The Sad Truth
In the broader chocolate industry, cocoa tends to be treated as a bulk food commodity. The vast majority of chocolate sold in supermarkets is made from inferior quality beans which are purchased on the world market and manufactured in enormous quantities by large multi-nationals who dominate the industry. By the time these companies deliver their chocolate to consumers, the cocoa has already been through six different intermediaries on average. The result is they can only really pay lip-service to questions about sustainability and traceability.
We, however, are true cocoa nerds and passionate farmers at heart. By planting only the finest varieties of local cocoa, as well as ancient varieties originating from the upper reaches of the Amazon rainforest, we have cultivated a combination of quality cocoa trees that deliver rich and diverse flavour profiles - no need for artificial ingredients or additives.
We do this by maintaining a gene bank of 300 different varieties, most of which are not available on the world market. All ten genetic groupings are included in our cacao, whereas most chocolate only contains one - the basic ‘Forastero’. Although much easier to grow in large volumes, we avoid Forastero due to its shallow taste, which invariably requires augmentation with additives such as vanilla.
This means that, together with close monitoring of our bespoke fermentation and drying process, we can produce fruitier, less acidic cacao to bring out flavours of irresistible complexity and long-lasting depth in our chocolate. One of our samples was recently voted in the World's Top 20 at the Cocoa of Excellence Awards.
Knowing the characteristics of our fine-flavoured cacao varieties enables us to tailor roasting and conching times, better protecting the delicate layers of flavour and preserving healthy flavanols.
Our chocolate is made by our chocolatier partner in Belgium, also a family business. Working with a small team of five, he has 25 years of experience. We have worked alongside him for several years to perfect our chocolate and develop our range.