Our bean-to-bar chocolate

Perfect quality control of the cocoa supply chain from cocoa bean to chocolate bar

Going against the grain of most chocolate makers, we manufacture Bean-to-Bar chocolates, transforming the beans in our workshops right down to the bar. We meticulously adjust our recipes to the specific fermentation and drying methods used by our cocoa bean growers. Trinitario, Amelonado, Criollo…each variety of cocoa is processed with mastery, for superior quality and distinctive aromas that sublimate the terroirs of origin.

Bean-to-bar: chocolate production from A to Z

Too many professionals already use couverture chocolate of large suppliers to make their chocolate bars without being aware of the origin of the cocoa beans or the production method. This lack of traceability and production control does not only have an impact on the quality of the offered chocolate, but also the working conditions of the producers.

At Nao, ethics, traceability, quality and monitoring of the chocolate supply chain are all part of our values and commitments. This is why we have, of course, gone for a bean-to-bar production method: a chocolate production that we monitor perfectly: from the cocoa bean to the chocolate bar!

Discover our values and commitments

Bean-to-bar is an exciting method of chocolate making that focuses on the quality, ethics and authenticity of chocolate. Here’s what you need to know:

*Bean-to-bar* literally means “from bean to bar”. Being a bean-to-bar chocolatier means making chocolate directly from cocoa beans. Unlike industrial chocolate, where production steps are often outsourced, bean-to-bar chocolatiers handle the entire process in their own factory, and represent less than 2% of the chocolate industry.

Some key points:

  1. Quality and ethics: bean-to-bar chocolatiers care deeply about ingredient quality and ethical practices. They carefully select cocoa beans from producers with whom they work directly.
  2. Variety and authenticity: Each bean-to-bar chocolate bar has its own story. Cocoa beans are selected for their unique profiles, resulting in a varied aromatic palette. Forget what you know about industrial chocolate and rediscover the real taste of cocoa!
  3. Selection criteria: Taste is paramount. The cacao tree’s genetics, terroir and bean fermentation method influence the chocolate’s aromatic palette just as much as roasting and conching. Complexity, length on the palate and finesse are all part of the equation.
  4. In short, bean-to-bar chocolate is a true gustatory adventure, where each bar tells a unique story. If you’re a chocolate lover, there’s a whole world of flavors waiting for you!

Chocolatier ou confiseur ?

Un artisan fabriquant son chocolat depuis la fève de cacao, telle est la définition qui devrait s’appliquer à un chocolatier. Cependant un grand nombre de fabricants se revendiquent chocolatiers alors qu’ils mettent en forme du chocolat produit par la grande industrie, ce qui sème le trouble dans la perception de ce métier par le consommateur. Dès lors, un artisan pratiquant le moulage de chocolat déjà fabriqué devrait plutôt être assimilé à un confiseur. Le chocolatier travaillant la fève maîtrise donc à la fois le goût de son produit et sa traçabilité complète.

The Nao chocolate production stages


1. Harvest

Farmers harvest the cocoa pods, cut them and collect the pulp (beans).


2. Fermentation

The beans ferment and develop their flavours depending on the methods, durations and temperatures that the cooperatives use.


3. Drying

The fermented beans are then spread out and dried in the sun.


4. Roasting

The beans are roasted in our production facilities where the used fermentation method to obtain the required flavours are taken into account.


5. Winnowing

The thin shell of the beans is blown away and removed. Only the beans remain.


6. Grinding

The beans are ground into what is commonly referred to as cocoa paste, cocoa liquor or chocolate liquor, to which sugar, milk, etc. can be added.


7. Conching

This paste is stirred for a long time at different temperatures to develop the subtle aromas of our chocolates.


8. Pouring into the mould

The chocolate is poured in the selected form and, next, cooled.


Carefully selected cocoa beans

The foundation of every good chocolate is high-quality cocoa beans! To guarantee exceptional products, we carefully select the producers of the cocoa beans which we use to make our delicious chocolate.

Controlled organic origin

At Nao, we carefully select the origin of our cocoa beans and the producers that grow them. We only buy from organically certified producers and closely monitor the quality of their beans and their roasting methods. Currently, we work together with three cooperatives: CECAQ 11 on the island of São Tomé and Principe in the Cantagalo region, Flor de Pancansan au Nicaragua and Norandino, in the Amazon region of Peru.

Ethical and responsible bean producers

Guilt-free chocolate enjoyment is a lot tastier and therefore we have selected our cooperatives based on their ethical commitment and social responsibility. To guarantee the wellbeing of producers, we ensure decent working conditions and fixed remuneration which is higher than the fair trade standard.

100% monitored chocolate production

Direct delivery from the producer to the work location

We only use cocoa beans from our own farmers to make our chocolate. Once dried and roasted, they are transported under the best possible conditions to our MO Chocolate production facility in Belgium where delicious Nao chocolate products are hand created.

Discover MO Chocolate

Renowned roasting process

We are well aware of the methods that the cooperatives use to ferment, dry and roast cocoa beans. As previously stated, the beans arrive at our production facility directly from our cooperatives where we immediately start an adjusted roasting process. This phase is essential for the creation of the chocolate flavours.

nos chocolats Bean-to-bar

Monitored processing for authentic flavours

Since we understand every production aspect of our beans, we can adjust our chocolate recipe to get the best out of it! We transform the cocoa beans into chocolate at our MO Chocolate production facility.

We select the correct temperature, conching time and intensity to obtain the required flavour profile and texture. This is how we create chocolates with a wide range of flavours: fruity, spicy, caramelised, with vanilla, sweet, subtly bitter, etc. There is something for everyone!

If you have questions about our chocolate production,