Cocoa beans are the fruit of the cacao tree. Cacao beans were called cocoa beans and not cacao beans due to a spelling mistake made by English importers in the 18th century when chocolate first became popular.
Every stage of cocoa production is done by hand: planting, irrigating, harvesting, fermenting and drying. Another reason why fine chocolate justifies its price.
Over 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa, which provides the bulk of cocoa used for mass-produced chocolate.
It takes 3 to 5 years before the cocoa tree bears fruit. EACH TREE produces around 1,000 beans a year, but that is only enough to make just 1 kg of chocolate.
It takes 4 cacao seeds to make 1 ounce of milk chocolate, and 12 seeds to make 1 ounce of dark chocolate.