Good fermentation of cocoa beans is the secret to delicious chocolate flavour.

a group of 4 photos showing cocoa beans still in the pod surrounded by the sweet white pulp, the cocoa beans being fermented in wooden boxes.
The fermentation of the cocoa bean, a critical process in the development of the flavour of chocolate.

The good fermentation of cocoa beans is critical in the development of chocolate flavour. When cocao beans are ripe, they are harvested: cut out of the pod still covered in their sweet, white pulp. They are then fermented, put into piles, or placed in wooden boxes to allow the fermentation of the bean. The conditions are warm and wet and the bean, which is the seed of the cacao tree, starts to germinate, breaking down its own stores of sugar and fat, but the sugary pulp attracts moulds and yeast, which start to ferment on the outside of the bean, driving the temperature upwards towards 60 degrees, changing the colour from white to light brown and the heat kills the bean! Luckily for us, the partially germinated interior of the bean contains everything that we need to make delicious chocolate! BUT get this stage wrong and no matter how good a chocolate maker you are, your chocolate won’t taste any good. Which is why we make sure that the fermentation of the cocoa bean is done properly and we taste ALL the cacao that we buy before making it into our delicious chocolate.