Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: What does it mean?
Bean to Bar
Most of our visitors may have heard of the term bean to bar. But what does it actually mean?
Of course, the translation is not that difficult: ‘from bean to bar’. If we only look at the term itself, we can, therefore, remember that it is chocolate made from cocoa bean to chocolate bar. Does it apply to all chocolate? Certainly! (We actually operate from TREE-TO-BAR since we go directly to the farmer, buy the beans and bring them to the factory were the go straight into production.)
The difference is therefore mainly who makes the chocolate.
Now take the chocolatier around the corner, where you can get those delicious bonbons and often chocolate bars. The chocolatier will usually buy ready-to-use couverture chocolate from larger chocolate factories/mass industry. These enormous corporations buy the cocoa, burn it, grind it. In short, they make chocolate out of it.
So they do not do anything with the cocoa beans themselves. That does not mean that the work of a chocolatier cannot be beautiful. Melt the chocolate and let it solidify again (tempering), pouring into special shapes, combining with delicious flavors – this too is definitely a craft. But it is not a bean to bar, because this chocolatier will never encounter a cocoa bean.
The Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Maker
A bean-to-bar chocolate maker is, therefore, someone who is responsible for the purchase of the cocoa beans, he roasts them himself, grinds the nibs, adds sugar, pours the chocolate into a mold. In short: he makes the chocolate, all by himself.
The term is mainly used specifically for smaller makers. The huge chocolate factories also buy the beans themselves, and partly make chocolate of them. But then we are talking about something completely different. A multi-billion company that makes chocolate in all shapes and sizes, chocolates are all kinds of different brand names in the supermarket.
In addition, there are a number of almost universally shared values:
The origin of the cocoa. The origin of the cocoa has a great influence on the taste. Virtually all makers state where the cocoa comes from, and can also tell you exactly which cocoa farmer or cooperative the cocoa was purchased from. Many will also be able to tell you something about the price they pay for the cocoa. And how it goes with the cocoa farmer. We buy our products from local farmers in Bali, Indonesia. It is very important for us to support the local community and help them grow.
The quality of the cocoa. On the world market, the large majority is ‘bulk cocoa’ – cocoa seen as a commodity. Cocoa where you pay per tonne, and the quality is a side issue – it can be masked with additions anyway. For bean-to-bar makers, the quality of the cocoa is extremely important. How the cocoa grows, how it is fermented and dried. Our cocoa beans are grown organically with sustainable farming methods.
The ingredient list is short.