A pile of multicoloured cacao pods fills the frame.

Chocolate: From Bean to Bar

Find out how these magic beans turn into income for over 300 families in our Asháninka project.

Sketchy illustration of a cacao tree with pods hanging from it's branches and trunk.

Food of the Gods
Chocolate really is the “Food of the gods” – that’s what Theobroma cacao, the scientific name for Cacao means.

An illustration of two cacao pods.

Fruit of the Forest
It takes 5 years for a Cacao Tree to produce its first pods that grow straight out of the trunk.

Illustration of an open cacao pod showing the beans within.

Magic Beans
Inside each pod are 40 cocoa beans. It takes about 200 beans to produce one pound of chocolate.

Illustration of a yellow sun drying cacao beans

Under the Sun
The beans change from white to dark brown as they ferment and then dry in the sun to develop their flavour.

Illustration of a bag of cacao beans

Bon Voyage
The dried beans are ready to leave the forest and begin their journey to a chocolatier.

Illustration of cacao nibs being ground in a hand grinder.

Nuts for Nibs
One more layer to go. The beans must be cracked to remove the husk to get at the nibs – the bit that actually goes into the chocolate we eat.

Illustration of a cacao concher. Cacao is 'conched' by rolling them under pressure for many hours.

To conch or not to conch?
Chocolate gets its smooth texture from conching. Chocolate and sugar particles are ground so small the tongue can’t detect any separation – just one deliciously smooth mouthful.

Illustration of chocolate being poured into a bar shape.

Bar Time
Finally time for the chocolate to be turned into bars, truffles or Easter Eggs.