Category Archives: Cocao Plantation

Its all about chocolate and cocoa with a conscience.

It’s a long journey from cocoa tree to chocolate.

It’s a long journey from cocoa tree to chocolate, but one always worth taking! Here are all the most crucial steps that see raw cocoa beans turning into shining chocolate bars:

HARVESTING. When the cocoa trees that grow in tropical climates start showing the first ripe cocoa pods, these are picked by farmers with a machete and collected right on the field. The cocoa pods are opened and their inside (cocoa beans + white mucilage) is collected inside big buckets and brought to the fermentation center.
FERMENTING. Together with the white mucilage that surrounds them, the beans are placed into large wooden boxes, and they are turned regularly throughout the following 3-5 days. The temperature inside the box raises naturally to 40-50°, enabling all the bacterial and yeast activities to take place.
DRYING. After some days in the fermentation box, the cocoa beans still contain a high level of moisture that needs to be removed to avoid molding. The beans are moved to outdoor patios or movable carros to dry outside under the sun for a few more days. Once dried, the beans are sorted, bagged and shipped.
ROASTING. When they receive their precious cacao, chocolate makers roast it for two main reasons: flavor development and sanitization. Times and temperatures will vary depending on the bean type and specific goal of each chocolate maker.
CRACKING & WINNOWING. After roasting, the outer shell of the beans becomes thin and brittle. The beans can then be cracked and the shells be winnowed from the cocoa nibs that will be used for the production of chocolate.
GRINDING & CONCHING. These two processes are often combined in one single machine, the melangeur. First, the nibs are ground into a thick paste known as cocoa mass. While the cocoa mass keeps being refined inside the melangeur, chocolate makers add all the other ingredients like sugar, milk or vanilla. This step will be completed when the desired texture and flavor are achieved.
TEMPERING. During this process, the temperature of the chocolate is raised and lowered to achieve the right consistency and the stabilization of the crystals. This is what gives the chocolate its traditional shine and sharp snap.
MOULDING. Once tempered, the melted chocolate is poured into the stylish molds and either tapped against a hard surface or put on vibrating platforms to remove air bubbles.
WRAPPING. When the chocolate has completely cooled down, the final bar is carefully inspected to meet quality standards, and then wrapped in foil or paper packaging to keep it fresh.
The chocolate is finally ready to be savoured and enjoyed. What a journey!

Original post by DENNIS VAN ESSEN


Fermentation & Flavor Development

In the chocolate industry, fermentation is considered one of the crucial steps for the development of all the amazing flavors we experience in fine chocolate. The harvested beans, still covered in their white pulp, are loaded into buckets and transported to a central fermentation area for processing, often mixed in with beans from neighboring farms. Farmers then transfer the cocoa beans to specialized fermenting “sweatboxes”, usually covering them with banana leaves. Here is where the magic happens, or rather where science and nature join forces to develop the precursors of all the chocolatey flavors we so adore.

The process works something like this: the sugars inside the white pulp – glucose, fructose and sucrose – are transformed into alcohol. The alcohol then turns into acetic acid that diffuses into the beans themselves. The chemical reactions involved in fermentation produce a significant amount of heat, making the pile of beans reach temperatures up to 55°C after a few days. The germ within the bean dies and this triggers the release of enzymes. These enzymes are important for the development of chocolate flavors. We can say that these naturally occurring microorganism kick-start the fermentation process, changing the sugars in the pulp to organic acids, and giving the beans their flavor.

After 2-3 days, farmers turn the pile over. This helps to ensure an even fermentation and introduces air into the fermentation process which, depending on the cacao variety, can last up to 7 days.

Fermentation has such a big impact on the cocoa beans that, even by using the same exact cocoa beans, results can vary widely when tiny changes are made during the fermentation process (how long the beans stay inside the boxes, how many times they are turned, etc). Some craft chocolate makers have fun experimenting with cacao that has been subjected to different fermentation protocols. The results are chocolate bars with completely different aromatic profiles, even if they are made with the exact same beans!



Chocolate gets its origin and domestication story rewritten

Long believed to have been domesticated in Central America some 4,000 years ago, cacao has a more interesting story than previously thought #WorldChocolateDay

Conscious organic Ecuadorian chocolate

Geen boom gekapt. Papier van suikerrietvezels. Kakao uit het Unesco biosfeer Sumaco in de Amazonas van Ecuador. De handgeselecteerde bonen komen van de Kichwa coöperatie Wiñak. In deze aromatische chocola komen de smaken van regenwoud volledig tot zijn recht.


Eerlijk avondje is gekomen – Pakhuis de Zwijger

  • Als sociale wetenschapper heeft Anna Laven zich gespecialiseerd in duurzame economische ontwikkeling. Meer dan tien jaar is ze hiermee bezig bij het KIT Royal Tropical Institute. Een van haar expertises is duurzame cacao. Zo deed ze grootschalig onderzoek in de groeiende cacao regio’s van Ghana en Ivoorkust naar waarom en hoe huishoudens cacao verbouwen en naar vrouwenongelijkheid in deze sector.
  • Philipp Kauffman is de oprichter en Chief Grower van Original Beans, een chocoladebedrijf dat de wereld beter maakt door chocolade. Original Beans heeft namelijk een Chocolate Foodprint: in 2018 beschermde het bedrijf samen met klanten, partners en boeren bosgebieden ter grootte van 24.300 voetbalvelden en betaalde 210% meer voor cacao dan de Fairtrade prijs. Tijdens zijn presentatie zal Philipp een aantal duurzame kwaliteitschocolades laten proeven. Ervaar dus zelf hoe chocolades van verschillende origine smaken!

Wat moet er nog gebeuren op weg naar écht eerlijke chocola?


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Welke chocolade gaan we morgen eten?

Welke chocolade gaan we morgen eten?

Creating awareness for a more direct trade and enhanced cocoa quality for the Democratic Republic of Congo. You want to know more? You want to be the first @patisserievercruysse to try a sample? Find out this weekend #sharewathisgreatandgoodinthisworld #geertvercruysse #kortrijk #doorniksewijk @zotocacao #rikolto #rdc #zoipapalexandratou #smallholders #kilimamwenza #manya — bij Share what is great and good in the world!


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Kinderarbeid en ontbossing.

Kinderarbeid en ontbossing: rechtstreekse gevolgen van extreme armoede.

Omdat de arme cacaoboer geen werkkrachten kan betalen, zet hij kinderen in. Jonge kinderen gaan niet naar school, maar leveren zware arbeid op het veld. Ongeschoolde kinderen zorgen er generatie na generatie voor dat de toekomst van de families er somber blijft uitzien. Ook het milieu zit met de gebakken peren. Door onder andere gebrek aan vorming, blijven de cacaoboeren dezelfde desastreuze ontbossingstechniek toepassen: “slash and burn”. Door tropisch woud in brand te steken en te kappen, maken ze plaats voor nieuwe cacaoplantages. Een ecologische ramp, ook voor de lokale fauna. Een leefbaar inkomen zal ervoor zorgen dat boeren kunnen overschakelen op agro-ecologische cacaoteelt. Dan zorgen oudere, jonge, hoge en lage bomen en andere beplanting samen voor een uiterst productief systeem.

Gevolgen van de ontbossing:

Verlies aan biodiversiteit: soorten verliezen hun habitat (of kunnen niet meer leven in kleine overblijvende delen van het woud). De populaties worden kleiner en sommige verdwijnen volledig.
Aantasting van de habitat: nieuwe wegen leiden tot een versnippering van het woud. De kleine gebieden die zo ontstaan, zijn gevoeliger voor droogte en voor brand.
Klimaatverandering: aangezien er minder bomen zijn, nemen de wouden minder CO2 op. Tegelijk wordt CO2 uitgestoten als gevolg van het verbranden van bomen.
Verlies van water: door de ontbossing vermindert de hoeveelheid water die de bomen uitscheiden (evapotranspiratie).
Maatschappelijke impact: minder wouden = minder voordelen voor de mensen die van deze wouden moeten leven.


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Perfect Daily Grind

The Cacao and Coffee series: In coffee we refer to many of the varieties coming from Ethiopia and East Africa, the birthplace of coffee, as “heirloom” and not as each specific variety. There are so many varieties, and local names differ to internationally accepted names in any case.⁣

⁣We can say the same about wild cacao from the Amazon region. There are so many cacao varieties that people decide to call them wild cacao instead of Amelonado, Catongo, Trinitario, etc. These wild cacao varieties usually come with an exotic taste due to its nature, similar to heirloom coffee varieties. You could call it birthplace diversity explosion!⁣

source: PDG Cacao Instagram


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“We are proud of our range and we hope you love it too.”

“Chocolate is not something we need as part of our diet.
But it is something our soul needs.”

Not so long ago, I had a nice contact with Chi from Atypic Artiste Chocolatier in Melbourne Australia and so it be started. After looking at there website and seeing there amazing Origin Chocolate bars I was convinced of there quality and vision on making the best chocolate for Melbourne and Australia. Reading the story of Charles Lemai and the next line: “…you become part of a community and our love of chocolate connects us all.” I was solded, I needed to have these bars and I was hungry to taste there unconventional and differently made bars of the Pacific Islands such as Vanuatu, Solomon Islands,…

Atypic_1080p from charles.lemai on Vimeo.

Unrefined 45% milk chocolate is made with beans from the heart of the solomon islands. This textural sensation will take you on a ride to remember.
The packaging is just amazingly stunning.

At Atypic, they are truly passionate about there chocolate and only work with cacao growers who provide respect, care and love to their produce and the land it comes from. The beans are sourced from farmers practicing organic growing processes and support independent businesses who follow ethical, sustainable and fair-trading practices. Nature has done its part to create distinct flavour profiles for each cacao bean source and Atypic Artiste Chocolatier invest a lot of time bringing out these authentic cacao flavours.

Charles Lemai

They pay a premium fee for our beans which are sourced from there neighbours in the Pacific Islands, working directly with the farmers who grow, ferment, and dry the cacao we buy. They frequently visit there suppliers to learn about their process, visit the plantations and ensure the highest standards of quality and sustainability are met.

Find more about Atypic Artisan Chocolatier

Available now at Chocolatier Share what is great and good in the World


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True Stories Magazine Vol. 2 by Jamaica Cold Bush Organics…page 60,61,62,63.

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