The Process

How Cacao Beans Become Chocolate

What makes Chocolate Thunder so special? I'll explain it all below. How it's made and how that makes our chocolate better than 99% of other chocolates.

1. Sourcing - The Quest For The Finest Cacao

Our journey begins on farms all over the world, where the finest cacao pods are hand picked. Cacao pods contain seeds called cacao beans. Each bean, a little gem, is selected for its unique flavor profile, ensuring every one of our chocolate bars has a unique flavor. We partner with small farms, co-ops, and families who pay their employees a fair wage and support their communities.

2. Roasting - Crafting Flavors With Care

Roasting is where magic happens. We use a specially adapted rotisserie drum roaster, treating each batch with individual care to bring out the unique flavors of the cacao. Every bean has a perfect roast profile consisting of time and temperature. Too long and hot and you lose the fruity notes. Not long and hot enough and you miss out on the delicious chocolatey flavors. We have tested our roasts at multiple temperatures across 30 second intervals to hone in on what our customers enjoy most. This unconventional method allows us to tailor the roasting profile for each bean variety, ensuring a symphony of complex and robust flavors.

3. Crack & Winnow - The Art Of Separation

Our custom cracker & winnower, breaks cacao beans into tiny pieces called nibs. The nibs then fall into the winnower where the light weight shell is sucked out while the heavier nibs fall into a bucket. The end result is a bucket full of cacao nibs with less that 1% shell. The discarded shell or husk, can then be bagged and used to make cacao tea or used as mulch in your garden.

4. Refining - A Dance Of Textures

In our stone melangers, the cacao nibs transform into liquid gold. Over several days, granite wheels crush the cacao nibs creating heat allowing the naturally occurring cocoa butter to be released. As the cocoa butter is released, the nibs turn to chocolate and begin to develop a smooth texture and harmonious flavor. This slow and careful process results in a chocolate that's not just a treat for the palate but a feast for the soul.

5. Tempering - The Secret To The Perfect Snap

Tempering is where our chocolate gets its characteristic shine and snap. We use a method called silk seeding, a technique as delicate as it sounds, to achieve the perfect crystallization. Cacao butter is easy to temper using a sous vide cooker. We add 0.5% of this cacao silk to 94F chocolate to cause a chain reaction of cocoa butter crystallization that results in a glossy finish and a satisfying snap, hallmark of premium quality chocolate.

6. Packaging - Wrapped With Love

Finally, our chocolate is carefully packaged by hand, ready to embark on its journey to you. Each bar is not just a product, but a piece of our passion and dedication, wrapped in a package that tells the story of those who grew the beans.

Thunderous Flavor, Ethical Roots

Experience the roar of pure ingredients and the quiet revolution of ethics and sustainability

Better Than Fair Trade

We often pay up to five times more for our beans to ensure farmers can support their families, employees, and communities. Most importantly, they won't have to resort to unpaid child labor.

Unique Tasting Notes

Each single origin bar has it's own naturally occurring tasting notes like raspberry, raisin, or caramel.

Gently Roasted

By lightly roasting the beans, we ensure this dark chocolate is pleasant for most people. Not burnt like that stuff you get at the grocery store.

USDA Organic Vegan Sugar

The worlds most superior sugar grown on a sustainable farm in Brazil where they maintain the habitats of over 280 animal species on their property. Not only great tasting sugar, but great for the planet!