+ What Is Bean To Bar?
Bean to bar chocolate is all about integrity.
It's Making Chocolate From The Bean
Think most do? Think again. Less than 10% to 0% of the chocolate shops in your city are bean to bar chocolate makers. The rest are chocolatiers. Bean to bar makers are rare, so get excited when you see one.
True bean to bar makers want you to know they differ in two respects: They are not chocolatiers, and they are not mass producing chocolate from bulk cacao.
True bean to bar makers pay a premium for high quality cacao (think heirloom tomatoes or wild picked strawberries). Close to 90% of all chocolate in the world is made from bulk cacao (think grocery store flavourless tomatoes and jumbo strawberries). It takes a great deal of effort for farmers to grow fine cacao, so makers who use it can pay around 3 to 5 times more per kilo than makers who use bulk cacao. As for Dark Chocolate, ingredients should be: cacao beans, sugar, and maybe cocoa butter. That's it.
The Makers Should Be Highly Informed
They should know where the cacao bean comes from beyond the country of origin. What is the name of the region? The farm? Or better yet, who is the farmer? They should know something about the variety of cacao used. In rare instances, the makers may even be the growers!
Fair Trade & Transparency
True bean to bar makers should be able to tell you where they get their cacao, and be transparent about the process of making it. They are focused on the integrity of the cacao, as well as the people connected to it. Bean To Bar is about valuing the people involved and the work they do.
Be Aware Of mimicry
There are makers who state they are bean to bar, when they in fact are not. Bean to bar is about having control over a high quality ingredient, and some "bean to bar" makers receive cacao already roasted, obtain cocoa mass (refined cocoa beans), or even blend fine cacao with bulk cacao, which defeats the purpose. They also likely get their cacao really cheap. If you can't figure out if they are bean to bar or not, they're probably not. As well, Just because someone is a bean to bar maker, doesn't automatically mean they make it well.
Flavour Is Not Subjective
Sure, we may have our favourites, but you can in fact taste quality, you just need to learn how. The best way to learn about bean to bar is to taste! If you're in Vancouver, join a workshop or meetup. I'd love to meet you and talk chocolate. If you don't live in the area, check out my FREE online academy or locate a maker near you!
Join The Bean To Bar Movement
Be an informed consumer. satisfaction guaranteed.
Fun Chocolate Facts From Around The World
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Light Blue: Cacao growing, or cacao growing and bean to bar making countries