The Process

On the farm:

1. SOURCING
The regions currently selected by Thea are from different countries from around the cocoa-coffee belt. We chose countries like Nicaragua, Ecuador, Belize and Guatemala because each origin has its own immutable distinctive character based on the terroir it came from. We also make sure we work with producers who share the same values around transparency, sustainability and accountability as we do.

2. HARVESTING
Farmers cut off the ripe pods from the cocoa trees. To bring out the distinctive flavor of the beans, the pods are fermented for about 3-8 days in bins covered with banana leaves. Producers mix and move the beans, a process known as “turning”, to incorporate oxygen.  Fermentation plays a huge role in the flavor development and the acidity of the final product.

3. DRYING
After the lengthy process of fermentation is complete, the seeds are dried out in the sun to reduce the moisture content and humidity of the beans. After drying, the beans are packed and ready to be aged before being shipped to a storage warehouse then to Thea.

In our workshop:

1. SORTING
Once the beans arrive to Thea, they are sorted by hand, removing any debris, and stored until we are ready to roast them.

2. ROASTING
The beans, from each origin separately, are slowly and gradually roasted in small batches in the Thea factory to bring out the natural flavor of chocolate. Each origin has a different type of roasting profile to enhance the particular taste trait of the bean.

3.CRACKING & WINNOWING
After the beans have cooled they are cracked to break the shells from the heart of the cocoa bean, the nibs. Next, they are fed into the winnower, the precious nibs are separated from the husks.

4. GRINDING
The nibs are then loaded into a stone grinder with sugar and other ingredients to be liquefied in small batches over several days, creating the purest liquid chocolate. This chocolate is then poured into blocks and aged until it is time to turn them into bars or enjoyed in recipes.

5. TEMPERING & MOLDING
The final step of the chocolate journey is tempering the chocolate by melting and cooling it to get the right form of crystallization. At this stage, the chocolate is poured into our molds and cooled.

6. WRAPPING

Once our bars are finished we hand wrap each one and they are ready to be enjoyed.