What is bean to bar?
The birth of the craft chocolate
The ‘”bean to bar movement” started 20 years ago in United states of America as a reaction against industrial chocolate. It started with Scharffen Berger chocolates, a brand that opened close to San Francisco: vintage equipment, small batches production, and a range of chocolate bars that tasted totally different from what was available in the US market , the boring and simple mass market chocolate that tasted like sweet cocoa with vanilla. Scharffen Berger chocolates tasted different : they tasted like chocolate, of course, but also had notes of fruits, tobacco, nuts, caramel- they were more intense and complex. The new taste of their chocolate and their success inspired others. The “bean to bar” movement was born.
At “green bean to bar CHOCOLATE” we start with unprocessed cacao beans, sort, crack, grind, conch, mélange and temper, finishing with chocolate of exceptional quality and regional character. We are a Japanese BEAN TO BAR artisanal factory, producing small batch chocolates, 30kg at a time, with attention to detail and the passion of shokunin (craftman). Unlike industrial chocolate makers producing huge 1000-2000kg batch quantities with one standardized high temperature process, “green” tailors roasting, grinding and melanging to the character of each individual cacao batch. Our method takes extra time, patience and vigilance but delivers a chocolate bar of optimal flavor and personality highlighting cacao’s regional place of origin.
Unlike most chocolates in the marketplace, with five or more ingredients (cacao, sugar, added cacao butter, vanilla and lecithin) “green”chocolates are PURE; just two ingredients, cacao and pure cane sugar. We don’t add cacao butter, as many chocolatiers do. Although added cacao butter promotes creaminess and a faster chocolate melt time, it also mutes and dampens the range of chocolate flavors. At “green”we want to bring you the rich complex essence of PURE chocolate, it’s bold and subtle flavors, it’s range of sensorial experience.
1. About beans
From the world of cacao beans, where flavor and quality vary by region and geography, we select only the highest quality fermented and dried beans. We store the beans in temperature and humidity controlled refrigerators.
2. Cut Test
From every new bag, sample beans are cut in half to gauge the level of fermentation and product condition.
3. Bean Sorting
We hand sort beans by size, shape and condition, discarding the 10% to 20% that don’t meet our selection criteria.
We roast beans according to bean size and regional origin. Multiple roasting tests determine optimal time and temperature, anywhere between 100-130°C and 30 minutes to 1 hour. Roasting enhances flavor and helps remove the bean from its shell.
5. Bean Cracking
Crack the roasted beans into small pieces in the Cracking Machine to separate cacao beans from their shells. The broken pieces of the bean, without the shell, are called nibs.
6. Nib Sorting
Sift cacao nibs to separate larger and smaller pieces. Larger nibs return to the Cracking Machine. We crack, sort and sift until we have nibs of uniform small size.
Winnowing separates most remaining shells from cacao nibs. Our handmade winnower discards shells, removing the possibility of bitterness and astringency caused by shells.
8. Remove Shells
Remove any remaining cacao shells and germ by hand.
9. Bean Grinding
Grind cacao nibs into a thick paste using the grinder’s frictional heat. Frictional heat releases cacao butter which makes for a softer and smoother paste.
10. Melanging & Conching
Using a melanger with its stone rollers, the ground paste is slowly refined to a chocolate liquid of fine particles and smooth texture. After one week, at the peak of flavor, organic cane sugar is added to the chocolate.
Block the cooled chocolate into large storage bricks (bars) for ageing from 1 to 3 months depending on cacao appellation. Ageing melds and balances flavors.
Tempering chocolate, a process of heating and cooling at very specific temperatures, stabilizes and refines its internal structure and happily gives chocolate its glossy finish and appealing crunch.
Pour tempered chocolate into chocolate bar molds. Coot at 15°C for one day.
Unmold and inspect chocolate bars for quality, free from any cracks or blemishes. Hand wrap chocolate in gold foil and Japanese Washi paper.