Origin Sources and how we make chocolate.
We currently source cacao from an importer who buys directly from co-ops in cacao-growing regions In Central and South America and Vietnam
We also source directly from two farms in Mexico. One In Chiapas State, the other in Tabasco.
COAGRICSAL Cacao, Honduras- (Fairtrade, organic, UTZ certified) is a co-operative of small producers of coffee, cacao and pepper. They support the products of more than 1500 small farms in Western Honduras. Production facilities and farms were severely damaged after the flooding and landslides in November of 2020, and they have raised money to help in restoration projects.
Flavour notes include: Walnuts, Sponge toffee, black olive
Ucayali River Cacao- (organic) located near Pucallpa, Ucayali, Peru. Ucayali River Cacao is a central fermenter that works with cocoa farmers along the Ucayali River outside of the Peruvian city of Pucallpa. Ucayali River Cacao has partnered with USAID and Alianza Peru to give local farmers access to an alternate market to coca production. Working with around 400 smallholder farmers with one to three hectares of land each, Ucayali River Cacao buys wet cacao above market price, and ferments it.
Flavour notes include : Raisins, banana , vanilla
TBROS Cacao- (organic)
Truong Minh Thang and his partner Nguyen Duy Thong's cacao is sourced from farmers in the highlands of the Dak-Lak region of Vietnam. They source wet cacao and ferment the beans before shipping to suppliers. Trinitario variety.
Flavour notes include: sweet cherry, lemon, oranges, and mocha
We are in the process of importing sustainably grown and fermented cacao directly from two farms in Southern Mexico. In the very near future this cacao will be incorporated into all of our chocolates.
Rayen Co-operative, Socunusco, Chiapas, Mexico.
A family run co-operative.
The roasted and de-shelled beans display a wide range of colours and the resulting chocolate has very light tones, almost like milk chocolate.
This bean has a very chocolatey and nutty flavour upfront, with later notes specifically like cashew and peanut butter. Subtle date and raisin notes with little to no astringency or acidity, which heightens the impression of a natural sweetness.
The cacao from Comalcalco could be described as forastero. Pods are smaller, “rounder” and with a smoother skin, usually called “calabacillos” or “amelonados” (melon shaped). Beans are homogeneously purple when fresh (due to the high tannin content) and dark-brown when roasted and de-shelled. Forasteros should not be underestimated, this properly fermented bean has a lot of flavour potential.
The tasting notes of the resulting chocolate remind us of a very rich brownie wrapping up a wide range of other flavours such as tangy blackberry and slightly pepper at the beginning, followed by toasted pecans, tang of lime, subtle bitterness of hops and a final touch of anise at the end. There is also a date sweetness empowering the whole experience. A deep dark colour of chocolate is characteristic of this bean.
We are in the process of importing beans from Mexico directly. This has been an interesting process full of ups and downs but it allows for more transparency and a full knowledge of what the farmers and fermentors get paid, which is very important to us in this business.
Once we have the beans we carefully roast them, crack them, blow off their husks (winnowing), grind them, and then conche with organic cane sugar, maple sugar, or date sugar and and refine for 24-48 hours.
After that we temper and hand wrap the bars, or temper and fill bon bons and pralines and package them. We use biodegradable packaging wherever possible.