PRODUCING CACAO NIBS
There are four steps included in the process of producing cacao nibs and preparing them for roasting.
SoChatti begins with raw ingredients. Cacao beans arrive to us in 69-kilogram (152-pound) burlap sacks. First, we meticulously sort the beans to remove debris.
Flash roasting emits high-heat convection air over short periods of time to rapidly heat, dry and help the shells separate from the raw nibs. Flash roasting encourages the shells to break away from the nibs, while still keeping the shells intact. To flash roast, the artisan spreads a thin layer of beans over a baking sheet and sides it into a convection oven preheated to over 400 degrees Fahrenheit. After less than a minute, the artisan removes the beans from the oven. At this stage, the shells are sanitized while the tender nibs inside each bean remain raw.
Flash-roasted beans are then diced into small pieces instead of crushed. This produces a nib and chaff mixture of nearly uniform size with minimal dust.
The ground beans are then put through a specially designed winnower, powered by circulating air, to separate the nibs from the shells. The nibs are then stored for roasting the next day.