We are a small batch craft chocolate maker. We work each batch to bring out all the exiting and amazing flavors and aromas of our cacao beans, offering a unique experience with each of our bars.
We are a “Bean-to-Bar” craft chocolate maker, because we start our process of making chocolates from the harvest until the chocolate bar.
We study each variety of cacao we use to make our chocolate, that allow us to created protocols in every step of the process, so we can boost all the flavors and aromas that have our beans. Allowing us to create a chocolate bar rich in flavor but at the same time really balance and with a creamy texture.
The cacao fruit grows between the parallel +20° and -20° degrees of latitude north and south from the Equator. His origin is in the Amazon basin and his scientific name is “Theobroma Cacao”, that means “The food of the Goods”.
There are two groups of cacao, the “Common Cacaos” and the “Fine Aromas Cacaos”, this last ones bring out a lot of complexity and richness in aromas and flavors. They represent the 5% of the world production,
In Maraná we have bean sourcing around Perú from a long time to find the 3 best varieties of Peruvian fine aroma cacaos, that it will surprise you with their bright and fresh Fruit flavors and aromas.
The three variety of Fine Aroma cacaos we use to make our chocolates are:
Cacao Variety: Amazónico
Origin: San Martín Region
Cacao Variety: Chuncho
Origin: Cusco Region
Cacao Variety: Blanco
Origin: Piura Region
The Process at the Farms
Our cocoas are harvested once a year for periods of four months. It is very important that the harvest is carried out at the optimum ripening point of the cacao pod, so that the cocoa fruit arrives to the fermentation process with a good amount of sugar for an optimal fermentation. The harvesting process consists of removing the pods from the tree, splitting them with a small machete without damaging the inside almonds, then removing these almonds, that are covered with a white sweet pulp, and placing them in a sacks or a buckets. Then they are taken to the fermentation center of their Cooperative. One of the great challenges of this process, is taking the cocoa almonds from the fields to the fermentation centers immediately, because once the pod is cut from the tree, the process of fermentation has already started.
To have really good cacao beans this process is crucial. A good fermentation makes cocoa beans bring out all its flavors and aromas. This process is done by placing the cocoa beans in wooden drawers covered with banana leaves and jute bags for about 3 to 7 days (depending on the variety of cocoa). This part of the process causes a chemical reaction, generating acetic and lactic acid that kills the seed and prevents it from germinating. When this it is achieved correctly, makes the flavors of the beans emerge and boost.
This process is very important to round off the fermentation, what we seek here is to dry the cocoa beans very slowly to eliminate all the acids generated in the fermentation and at the same time we want the beans to reaches a humidity level of 6% to protect it. Reaching this humidity level, the bean has a longer shelf live and it maintain in optimal conditions. Once the cocoa has dried, it is placed on bags and stored in the cooperative warehouse. At this point it is ready to be dispatched to Maraná.
The Process at the Factory
Once the cocoa beans arrive at the Maraná factory, we make a quality control to eliminate any impurity typical of it, so we only keep the best beans for our process. Once this is done, we make three different roasting profiles to determine which make this batch expresses the best flavors and aromas. Once we decide the roasting profile, we roast our bean in order to bring out all the flavors that were generated in the fermentation process. This is where our chocolate takes all its personality.
ln this Process we seek to remove the husk from the bean, becoming the "Cacao Nib". It is very important to remove the husk from the bean, because the husk carries a lot of the bad flavors of the fermentation process, and we don’t want does flavors in our chocolate. For this reason, we have a very meticulous process to ensure the removal of the husk and can achieve to have very clean cacao nibs.
In Maraná we only use three ingredients to make our Dark chocolate (Organic Cocoa Nib, Cocoa Butter and Organic Cane Sugar) and for the Milk chocolate we add one more ingredient (Skim Milk). In this stage we develop our recipes, so we decide the quantity of each ingredient that we are going to use for a specific batch. Here we also determine the techniques of the Refining and Conching processes base in the profile of flavors we have achieve in the roasting process.
Once the formulation is done, we place all the ingredients in our stone refiner to start making our chocolate. This is an old craft technique of making chocolate. We like this machines because it creates a smooth texture and makes the flavors emerge throughout the process in a very special way. Once we achieve the desired particle size of the mixture we release the pressure of the stones from the machine and we automatically begin our conching process.
In this process, our goal is to cover evenly all the solid particles with the fat particles to generate a unique creaminess and texture.
Tempering and Molding:
Tempering is key to create a unique experience, this process is the result of changing the temperature of the chocolate and adding agitation to it, this generates a chemical reaction, in which crystals are created that give shine to the chocolate, a rigidity that make a dry sound when you break it called “snap”, and allow you to achieve the melting point in mouth, so the chocolate can express all its flavors in a unique and harmonious way. Once the chocolate is properly tempered in our machine, it is poured into the molds to give life to Maraná chocolate bars.
Our bars are packed manually. The internal packaging is a flow pack that allows the chocolate to be well sealed, preserving all its aromas, and protecting it from moisture and any external element. Making the chocolate stay in optimal conditions. Finally, we dress our bars with a colorful packaging that tells about the origin and the Peruvian culture.
What are you waiting to try them?