From cocoa to cocoa mass is an intricate and painstaking process.
Once the cocoa grains are harvested from the cocoa pods they are exposed to sun just long enough to lightly stain them purple. They are then fermented to reduce the level of sugar in the grain which changes their colour to chocolate brown. Following this process they are dried, cleaned and any stones removed before roasting at 120° to produce the rich flavour and colour of cocoa. The following rapid cooling process prevents further internal roasting which could spoil the grains.
The roasted seeds are passed through a press to separate out the kernel from the husk the result of which is a thick, liquid, brown cocoa mass, rich in cocoa butter and fine cocoa particles. The mass is then exposed to high pressure from which the cocoa butter is extruded. The residue is then ground into cocoa powder.
Cocoa butter, cocoa mass and cocoa powder are the three main raw materials from which chocolate is made.