Escazu: Bean-to-Bar Microbatch Chocolate

Escazu is located in Raleigh, NC, and is one of the oldest micro bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the US. Hallott Parson was kind enough to let me research the bean-to-bar process with him. (www.lauraflorand.com
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A bag of cacao beans, waiting to be roasted, at Escazu. (www.lauraflorand.com)

A bag of cacao beans, waiting to be roasted, at Escazu. (www.lauraflorand.com)

Escazu Chocolate. The chocolate roaster used for roasting the beans. Hallott says it's probably from early 20th century, as he had to get older equipment from Spain to find what he wanted.

The chocolate roaster used for roasting the beans. Hallott says it's probably from early century, as he had to get older equipment from Spain to find what he wanted.

The Escazu melangeur, where the beans are ground for several days to make chocolate. It came from Spain, very early 1900s. This photo is used with permission by Hallott Parson, as my own were not too well-shot. (www.lauraflorand.com)

The Escazu melangeur, where the beans are ground for several days to make chocolate. It came from Spain, very early 1900s. This photo is used with permission by Hallott Parson, as my own were not too well-shot. (www.lauraflorand.com)

The chocolate winnowing machine at Escazu. (www.lauraflorand.com)

The chocolate winnowing machine at Escazu. (www.lauraflorand.com)

The room where the melangeur works is kept sealed off from the rest of the space and entry into it kept at a minimum, so that the chocolate remains pure.

The room where the melangeur works is kept sealed off from the rest of the space and entry into it kept at a minimum, so that the chocolate remains pure.

Escazu's beautiful handmade molded chocolates, also from their own chocolate, so produced their from the bean.

Escazu's beautiful handmade molded chocolates, also from their own chocolate, so produced their from the bean.

Handmade bars at Escazu, cooling, made all the way from the bean in the small space behind their little café front.

Handmade bars at Escazu, cooling, made all the way from the bean in the small space behind their little café front.

Escazu. Hand-wrapping their bars, made all the way from the beans imported from Venezuela and Costa Rica, from two specific farms. (www.lauraflorand.com)

Escazu. Hand-wrapping their bars, made all the way from the beans imported from Venezuela and Costa Rica, from two specific farms. (www.lauraflorand.com)

Winnowing the shells away, to leave only the nibs. Escazu. (www.lauraflorand.com)

Winnowing the shells away, to leave only the nibs. Escazu. (www.lauraflorand.com)

A close-up of the cacao beans, Escazu Chocolate. (www.lauraflorand.com)

A close-up of the cacao beans, Escazu Chocolate. (www.lauraflorand.com)

Some of the things found in the beans. The reason they have to be sorted by hand.

Some of the things found in the beans. The reason they have to be sorted by hand.

Sorting the beans at Escazu. Done by hand.

Sorting the beans at Escazu.

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