 60% to about 7.5%. Typically the beans are left out in the sun in temperatures of around 65 degrees. The speed at which beans are dried can really affect the taste, so technical assistants work with the farmers to ensure our flavours are just right.

Roasting

The roasting time and temperature vary depending on the type of chocolate to be produced- needless to say we have our own secret process! We love rich tasty luxurious chocolate and our roasting process ensures this.

Winnowing

During winnowing the shells are removed from the beans, leaving just the cocoa nibs. The nibs are milled and blended to create the perfect flavour- creating a cocoa liquor. The liquor is then pressed to remove the cocoa butter and the remaining cocoa is pulverised to form cocoa powder.

Grinding and Mixing
The cocoa liquor and cocoa butter are mixed together with other ingredients to make the chocolate. The chocolate is then refined, passing through a series of rollers, which improves the texture of the chocolate and produces a smooth paste.

Conching
The next stage is conching, which is a kind of kneading process vital for developing flavour and texture. The chocolate is heated and continuously stirred until it develops its full flavour.

The End

The mixture is then tempered to ensure the quality that we have worked so hard to create remains and after this it is poured into chocolate moulds, packaged and transported.