Cocoa beans are the seeds of cacao plant that are extracted from its fruit called “pods”. When the seeds are removed from pods, they are very moist. So, they need to be roasted to make them dry for making cocoa powder.
The taste of the cocoa powder is not as sweet as you may have thought. Instead, it is very bitter and very difficult to eat directly. The chocolates we eat contains a small amount of cocoa powder mixed with other ingredients i.e. milk, sugar, and cream.
Cacao (or cocoa) trees needs humidity throughout the year for proper growth. Also, they must be near taller plants to get the shade from them and avoid direct sunlight.
Cacao trees take too long to grow to its full maturity – about 5 years. Once these trees reach to full maturity they can produce pods which contains cocoa beans. Cacao plants on average give 1000 beans each year. A thousand beans are enough to produce 900 grams (2 pounds) of chocolate.