By Michael Laiskonis—Creative Director
Previously harvested, fermented and dried at origin, cocoa beans arrive at ICE’s Chocolate Lab ready to transform from raw bean to finished chocolate bar through cleaning, roasting, winnowing, milling, refining, conching and tempering. There is no specific formula to determine optimum roasting time and temperature across the board: beans of different size, variety and origin require a unique roasting profile to achieve the desired end results. It is at this stage where the manufacturer begins to place an individual stamp on the finished product.In general, the chocolate roasting process is similar to that of coffee, except coffee needs fast, high-temperature roasts, while cacao should be handled gently, with a lower and slower treatment. Typical cacao roasting temperatures range from 250°-275°F up to 350°F, with the roasting process lasting between 30-90 minutes. Other variables—such as a cold or hot start and temperature adjustments during the process—are influenced by the inherent characteristics of the beans and the particular style of the manufacturer.
Read on to learn more about the chocolate roasting process.