What Exactly is a Cocoa Bean? | Friars

If you’re reading this, the chances are you enjoy good chocolates. We all do, which is exactly why we have devoted our lives to ensuring our customers have access to the very best chocolate in the world, all handmade by our team of expert chocolatiers based in the North of England. See our classics, our wonderful creations and more!

Chocolate is our life, and has been since Friars first opened its doors in 1927, we’ve been making chocolate in the same way ever since. None of it would be possible however without the humble Cocoa Bean, the unsung hero of the chocolate world and a delicious little bean that has changed the way we all enjoy confectionery. Find out more about what a Cocoa Bean is and how it has revolutionised the food industry below.

The Cocoa Bean – The Secret Ingredient

Ok, it’s not really a secret ingredient, but it is a special one. The Cocoa Bean is actually a seed, and comes from a Cacao plant. It’s a very hard and bitter seed that grows on Cacao plants in the form of Cocoa Pods. These plants and their pods are generally found in the Southern Hemisphere, mainly in South America. 

These plants are able to grow around 1,000 Cocoa Beans per year, which is enough to produce around 2lbs of chocolate, or around 1/23rd of a standard chocolate bar.

These beans are of course mixed with other ingredients depending on the type of chocolate, such as milk and sugar, therefore the bitter flavour of the bean is washed away by the creamy texture of additional milk and of course, by the sweetness of sugar. 

How Does a Cocoa Bean Turn To Chocolate

Once the beans are harvested (there’s a very specific time they need to be picked in order to ensure the Cocoa Beans are just right), the moist beans are roasted and are then turned into a powder. The high temperature of the roasting process causes the beans to dry out and then also changes their flavour. Unroasted beans have a more bitter taste and are often referred to as Cacao Beans. 

This powder is then mixed in with other ingredients like milk and sugar in order to produce the final product. You can also buy Cocoa powder yourself, but this is generally mixed in with other flavours and enhancers to ensure that you’re not left with a bitter taste after trying some. 

See more about the exciting creations Friars creates every day using the incredible Cocoa Bean! Shop our chocolate collections online.

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