The Roasting Process: The Art of Creating the Perfect Aroma
Lindt & Sprüngli processes the cocoa beans into cocoa mass in its own facilities. Our European Cocoa Center is based in Olten, Switzerland. Here the carefully selected premium cocoa beans are mixed according to precise recipes. The actual bean mix in each case is a closely guarded manufacturing secret, as the expert blending of the flavors of the individual bean varieties from different regions is what gives Lindt chocolate its special taste.
After blending, the cocoa beans are placed in special machines, where the shells are split open and removed by mechanical removing and air currents, leaving behind the cocoa “nibs”. The nibs are then roasted using a specialized process, which is what gives the cocoa its unique and exquisite aroma. Lindt & Sprüngli deliberately roasts just the nibs rather than the entire cocoa beans, to achieve a very even roasting result. As with coffee, the cocoa beans may have a light or dark roast depending on their eventual use. Very soon after that, they are processed into the end product so as to ensure that the chocolate retains the delicate flavor of the roasted beans.
Roasting is one of Lindt & Sprüngli’s core skills and requires a very sophisticated process that ensures a perfect match between roasting temperature and duration. The cocoa nibs, which have been roasted but are still relatively coarse, are then cracked and ground very finely in special mills. The heat created by the pressure and friction liquefies the cocoa butter contained in the beans to produce a thick paste known as cocoa mass. The cocoa mass is dark brown in color and has a strong characteristic smell and flavor. It provides the basis for the next stage of the chocolate-making process - conching.
Conching Chocolate, a Revolution for the Chocolate Industry
Until 1879 chocolate was not the velvety, sweet and melt-in-the-mouth delicacy that we know today. Instead it was a brittle, rough-surfaced and somewhat bitter substance which was laboriously pressed into moulds by hand. With the invention of the chocolate conche by Rodolphe Lindt in 1879 the production of chocolate was revolutionized. This step of manufacturing was the basis of smooth-melting chocolate as we know it today. Since then, the technology has been continuously refined, and today, the ground-breaking invention of the chocolate pioneer Rodolphe Lindt is used throughout the industry.