HOW IS CHOCOLATE MADE???
You must pick the bean
EACH CACAO TREE PRODUCES
Step 2: Fermentation
Fermentation is a vital step in forming the flavor of the bean!
Each pod holds around 40 beans, each with its own sugary white coating that gives the bean energy to germinate. This sugar is also used to start up the fermentation process. The beans are scooped out immediately, as they will germinate if left alone, and are put in "sweatboxes" to ferment.
After the beans are set, natural yeast spores in the air land on the sugary bean coating, and split the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide through alcoholic fermentation. Other bacteria then break down alcohol into acetic acid, which is later removed.
Due to the vast amount of fermentation, the beans heat up to temperatures as hot as 122°F (48°C), killing off the germ within the bean. When the germ dies, enzymes are released in the bean forming part of that chocolate flavor we all love. The beans must also be rotated to get oxygen consistently throughout, and this must be done exactly right.
Final Step! The chocolate you know
Once the beans have fermented, they are either set out in the sun or put in a machine to dry. This brings down the bean humidity, and depending on the temperatures and length of time dried, the chocolate flavor and aroma will be affected. The beans are then roasted at scorching temperatures of 248°F (120°C), killing any other microbes that live in the chocolate.
The beans are then cleaned, grounded, and heated up until liquid. From there the chocolate is shipped to make the bars we know today!