The Process


Beautiful, delicious, luxurious. The universe is unfolding. Hannie takes care to craft small batches of exquisite chocolate, from the raw ingredients through to the finished ba Harvesting, Fermentation & Drying

The Sections below give brief overview of the entire process of the artisan crafting of Hannie chocolate


Harvesting, Fermentation & Drying

There are typically two harvests per year. Once harvest begins, cacao pods are skillfully cut from the branches of the cacao tree and cut open with a machete. Inside each cacao pod there are raw cacao beans surrounded by a white pulp called mucilage. In this state, the wet cacao is transferred to wooden boxes to ferment. Fermentation can last for up to seven days and based on processes at the origin, the beans are turned every few days. When fermentation has completed, the beans are laid out to dry on beds until their moisture level is around 8%. Once this has been achieved, the beans are packed up in jute bags and are shipped throughout the world to craft chocolate makers.

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Sorting

When we receive our beans, we sort through all of them to take out any detritus. This is considered any clumped beans, germinated beans, pieces of jute bag, rocks etc. Although this seems very tedious, it is essential in order to ensure that none of the poor quality beans or any other items get into the mix and negatively affect the flavor of the batch

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Roasting

We roast our beans in Bean Roaster at various levels and for different durations to bring out the natural flavor profiles of the beans. During the roasting process chemical reactions occur where the beans start to develop their flavor. The bitter notes and the moisture content of the beans also decrease during this process. Once we are happy with the particular roasting profile and our work area is full of fragrant aromas we cool the beans down and its at this point where the nibs will start to detract from the husks of the beans.

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Cracking

We crack open our cooled cocoa beans by running them through a Champion Juicer. This allows the nib and husks to separate.

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Winnowing

When we put them through our Sylph Winnower, an air pressure system separates the nibs from the shell and air sucks the husks into a separate container while the nibs are collected and are ready to be ground.

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Grinding

Once the nibs have gone through the winnower, we grind them through a Champion Juicer. This allows us to break down the nibs from their whole state into a liquid called chocolate liquor. Once all of the beans have been ground into the liquor, we are ready to put them into our melanger. Refining and Conching Our melangers have two granite rolling stones that rotate over a granite platform. The grinding at a fast speed allows the particles of the chocolate liquor to decrease in size and release cocoa butter. We then mix pure cane organic sugar with the cocoa liquor to get to our desired cocoa percentage for our chocolate. The flavor profile of our chocolate further develops as we run the chocolate through the melanger to the desired particle size of about 20 microns. When we achieve that particle size, the chocolate will have a nice shine and be silky smooth on your palate.

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Tempering and Molding

Once we achieve the perfect particle size, it is time to temper the chocolate in order to achieve that perfect shine, smoothness and snap. The tempering process allows us to build the appropriate crystallization structures by taking it to various temperature levels. When chocolate is at the perfect level of crystallization, it will have a nice shine, a good snap when you break it and favorable melt properties. At this stage we do not have a big tempering machine but have grown fond of tempering by hand on a 24 in x 24 in Calacatta Gold marble slab. The marble’s cool surface is beneficial in helping cool the chocolate down during the process. Upon getting our chocolate in temper at the right working temperature we fill our polycarbonate molds.

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Packaging

After the chocolate bars have set, we demold them and they are then ready for their packaging. In order to provide a unique chocolate experience, we do not hand wrap each bar in foil. We felt that packaging each bar in an environmentally friendly, aluminum lined kraft envelope with an easy re-sealable would allow the chocolate to stay fresh and be susceptible to the other scents in the atmosphere. Every time you open the package, you should receive a pleasant flavorful aroma of the chocolate. We hope that this will aid in evoking a euphoric chocolate experience.

Packaging material

Packaging is a very important and sensitive part of the production chain at Hannie. Apart from being appealing to the consumer and detailing the contents, packaging needs to fulfil its essential function of protecting the delicate chocolate When sourcing our packaging materials, we often source from suppliers from the EU, and the USA. This helps to avoid long transportation routes and high emission levels. However, many of our more decorative seasonal and promotional packaging items,, are sourced from manufacturers in Asia, where we can access a highly specialized market for such products. To make sure that also our Asian suppliers comply with the Hannie Supplier Code of Conduct regarding issues such as the prohibition of forced labor and child labor or the freedom of association, Hannie chocolate monitors and improves responsible production practices through the Supplier Sustainable Practice Program (SSPP). This Program is based on a progress-oriented approach: Assessment and reassessment visits are combined with support engagements. During these, sustainability experts help the suppliers to improve identified non-compliances through on- and off-site support. Progress on the production practices is driven through close collaboration of our buyers with the suppliers and production sites.

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TASTING TIPS

Yes, you have been eating solid foods since you were an infant…what can we tell you about this process that you don’t already know you ask? Well, if you want to fully appreciate all the subtle flavours, you need to eat fine chocolate differently than other foods. Some of the flavours are gentle ones that are lying delicately underneath the bolder ones. Some of the flavours are rich and complex. To reach them all in turn, put the chocolate on your tongue and let it melt. Don’t chomp into it (your teeth and cheeks don’t have taste buds!). As the chocolate melts the flavours will develop and evolve, and since it is sitting right on your tongue, you will taste all the possible flavours. Savour each flavour as it appears. Fruit, citrus, bitter, floral, leather, fudge, raisin and many more are all possible. The flavours can linger for a while too, so savour the taste long after the chocolate itself is melted and gone from your mouth