From bean to cocoa: Crafting the finest cocoa powders

Masters of Cacao

Although Bensdorp attaches a great deal of importance to groundbreaking research and development, the method we use to process cocoa beans into cocoa products essentially has not changed over the last 180 years. Until this very day we still blend, clean, roast, winnow and Dutch our cocoa beans according to the original Bensdorp recipes before processing them into the world’s finest cocoa powder.

The Bensdorp Cocoa Processing Video

Watch how our close to 180 years of Holland-born passion and dedication have made us at Bensdorp to be recognized as the Masters of truly refined premium cocoa powders!

Blending premium cocoa beans exclusively

The secret to the consistent color, taste and quality of our cocoa powder recipes is a well-balanced blend of three specific West African cocoa beans:

- Ghanaian cocoa beans possess a distinct chocolate flavor.

- Cameroonian cocoa beans have amazing color properties.

- Côte d’Ivoire cocoa beans have a robustness that brings the right raw cocoa intensity to the blend.

Blending the finest West-African cocoa beans
Blending the finest West-African cocoa beans

Bensdorp exclusively works with the best cocoa beans found on the West African market for its signature cocoa powders. Their quality and level of fermentation are exceptional, which translates into an outstanding cocoa and chocolate flavor.

The Dutching

After cleaning, breaking and de-shelling the cocoa beans, only the purest of cocoa nibs remain. Those can either be Dutched (alkalized) or roasted directly (natural process). Bensdorp still Dutches its nibs according to the authentic 19th century method.

dutching
dutching

 Of course, our state-of-the-art equipment differs greatly from the machinery used in the 19th century, but the process essentially has not changed. The Dutching or alkalisation in other words refers to the process when cocoa nibs are treated with an alkali solution (potassium or sodium carbonate). This allows us to improve the color, flavor and solubility of the final cocoa powder so it fits your food and drink application perfectly.

Small-batch roasting to preserve the original cocoa flavor

All steps so far have been really important flavor and color precursors. But roasting is where the magic really happens. Roasting the cocoa nibs releases the intense chocolate flavor and all the characteristic aromas and colors that lie hidden deeply in their core. 

We choose to roast the cocoa nibs directly instead of roasting them in their shells. This helps to release all colors and flavors better. And thanks to our batch roasting system we keep a tight rein on the quality of the roasting process, with cocoa experts monitoring every step.

roasting nibs
grinding

Grinding – For impeccable cocoa powder fineness

During a multi-stage grinding process the roasted cocoa nibs are transformed into cocoa liquor, which consists of a liquid mix of cocoa solids and cocoa butter. The standards our cocoa liquors have to meet are among the highest in the cocoa industry and their levels of fineness are a lot higher than the ones applied in the chocolate industry.

grinding

After the cocoa nibs are ground into cocoa liquor, a second blending process follows. The Bensdorp signature cocoa liquors are blended together according to meticulously measured recipes. All of our cocoa liquors have specific color, flavor and wettability characteristics that, when blended together, work together in symphony to bring the wonderful world of chocolate taste, color and texture into your product.

Our signature premium cocoa liquors

After the cocoa nibs are ground into cocoa liquor, a second blending process follows. The Bensdorp signature cocoa liquors are blended together according to meticulously measured recipes. All of our cocoa liquors have specific color, flavor and wettability characteristics that, when blended together, work together in symphony to bring the wonderful world of chocolate taste, color and texture into your product.

Cocoa liquor

Pressing the perfect cocoa powder

Hydraulic presses apply high pressure to compress the cocoa liquor blend, separating the batch into cocoa butter and cocoa cakes. Depending on the pressing time and process parameters, the resulting cocoa cakes have a fat content ranging between 10 and 24%. During this stage both the quality of the cocoa beans and the quality of roasting play an important role. Well-roasted high-quality cocoa beans allow optimal pressing, without affecting the flavor during the process.

Hydraulic press

Achieving the world’s finest cocoa powders

At this point, powder grinding lines pulverize the cocoa cakes into a variety of cocoa powders with predefined levels of fineness. But this is where Bensdorp cocoa powders really differentiate from the rest. Thanks to our innovative 3-step refinement process Bensdorp is able to produce the world’s finest cocoa powders. With an average fineness of 99,8% on 75µm/200 mesh sieve, our cocoa powders are able to bring the delicious chocolate flavor, color and mouth feel where chocolate cannot go.

Cocoa powder

Cooling and Stabilizing

Cooling causes the fat present in the cocoa powder to crystallize into the right form, which preserves the powder’s taste, and prevents discoloring and lumping during storage. Thanks to the special care with which we tend to our “tempered" cocoa powder, a deliciously fresh and pure cocoa fragrance permeates the entire room when you open a bag of Bensdorp.

Cooling

Discover Natural Cocoa Powders from our Specialty Cocoa Range

  • Natural Dark

    Dark brown colored yet 100% naturally obtained premium cocoa powder. Produced with no chemical intervention and no addition of additives. 100% free from alkali, dairy, lactose and allergen. 100% Vegan. This unique natural cocoa powder delivers a premium dark brown color combined with a delicious mild cocoa flavor with toasted nuts aroma and a hint of dried fruits.

    Bensdorp

Discover Dutched Cocoa Powders from our Specialty Cocoa Range

Get in Touch

Your Nearest Sales Representatives

Victoria Pitters
  • Food & Beverage manufacturers
1-312-496-7444

Your Nearest Office

Barry Callebaut USA LLC
903 Industrial Highway
Eddystone, 19022
United States

+1 610 872 4528