When ›fermentation‹ is complete, the cocoa seeds still contain around 60% residual moisture. For shipping, we dry them to a residual moisture of 6 to 7% – just as cocoa farmers used to do hundreds of years ago: under the sun.
Traditionally cocoa is dried for about ten days in the sun and the team rotates it several times a day. The light breeze and the warm sun ensure that the moisture and the acids escape uniformly.
Through the installation of sliding roofs and the use of stored solar energy, we combine three methods in one plant.
- The sun-drying method which we use on sunny and slightly cloudy days: a natural drying process through direct sunlight and wind.
- In contrast, we use the greenhouse-drying method on wet, grey, overcast days with rain showers or drizzle. The fine flavour cocoa dries through air circulation in the greenhouse.
- Artificial drying is used at times of persistent rain: drying through ventilators that blow warm air into the drying beds for several hours a day.