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Amazing beans

Over half of the world's cocoa beans come from Ghana and The Ivory Coast, then Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil and Ecuador. These amazing beans just love the tropical heat around the equator. Despite the sunny climes though, it's not easy being a cocoa farmer. Each tree yields 20-30 cocoa pods a year with about 20-40 beans inside each pod, so it takes roughly a year for 1 tree to produce just 1/2 kg of chocolate.

The pods ripen at different times and are all harvested individually with machetes, left to ferment for the cocoa butter to develop, before being dried, cleaned and generally packaged for export. Roasting the beans is where the main flavours develop, but the way they are farmed, harvested and the aromas and environment around them during fermentation all have an influence on the final taste - even cocoa beans grown on the same island can have very different flavour profiles. To check out the taste of the beans look for single estate, bean to bar craft chocolate from different countries and discover toffee and treacle, raisin and fruit notes, and hints of floral and spice....

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