The first process step is cleaning the beans followed by debacterization at 127°C / 260°F using steam. Traditional roasting then occurs slowly and gently in small batches. Roasting times and temperatures are individually determined, depending on the desired roast aroma and bean characteristics.
The cooled beans proceed to the breaker, where they are broken into pieces and the shells removed. The small pieces then pass over three pairs of round milling stones in the 3-roll mill to achieve a fineness of 25 to 30 micrometer. Finally the mass is further refined to 15 to 20 micrometer by 150 kg of small ceramic balls in the ball mill.
The recipe for dark chocolate is mixed in the kneader: liquid cacao mass, liquid cacao butter, sugar and when the recipe requires, natural Madagascan vanilla. Milk and cream powder are added if milk chocolate is desired. The mass is kneaded for a few minutes and then passes through the pre-roller and fine roller to achieve a fineness close to 16 micrometer.
The traditional longitudinal conche releases the hidden chocolate flavours through hours of friction and airing. Conching may take up to 72 hours, depending on the characteristics of the beans and the recipe. Many desirably delicious flavours unfold during the slow build up of heat from the friction.