STONE HILL CACAO BEANS CLASSIFICATION

At Stone Hill Farm, we classify the cacao beans based on their sourcing origins as follow:

 CLASS SCLASS ACLASS BCLASS C
Cultivated and harvested by Stone Hill Farm
Primary fermentation and drying by Stone Hill Farm
Secondary fermentation and storage by Stone Hill Farm
Cultivated and harvested by partner farms
Primary fermentation and drying by partner farms
Secondary fermentation and storage by partner farms

Stone Hill Class S cacao beans come from cacao pods that have been grown and processed entirely at Stone Hill Farm. This entails all of the pre-processing stages, including: cultivation, harvest, primary fermentation, drying, secondary fermentation and storage.

This type of cacao beans is unique only to Stone Hill Farm due to the complex cacao variety composition of our own variety collection, and Stone Hill’s signature post-harvest treatment. Stone Hill Tree-To-Bar Chocolate which can only be made exclusively with Stone Hill Class S beans, falls under the Tree-To-Bar category.

The quantity of Class S cacao beans is extremely limited and we will only process what we have. Once that batch is used up, the production will come to a temporary halt until the next harvesting season.

Stone Hill Class A cacao beans come from cacao pods that are grown and harvested from our partner farms.

Stone Hill partner farms are cacao farms that adhere to Stone Hill’s standards of agriculture and cultivation under direct supervision of Stone Hill’s technical staff.

The cacao pods are monitored and harvested from our partner farms, then transported back to Stone Hill. They are then given the Stone Hill post-harvest signature treatment of fermentation, drying, secondary fermentation and storage. If chocolate were to be made from Class A beans, it would fall under the Pod-To-Bar category.

We use Class A cacao beans in making Stone Hill Cacao Nibs and Stone Hill Cacao Powder.

Stone Hill Class B cacao beans come from cacao pods that are grown, harvested, fermented and dried at our partner farms.

Stone Hill partner farms are cacao farms that adhere to Stone Hill’s standards of agriculture and cultivation under direct supervision of Stone Hill’s technical staff.

The cacao pods are monitored and harvested at our partner farms, then given the Stone Hill post-harvest signature treatment of fermentation and drying on-site at said farms. The fermented and dried cacao beans are then transported back to Stone Hill for secondary fermentation and storage. If chocolate were to be made from Class B beans, it would fall under the Bean-To-Bar category.

We use Class B cacao beans in making Stone Hill Cacao Nibs and Stone Hill Cacao Powder.

Stone Hill Class C cacao beans come from cacao pods that are grown, harvested, fermented and dried at our affiliate farms.

Stone Hill affiliate farms are independent cacao farms which produce cacao beans that have passed Stone Hill’s technical standards.

The cacao pods are cultivated, harvested, fermented and dried by independent small farmers.

Stone Hill technical team check the quality standards of the beans as well as work conditions and environmental impact of those independent farms. If all criteria are fulfilled, the cacao beans will then be categorized as Stone Hill Class C cacao beans.

Currently, Stone Hill does not utilize Class C beans in our end-product line-up.

If chocolate were to be made from Class C beans, it would also fall under the Bean-To-Bar category.

According to our observation, there is quite a gap of difference between Class B and Class C beans due to various parameters of technical input and quality control. However, by official standard, both Class B and Class C cacao beans would both be considered as appropriate ingredient for Bean-To-Bar chocolate.