The flavour and texture of chocolate varies greatly depending on numerous things such as the bean variety, the country of origin, drying, fermentation and the soil it has been grown in and we try to pair the right chocolate to the right ingredients. For example beans from Madagascar tend to have quite a fruity taste so we often try to pair it with other fruits. Most of our chocolate comes from the Americas. Beans from this region are much less common than those coming from mainland Africa (which accounts for over 70% of global production). We buy couverture from a number of Belgian, French and Swiss companies as well as ones based in Madagascar and Colombia, and we predominately use chocolate from beans originating South & Central America and Madagascar. We also make chocolate from the bean and buy our beans in 60 kilo jute sacks from ethical and transparent sources where more money goes to the farmers. Making chocolate this way is a complex and time-consuming process. First we roast the beans after formulating the best roasting profile. The beans are then cracked apart and winnowed to separate the cocoa nibs from the husk. We then grind the cleaned nibs in a big melanger for up to 50 hours during which time we add whatever additional ingredients are to go into the final chocolate. This is then tempered, moulded and wrapped to make our bars. We buy local wherever we can. Our butter and cream comes from Somerset, as does the milk we use in our hot chocolate. The tea and coffee we use in our chocolates comes from a couple of suppliers in Bath. Even the honey we use comes from the farm down the road. If we can't find it locally we at least try to source from the UK. We don't use artificial flavourings or preservatives in our fresh chocolates so everything is fresh. As such, the chocolates should be eaten within 3-4 weeks of purchase. The bars will have a longer shelf life depending on the ingredients in them. Chocolate should be stored in a cool, dark place (preferably not the fridge) and away from strong smells.